Xbox Isn't Done Acquiring More Companies, Phil Spencer Suggests

"Sony is a larger business than we are in gaming today, and they continue to invest," and Microsoft may follow suit, Spencer says.


Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer has suggested the Xbox company might not be finished buying game studios. Speaking to Squawk Asia, Spencer said Microsoft doesn't have the luxury 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, who are bigger than Microsoft in games and continue to acquire and invest in more teams and content.

"This is such a competitive market. I don't think we get to press pause on anything. Tencent is the largest gaming company on the planet today, and they continue to heavily invest in gaming content and game creators," Spencer said. "Sony is a larger business than we are in gaming today, and they continue to invest. It's a highly, highly competitive market. We strive to be a major player. We want to deliver great content for our players. And we're going to remain active."

Spencer said Microsoft will continue to invest in its internal teams and build out new partnerships as well. The executive was speaking from the Tokyo Game Show in Japan and said he's enjoyed his time there talking to existing partners, like Hideo Kojima, who is making a new game for Xbox, as well as other studios not yet partnered with Xbox. Some of the conversations 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 that Microsoft might look to invest in or acquire.

Speaking generally about Microsoft's plans for additional investment in gaming and/or acquisitions, Spencer said his job is never-ending.

"The work never ends. It's a competitive market," he said. "And I want to make sure Xbox is at the forefront of innovation and competition."

Microsoft is in the midst of 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 for a Microsoft deal, by far, not just in the video game space but overall.

Some of Microsoft's biggest gaming deals have included acquiring Mojang and ZeniMax. It also bought Double Fine, Obsidian, and inXile, among other game studios. On the partnership front, one of Microsoft's biggest upcoming deals was with Kojima Productions for a new Xbox game.

Microsoft rival Sony is making moves in terms of acquisitions and partnerships, too. The company recently acquired Destiny developer Bungie and Returnal studio Housemarque. It also recently bought Assassin's Creed boss Jade Raymond's studio, Haven, which is making 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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