In an email exchange revealed during the FTC v. Microsoft lawsuit, it was discovered that Microsoft Gaming CEO, Phil Spencer, expressed his desire to acquire Nintendo. In the August 2020 email, Spencer referred to Nintendo as “THE prime asset for us in Gaming” and believed that acquiring the company would be a significant milestone in his career and a mutually beneficial move for both Microsoft and Nintendo.
The email conversation was initiated when one of Microsoft’s executives, Takeshi Numoto, questioned why the company wasn’t pursuing acquisition targets like Nintendo to enhance their consumer exposure and relevance. Numoto suggested that acquiring Nintendo would be a more attractive option compared to the ongoing discussions about acquiring TikTok, which Numoto deemed as not the best match for Microsoft. This inquiry prompted Spencer to share his thoughts on the matter.
Spencer revealed that he had numerous discussions with the Nintendo leadership team (referred to as “LT” in the email) regarding closer collaboration between the two companies. He believed that Microsoft was in the best position among all US companies to establish a strong partnership with Nintendo. Furthermore, Spencer informed the recipients of the email that Microsoft’s board of directors had reviewed comprehensive reports on both Nintendo and Valve, expressing their complete support for pursuing opportunities with either company.
In addition to expressing his interest in Nintendo, Spencer also mentioned that Microsoft was actively engaged in merger and acquisition discussions at the time. He specifically mentioned ZeniMax Media, a renowned video game holding company, and Warner Brothers Interactive as companies they were in talks with. Ultimately, Microsoft successfully announced the acquisition of ZeniMax Media a month later. However, discussions with Warner Brothers Interactive did not result in a deal.
The leaked email raises intriguing possibilities for the future of gaming. Acquiring Nintendo, one of the most recognized and beloved gaming companies globally, would undoubtedly be a game-changer for Microsoft. It would provide them with access to Nintendo’s iconic franchises, including Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon, which have a massive and dedicated fanbase. Microsoft could leverage these franchises to bolster their gaming offerings and potentially attract a larger audience.
Moreover, a partnership or acquisition involving Microsoft and Nintendo could lead to unique collaborations and innovations in the gaming industry. Both companies have their strengths and expertise, and a combination of their resources could result in exciting advancements. Microsoft’s technological prowess and its widely popular Xbox consoles, coupled with Nintendo’s creativity and innovative approach to gaming, could potentially revolutionize the gaming landscape.
It is essential to note that the email exchange took place in August 2020, and as of now, there haven’t been any official announcements regarding Microsoft’s intentions to acquire Nintendo. Prior to this email leak, there had been no public indication of Microsoft’s interest in acquiring Nintendo. However, it is worth considering that emails might not always represent the final decision-making of executives and are subject to change.
The leak of this email conversation provides a fascinating glimpse into the strategic discussions happening at high levels within Microsoft. It highlights the company’s ambitions to expand its presence in the gaming industry and form strategic partnerships or acquisitions to achieve its goals. While the acquisition of Nintendo might still be speculative, it demonstrates Microsoft’s eagerness to explore potential opportunities and find new avenues for growth.
Ultimately, only time will tell whether Microsoft’s desire to acquire Nintendo becomes a reality. However, the leaked email has certainly sparked conversations and fueled speculation about what the future holds for these two influential players in the gaming industry. If such a partnership or acquisition were to occur, it would undoubtedly reshape the gaming landscape and create endless possibilities for gamers worldwide.