Rumor: Microsoft Looking At Electronic Arts As Possible Acquisition Target
In hopes of solving its exclusive software issues, Microsoft may be looking at Electronic Arts among other companies as a possible target for acquisition, Polygon reports.
The information comes nestled within a broader discussion on Microsoft's software portfolio, but Polygon claims that the mega-publisher is one target among several for Microsoft to acquire.
"Some of the names being thrown around as possible acquisitions by Microsoft are, frankly, astounding, even unthinkable," the article's author Colin Campbell writes. "But the fact that they are doing the rounds is instructive. The most recent one we heard (from a reliable source close to Microsoft) was, in fact, Electronic Arts. We also heard a whisper about Valve and about Korean outfit PUBG Corp., which Microsoft last year signed to a timed exclusive for its hit survival shooter, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds."
The possible options here are somewhat mind-boggling. Picking up Electronic Arts would be one of the biggest acquisitions in the gaming industry's history and would so massively shake up the market that it is hard to even conceive of what the industry would look like afterward.
Valve is a privately owned company, which would make any acquisition difficult enough on its own, and founder Gabe Newell is well known not to be a fan of his former employer Microsoft and their Windows 10 strategy for gaming. Of all the mentioned acquisitions, PUBG Corp. seems the most reasonable, though it would only solve the problem of how to secure Battlegrounds forever, not how to right the internal software ship.
We reached out to Microsoft for comment, who told us "Microsoft does not comment on rumors or speculation."
To be absolutely clear, we have no knowledge about this or any acquisition Microsoft might be considering, so take the story with a grain of salt. It is a fascinating thought experiment, however, and it's interesting to think what would happen if Microsoft threw their war chest into the middle of the ring. If there's any grain of truth to this, interesting times could be ahead.