Microsoft’s reported aggressive pursuit of new software for both Xbox and PC is leading to some interesting acquisition rumors. A report from Polygon cited multiple studio and publisher names being “thrown around” at the company, which is to be expected. But few may have thought a publisher as large as Electronic Arts is apparently one of those names.
According to Polygon, a reliable source says that Electronic Arts has indeed been mentioned as a possible acquisition by Microsoft. However, the degree of discussion is unclear. It may have been a simple off-handed suggestion, a joke, or what have you. If the report is reliable, however, it shows just how seriously Microsoft is taking their promise of further software investment.
Electronic Arts wasn’t the only name dropped; it may not even be the most surprising. Polygon’s sources also say that names including Valve and PUBG Corp, which has already brought PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds to Xbox with exclusivity, have been “whispered.” Again, further details or clarity with regards to the context with which these names were mentioned were not provided.
Microsoft’s last acquisition was Mojang and Minecraft in 2014 for $2.5 billion. That decision has since proven exceptional and may very well have directly led to Microsoft’s willingness to continue investing in software. But $2.5 billion pales in comparison to the tens of billions of dollars that a company like Electronic Arts would cost. Just how far is Microsoft willing to go (or rather, how much are they willing to spend)?
A follow-up question is also just how quickly Microsoft is likely to act, given that an eventual acquisition is inevitable. These rumors of ongoing conversations at Microsoft imply that the process remains extremely early. Yet if Microsoft is as dedicated to building up its software division as it says, then sooner is better than later. Electronic Arts, Valve, PUBG Corp, or otherwise, Xbox fans should be excited for whatever Microsoft is planning.