Last year, Microsoft had shocked the gaming world by acquiring Bethesda, the famous developer known for titles like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 3. The technology titan had apparently done this to solve the exclusives problem with Xbox consoles. Now, rumors from some credible sources claim that Microsoft is planning to acquire another Bethesda-level acquisition in 2021. While it is not clear which studio may be under Microsoft’s radar, experts have some good candidates for the position, including EA, Square Enix, and others.
It is one thing that acquisition-related rumors come out of nowhere in the technology industry. However, in this particular case, industry insiders like Xbox Ragnar had backed this claim of Microsoft acquiring a massive game studio in the future. When a Twitter user named LH posted an insider conversation regarding such an acquisition in the coming months, Xbox Ragnar confirmed that he had heard the same sort of rumors for a few months. Xbox Ragnar added that the official announcement would happen at the end of 2021 or in early 2022. Some other industry veterans, including Brad Sams, a journalist, had been talking about these plans in recent months.
According to Brad Sams, he had heard reports that many brands in the gaming industries were approached by Microsoft, although the names of the brands were not disclosed. After Brad Sams and Xbox Ragnar have backed the acquisition-related rumors, people have come out with their theories. Some claim that Microsoft has its eyes on Electronic Arts, one of the legendary game developers in the world. Some say that the giant may be thinking about buying Square Enix. While both of these developers have some superb titles available for Xbox devices, their more profound impact would be something different.
The rumor that Microsoft may acquire Electronic Arts could be taken in with a grain of salt. First of all, EA is incredibly bigger than Bethesda, meaning that Microsoft will have to shell out a considerable amount of money. On the other hand, the addition of EA Play, the subscription services from the game developer, to the Xbox Game Pass is already why customers prefer Xbox devices over PlayStation. By this logic, it is easy to predict that Microsoft has plans to expand this collaboration and bring some exclusives into the console, thereby taking a hit on the competition.
If Microsoft continues its acquisition streak like it did the last year, its competitor Sony would also jump on the same bandwagon. In fact, some reports had indicated that Sony is planning to purchase game studios to bring some more exclusives to the console. Considering that both Microsoft and Sony are now stuck by the lack of chip supply from AMD, the companies have to think about strategies to offer a better set of games to users when they finally purchase Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 later this year. Studio acquisitions can help in that department.