There’s no question that Microsoft was hurting last year with its Xbox One business. True, it did well enough between Forza Motorsport 7, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and the Xbox One X, but it also had some rough points, with the cancellation of games like Fable Legends and Scalebound, as well as the delay of its would-be holiday hit Crackdown 3.
So now it’s trying to bounce back, and there are rumors making the rounds that it could be trying to make some key acquisitions to gain some “oomph” back in the industry, just as it did years ago acquiring the best-selling Minecraft series, along with its respective studio, Mojang. But an interesting name has come up from this, as the company might be looking into acquiring Electronic Arts.
Polygon first reported the rumor, indicating that, according to a source, the acquisition could happen pretty soon. Other names have been passed around as well, including Valve, the creators of such games as Portal and Left 4 Dead (as well as Half-Life), and PUBG Corp., the Korean outfit responsible for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. That last one seems pretty likely as well, mainly because the companies are getting along so well with the release of the Xbox One version last year.
SuperDataResearch CEO Joost van Dreunen explained to Polygon, “Because of where we are in the lifecycle of all these things, I’m expecting to hear Microsoft announce something very, very shortly.”
The company has already promised a pretty big line-up for 2018, between Crackdown 3 and Sea of Thieves leading the charge, as well as some potential big hits for the rest of the year, including a new Fable, a new Forza Horizon and the possible return of Perfect Dark. But a key acquisition, especially with someone as big as EA, could mean big business for the company down the road. The real question is, if they in fact did buy the company, what would it mean for future EA game releases on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and other platforms? (More than likely, Microsoft would probably continue letting EA operate day-to-day, just as it did with Mojang and Minecraft – that game ended up on other platforms with ease.)
This is all rumor, of course, but Microsoft has been making some inside moves as of late to bolster its video game business, and an acquisition or two would easily top this off and give it a much-needed push for the new year. We’ll see what goes down over the next few months.