Microsoft has been in a real takeover for the past few years. Bethesda Softworks is the jewel in the obvious crown, but in recent years it has also been able to develop developers including Mojang, Double Fine, Ninja Theory, Compulsion, inXile and Obsidian. The Microsoft store is still a disaster (although it is possible that Windows 11 may eventually bring some improvements on this front), but Microsoft itself has grown at an aggressive pace as a first-hand publisher.
PlayStation Studios boss Hermen Hulst recently cast a shadow over Microsoft over its ways to spend for free GQ that Sony is not involved in an "arms race" acquisition because "we are very selective about the developers we lead."
“It’s not like we’re going around here and we’re just making random acquisitions,” Hulst said. "These are very, very specific acquisitions of equipment that we know well."
Not surprisingly, Microsoft’s Xbox head, Phil Spencer, sees the situation very differently. In a recent interview with IGN, Spencer acknowledged that some people might question whether the acquisitions are good for the industry, but explained why he thinks so.
"Starting a new studio, frankly starting any small business, is a very risky proposition. Starting a video game studio is even more so," Spencer said. "And if a team really takes the risk of starting a new business, creating a studio, building it over the years and generating value in it, to say they shouldn't be sold, I think it's short-sighted." .
Spencer said the opportunity to "realize the value of what they created" through a purchase is one of the reasons why some people take the risk of launching new studies, the implication is that the absence of & # 39; This opportunity could mean that some studies just won't be founded, and by extension, that some games might not be done.
"It doesn't mean all teams have to end up selling their studio, but I think it's a natural and healthy part of our industry for certain teams to start a studio; a lot of them will fail, we know the most small businesses will fail, whether it’s video games or whatever, ”he continued. "But those who get it – and it's kind of a risky journey for them – to get to the point of creating real value, I'll always congratulate them when the teams get where they realize that value in through acquisition, or simply mass independent success, if that is the path they are also beginning to follow. "
Interestingly, while Spencer said Microsoft "is always looking at where we could continue to build our first game capability," he also suggested that it might not be focused on conventional gaming in the future.
“When I look at the portfolio, I still think there’s an opportunity for us with more family-friendly content,” he said, “When I think about the geographic diversity of our first-hand studies, I think we still have work to do. -hi ".
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, said in September 2020 that the company had not finished buying gaming studios and that Bloomberg reported in November 2020 that Microsoft was looking for a Japanese studio to add to its stable. Spencer denied the claim a few days later, however, saying that while it has an "affinity for Japanese studies," so far as he is aware, Microsoft is not actively buying any.