Leaked documents from Microsoft reveal that the technology and video game company considered putting in offers to buy Nintendo and Warner Bros. Games — formally known as Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
The Verge‘s Tom Warren shared the leaked email from August 2020 — which was accidentally leaked as part of the recent Federal Trade Commission v. Microsoft Corp. and Activision Blizzard, Inc. lawsuit — on X (Twitter). The email, with the subject line “random thought,” is from Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, who wrote that “Nintendo is THE prime asset for [Microsoft] Gaming” and that “if any US company would have a chance with Nintendo we are probably the best option.” Spencer added that “getting Nintendo would be a career move” but cited the Japanese gaming company’s large stockpile of cash and unwilling board of directors as obstacles to the potential merger.
In the email, Spencer also mentioned Warner Bros. Games as another potential purchase for Microsoft, labeling the company as “for sale and gettable by us.” However, he noted that buying Warner Bros. Games would not include rights to its lucrative IP — Harry Potter, DC Comics, Game of Thrones — which would hurt Microsoft’s “long term flexibility.” ZeniMax, which owns Bethesda Game Studios and is the other company mentioned in the email, was purchased by Microsoft in March 2021.
Aside from ZeniMax, in its efforts to grow and compete with PlayStation, Microsoft has also purchased Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion in January 2022. The purchase raised antitrust concerns from the European Union (EU), the United State’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the United Kingdom (UK). However, the EU approved the deal after Microsoft made some concessions and the FTC lost their case in the courts. Only UK and Australian approvals remain, and a deal is expected to be reached by October of 2023.
The Nintendo/Warner Bros. Games email is one of many to come from the leak, which also contained documents that revealed Microsoft’s plans for a disc-less Xbox Series X, a 2028 release for a new console and several upcoming games.
Leaked documents reveal that Microsoft considered putting in an offer to buy Nintendo and Warner Bros. Games. Read More