recently Microsoft Xbox wanted planned to buy Sega Sammy Bungie Zynga Niantic IO Interactive

Xbox Considered Buying Sega, Bungie, & Niantic Pretty Recently, Documents Reveal

The court case between the FTC and Microsoft continues to reveal all sorts of random things about past (and maybe current) plans at Xbox, and via The Verge, email has come to light revealing that Xbox head Phil Spencer sought to buy Sega Sammy as late as 2020. Internal documents also reveal that Xbox has considered buying the likes of Bungie, IO Interactive, Niantic (the Pokémon GO people), and Zynga, among others.

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In an email dated November 10, 2020 (below), Phil Spencer emailed Microsoft CFO Amy Hood and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to request “Strategy Approval to approach Sega Sammy regarding a potential acquisition on their Sega gaming studios.” The rationale was that “Sega has built a well-balanced portfolio of games across segments with global geographic appeal,” and purchasing it would help “accelerate Xbox Game Pass both on and off-console.” While it is not known what happened after this email (though obviously, Microsoft did not buy Sega), Sega was still listed as a key target in an April 2021 merger review document, according to The Verge.

recently Microsoft Xbox wanted planned to buy Sega Sammy Bungie Zynga Niantic IO Interactive

That document also revealed that Microsoft had put intense consideration into purchasing the other aforementioned companies for Xbox — Bungie, IO Interactive, Niantic, Zynga, even Hades developer Supergiant Games. It’s worth noting that Sony actually did buy Bungie last year, so the odds are pretty low of Microsoft acquiring that studio now. Zynga too was acquired by Take-Two, and Microsoft ultimately turned its gaze to Activision Blizzard, hence the current predicament in court.

recently Microsoft Xbox wanted planned to buy Sega Sammy Bungie Zynga Niantic IO Interactive

Theoretically, Sega Sammy is still in play for purchase by Xbox or anyone else, for better or worse. Not many people would be thrilled if Sonic the Hedgehog, Like a Dragon, and Persona (because Atlus is part of Sega) became Xbox exclusives, but they would indeed be huge gets for Game Pass. Of course, there’s no telling if this is still a current topic of conversation within Xbox. A couple brand new Persona games are headed to Game Pass on day one though.


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John Friscia
Former Managing Editor at The Escapist. I have been writing about video games since 2018 and editing writing on IT, project management, and video games for around a decade. I have an English degree, but Google was a more valuable learning resource. I taught English in South Korea for a year in 2018, and it was exponentially more fun than living in Pennsylvania. My major passions in life are SNES, Japanese RPGs, Berserk, and K-pop. I'm currently developing the game Boss Saga with my brother, which is guaranteed to change your life and you should buy it.