Even 20 years on, Xbox still talks about buying Nintendo

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As part of a big leak of documents from the FTC’s case against Microsoft, it appears that the tech company might still be interested in acquiring Nintendo.


Back in 2021, it came to light that prior to the release of the first Xbox, about 20 years ago, Microsoft had apparently reached out to Nintendo to discuss potentially acquiring the console and game maker. Obviously, this didn’t go well, with Nintendo outright laughing during the discussion. But in a leak today showing off an email sent by head of Xbox Phil Spencer in 2020, Microsoft is still interested in acquiring Nintendo.


In an internal email from Spencer to Microsoft’s chief marketing officer Chris Caposella and executive vice president and commercial chief marketing officer Takeshi Numoto, the head of Xbox wrote, “Nintendo is THE [sic] prime asset for us in gaming and today gaming is our most likely path to consumer relevance. I’ve had numerous conversations with the LT of Nintendo about tighter collaboration and feel like if any US company would have a chance with Nintendo we are probably in the best position.”


Spencer noted that unfortunately for Microsoft, Nintendo is “sitting on a big pile of cash,” and has a board of directors “that until recently has not pushed for further increases in market growth or stock appreciation.” As well as Nintendo, Spencer also spoke about potentially looking into acquiring Valve, as well as Warner Brothers Interactive, though noted that for the latter they wouldn’t have IP ownership. He also wrote of Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax, the parent company of Bethesda, which obviously has gone through now.


Spencer wrapped up the email saying, “At some point, Nintendo would be a career moment and I honestly believe a good move for both companies. It’s just taking a long time for Nintendo to see that their future exists off of their own hardware. A long time…. 🙂 [sic].”


None of this is particularly surprising, as a company wanting to buy another company to make more money is pretty par for the course. This email was written three years ago also, so whether Microsoft is still interested in acquiring Nintendo is up in the air.



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