As part of the legal proceedings between Microsoft and the FTC, new documents appeared on the network that talk about plans to acquire studios and publishing houses from the American corporation. The documents refer to the period before the announcement of the deal between Microsoft and Activision, so the relevance of the plans is currently unknown.
According to the documents, Microsoft was actively negotiating to buy the SEGA studios. Phil Spencer sent a letter to other Microsoft executives in November 2020 proposing to approve a merger with SEGA. According to Spencer, the publisher’s large portfolio of diverse games would help the development of Game Pass.
For what reasons the merger with SEGA did not take place is unknown. Recall that at the end of 2021 it became known about the “strategic alliance” between Microsoft and SEGA.
Later, in April 2021, Microsoft compiled a list of studios that are most interesting for it from the point of acquisition. This list includes both mobile and console developers. In particular, the list includes IO Interactive (with which Microsoft is currently working on Project Dragon), Bungie (which has already been acquired by Sony) and some other studios:
Thunderful (known from the Steamworld franchise) Supergiant Games (Hades); Niantic (mobile games, including Pokemon Go); Playrix (mobile games, Township, Gardenscapes) Zynga (mobile games, including FarmVille) Bungie (Destiny) IO Interactive (Hitman) ;Scopely (mobile games based on WWE, The Walking Dead)
The documents also include a list of studios that Microsoft “is worth keeping an eye on.” This list includes, for example, the creators of Atomic Heart from Mundfish and the authors of Hollow Knight from Team Cherry.