Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer has suggested that the Xbox company may not be done buying game studios. Speaking to Squawk Asia, Spencer said that Microsoft cannot afford to be able to slow down due to the competitive nature of the gaming market. He pointed to some of the biggest companies in gaming, Tencent and Sony, which are bigger than Microsoft in gaming and continue to acquire and invest in more equipment and content.
“This is such a competitive market. I don’t think we can pause anything. Tencent is the largest gaming company on the planet today, and they continue to invest heavily in game content and game creators,” Spencer said. “Sony is a bigger business than we are today in gaming, and they continue to invest. It’s a very, very competitive market. We strive to be a major player. We want to deliver great content for our players. And we’re going to stay active.”
Spencer said that Microsoft will continue to invest in its internal teams and also build new partnerships. The executive was speaking from the Tokyo Game Show in Japan and said that he enjoyed his time there talking to existing partners, such as Hideo Kojima, who is creating a new game for Xbox, as well as other studios not yet associated with Xbox. Some of the talks Spencer is having with teams in Japan could turn into an investment or acquisition, Spencer said, but he stopped short of announcing anything specific or even alluding to a certain team Microsoft might invest in or acquire.
Speaking generally about Microsoft’s plans for additional gaming investments and/or acquisitions, Spencer said his work is never done.
“The work is never done. It’s a competitive market,” he said. “And I want to make sure that Xbox is at the forefront of innovation and competition.”
Microsoft is attempting to buy Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, though the deal is pending regulatory approval from governments around the world. The purchase price is the highest ever achieved for a Microsoft deal, by far, not just in the video game space, but in general.
Some of Microsoft’s biggest gaming deals have included the acquisition of Mojang and ZeniMax. It also bought Double Fine, Obsidian, and inXile, among other game studios. On the partnership front, one of Microsoft’s next biggest deals was with Kojima Productions for a new Xbox game.
Microsoft’s rival Sony is also making moves in terms of acquisitions and partnerships. The company recently acquired Destiny developer Bungie and Returnal studio Housemarque. It also recently bought Assassin’s Creed boss Jade Raymond’s Haven studio, which is creating a new IP for PlayStation.
Sony has also recently complained about Microsoft’s attempt to buy Activision Blizzard, saying the deal could have “major negative implications for gamers”.
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