Microsoft Wants To Buy Nintendo

Wouldn’t it be amazing to have microtransactions every time you dropped down a warp pipe? Or being able to purchase extra Zelda heart pieces for a modicum of dollars?

Turning this into a reality seems to be Microsoft gaming CEO Phil Spencer’s ideal career-defining moment, as per a leaked email. 

The email was sent on 6th August 2020 to Microsoft’s chief marketing officer Chris Capossela, CC’ing chief marketing officer Takeshi Numoto. Spencer speculates that Nintendo might be willing to sell their company to Microsoft.

Microsoft’s objective here would be consumer relevance, especially due to their lackluster time with their IPs and hardware sales. The Xbox Series X is behind the PS5 by 14.45 million units and 15 million units behind the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo’s most iconic franchises are all worth billions of dollars. Just Pokémon and Mario combined are worth more than any of Microsoft’s IPs combined, and that’s without going into Zelda, Kirby, or any other IPs.

But being a software company first and foremost, Microsoft has hundreds of billions in the bank. Their main roadblock to acquiring Nintendo wouldn’t be money, but Nintendo’s disposition. 

Microsoft

Users criticized Microsoft’s intentions as the opposite of “healthy” capitalism. Here, Microsoft serves as an example of a company that ends up owning everything in its respective industry, creating an unhealthy monopoly that stagnates all competition for the sake of satiating executive greed.

Others performed numerous thought experiments on Reddit and Twitter, concluding that Nintendo’s talent would leave the company, as has similarly happened with Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

This will likely mean the death of all the “lesser” Nintendo IPs. After all, Microsoft would leverage their acquisition of Zelda, Mario, and Pokémon first and foremost, with franchises like Metroid and Kid Icarus probably languishing in oblivion. 

On the other hand, Japan’s business culture differs from the American one. In Japan, Nintendo is practically a cultural icon more than a business, and selling the entire company and all of its franchises off to an American business doesn’t look like something at the top of their to-do list.

It also doesn’t seem like Nintendo needs money right now. For comparison, Nintendo still has cash from the sales of their Gameboy Advances. That was twenty years ago, and the Switch became the third best-selling video game console of all time in 2022. To say that Nintendo is good on money right now would be an understatement.

We might never see beloved microtransactions as part of our favorite Nintendo IPs, but it’s almost guaranteed that Microsoft might try to acquire Nintendo again in the future.

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