Rumors of massive acquisitions surface all the time, so take this with a heavy pinch of salt. Citing an anonymous source close to Microsoft, Polygon writes that the Windows maker is looking to purchase gaming giant Electronic Arts.
It’s no secret that the Xbox One isn’t the best platform when it comes to exclusive games, and the cancelation of Scalebound and Fable Legends, along with the Crackdown 3 delay, haven’t helped the situation.
To try and address the problem, Microsoft is reportedly looking at buying entire publishers, much like it did with the $2.5 billion acquisition of Minecraft developer Mojang back in 2014. One of the names supposedly being thrown around is EA.
The rumors have caused EA’s stock price to jump, increasing its market cap to over $36 billion. But with a reported $130 billion in its cash reserves, it’s a price Microsoft could afford. Such an acquisition does seem unlikely, but the deal might bring advantages beyond more Xbox One exclusives.
Phil Spencer recently announced that Microsoft’s Netflix-for-gaming-style Game Pass is to feature Xbox One exclusive games on the day they release—something that hasn’t gone down well with some retailers. If it were to buy EA, Microsoft could add extra launch-day titles from the likes of BioWare and Dice to Game Pass, thereby encouraging more people to sign up to the $9.99 per month subscription service.
Another company Microsoft is rumored to be eyeing, one that seems even less likely to be acquired than EA, is Valve. But a more plausible scenario is the buyout of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds developer PUBG Corporation, a subsidiary of Korean publisher Bluehole. The companies already have an established relationship following the release of PUBG as a timed exclusive on the Xbox One last year.
We’ll just have to wait and see if any of these rumors turn into reality, but don’t hold your breath.