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Microsoft Is Looking To Acquire Nintendo “At Some Point”, Mario Maker’s Future “Exists Off Of Its HW”

Microsoft is looking to acquire Nintendo “at some point”, and it believes that the Mario maker’s future “exists off of its own hardware”.

Through a flurry of leaked documents involved in the court case between the FTC and Microsoft, it has been revealed that the software giant has been looking to acquire Nintendo since the year 2020. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer believes that the acquisition of Nintendo by Microsoft would be a “career moment” for him, and he believes it would be a good move for both companies.

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In his email to¬†Microsoft’s Executive Vice President and Commercial Chief Marketing Officer, Takeshi Numoto, and Chief Marketing Officer, Chris Capossela, Spencer stated that it’s just taking a long time for Nintendo to see that its future “exists off of their own hardware”, but he is firm in his belief that the acquisition will happen “at some point”, and that Nintendo will eventually see things the way Microsoft does. Nintendo has yet to comment on the leaked statement from Phil Spencer.

Addressing Numoto, Spencer stated that he totally agreed that Nintendo is the prime asset for Microsoft in the Gaming business, and that, today, Gaming is the company’s most likely path to consumer relevance. He mentioned that he has had numerous conversations with the LT of Nintendo about tighter collaboration and felt that if any US company would have a chance with Nintendo, Microsoft would probably be in the best position. According to him, the unfortunate (or fortunate for Nintendo) situation is that the Mario maker is “sitting on a big pile of cash”. He said that Nintendo has a Board of Directors (BoD) that, until recently, have not pushed for further increases in market growth or stock appreciation. He clarified that he said “until recently”, as Microsoft’s former BoD member, ValueAct, has been heavily acquiring shares of Nintendo. He mentioned that he had been keeping in touch with ValueAct CEO Mason Morfit. He said that it’s likely that ValueAct will be pushing for more from Nintendo stock, which could create opportunities for Microsoft. Without that catalyst, Spencer didn’t see an angle to a near term mutually agreeable merger between Nintendo and Microsoft, and he didn’t think a hostile action would be a good move, so he said that he would be playing “the long game”. However, he added that Microsoft’s BoD have seen the full writeup on both Nintendo and Valve, and they are fully supportive on either acquisition should the opportunity arise.

Additionally, the email exchange also revealed that the software giant was looking to acquire Warner Bros Interactive alongside Bethesda parent company Zenimax at one point. The biggest obstacle to this acquisition mentioned by Spencer was related to Warner Bros’ IP ownership or lack thereof. Spencer stated that the software giant wouldn’t own any of the IP, which hurts long term flexibility. On the other hand, the only obstacle on Zenimax was the valuation expectations of its founders. In the end, Microsoft ended up acquiring Zenimax, and passed up on the opportunity to get Warner Bros.

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