Forward-looking: Microsoft has been buying up game studios left and right as it plays catch up to Sony. PlayStation exclusives—for both last and current-gen—have driven millions of customers to the platform. Microsoft has spent billions in recent months acquiring developers to expand its roster of games, but the spending spree is not over yet.
The Wall Street Journal recently interviewed Microsoft's vice-president of gaming and head of the Xbox division Phil Spencer. During the publication's Tech Live event, Spencer confirmed Xbox is still willing to buy more game studios should suitable opportunities arise.
"We're definitely not done. There's no quota, no timeline where I have to go acquire studios by a certain time, but if we find a studio where we have a good fit... absolutely," Spencer stated.
Last year, Microsoft showcased its intent in providing console owners with more exclusives via its acquisition of Bethesda's parent company, ZeniMax, for $7.5 billion. The deal included several developers apart from the Fallout creator, including id Software, Arkane Studios, MachineGames, and others.
Prior to that blockbuster deal, Microsoft also flexed its purchasing power by buying Devil May Cry developer Ninja Theory, inXile Entertainment, and Minecraft creator Mojang Studios.
Meanwhile, Sony is enjoying record sales for the PlayStation 5, primarily due to the momentum carried over from the PlayStation 4. The last-gen console boasted a robust lineup of exclusives. The PS4 became the clear winner in sales compared to the Xbox One, selling 60 million units more than Microsoft's system.
In addition to several in-house developers like Santa Monica Studio and Naughty Dog, Sony has also been adding to its lineup by buying Demon's Souls remake developer Bluepoint Games. Moreover, it paid $229 million for Insomniac Games, best known for the Ratchet & Clank franchise.
Microsoft has access to a much larger war chest to derive funds from than Sony, of course. Therefore, the Redmond technology giant can make serious headway in the console wars if it can replicate the Bethesda buyout and bring even more well-known studios under its control. It's already made some notable progress in attracting consumers with Xbox Game Pass, a service that has established itself as the Netflix for games.
There's one thing both Sony and Microsoft have in common, though—playing catch up to the Nintendo Switch. The hybrid gaming device has dominated the sales chart for both the current and previous generations of consoles since its launch over four years ago.