Microsoft shook the gaming world to its very core recently by announcing that it was gobbling up ZeniMax, the parent company of video game giant Bethesda – a purchase which gives it control of million-selling brands such as The Elder Scrolls, DOOM and Fallout.
When you drop a cool $7.5 billion on a company, it's almost inevitable that people will start to ponder what your next move will be, and as you can imagine, the internet lit up with theories – the most notable of which was that Sega would be Microsoft's next acquisition and that the news will be confirmed at this year's Tokyo Game Show. After all, there were rumours a while back that Xbox systems would carry the Sega branding in Japan, so it's not that far-fetched... right?
Some of these posts were clearly supposed to be humorous in tone, but others... well, we're not so sure.
However, Microsoft has taken steps to deny that any new acquisitions will be announced at the upcoming show:
Sega's Sammy pachinko division is probably worth way more than 7.5billion alone. I could be wrong, but owning Sega Sammy would be a bigger deal than Bethesda.
Aware MS almost bought the old Sega after the Dreamcast, but Sega were bankrupt with Serious debt at that point. Not now.
Xbox isn't popular in Japan, most Sega and Atlus games sell on Switch and Playstation.
It does make you wonder who put 2 and 2 together and got 5?
Sammy is not going to let go of sega and Microsoft wouldn’t buy Sammy just to do it so I’m not sure how anyone would think this would actually happen. Sega has its hands in a bunch of other things besides game publishing so acquiring them would be on a Nokia deal type level.
It's not a hard denial. They're just saying there isn't any acquisition news at TGS.
The Bethesda acquisition wasn't announced via any show either.
Do you mean to tell me that someone made something up, lots of people started believing it, and now there's disappointment that it's not true? That's not how the internet is supposed to work?!?
Imagine actually thinking that was going to happen though just because of a blue controller 😂 some people really are clowns 🤡
Lot of people in the west forget that Sega is one part of a massive corporation, way bigger than ZeniMax.
@damo I think the headline is misleading, they've clearly precluded announcing it at TGS, but they haven't denied acquisition rumors, they have denied acquisition announcement rumors.
I just love how X-Box came up from the brink of going away to becoming relevant. Microsoft must really want to stay in the business game. If Microsoft stays friendly with Nintendo then I believe that is the winning move. That commercial with both of them together is still great!
They did not say anything about new acquisition news AFTER the show...
I heard they are going to buy Playstation brand from sony so they could make them a better company.
I don't think Microsoft would know what to do with Sega if they did buy them. Most of Sega's income comes from outside video games.
If we look at the reason for Microsoft buying Zenimax (GamePass), I think it's more likely they'll go for EA as they've just rolled EA play into the service.
EA have had a close relationship with Microsoft in the same vein as Bethesda since the first Xbox and their sport and RPG games fits with the Xbox demographic.
In my opinion XBox's subscription service isn't necessarily all good for game development. If you're producing a retail game, if you make a brilliant, innovative product it's likely to sell, if it's mediocre, derivative and broken it won't.
On a subscription service,they've already got your money, so what motivates them to make masterpiece? I'm not saying there won't be good games, but the business model doesn't have the incentive of competition. Just think of all the 'blah' films funded by Netflix that are just 'content'.
Microsoft just spent a boatload. Like, really, a boatload. They’ll probably want to wait a while before going on another splurge like that.
Especially since Sony's been doing a pretty good job at making sure other platforms get less stuff so far.
@MrGawain In theory I agree but its not like the retail model hasn't stopped the annual recycle of CoD or sports games making stupid amounts of cash every year.
Plus if memory serves gamepass "pays" developers based on metrics like how often the game is installed and how long players "engage" with it. So if the game does poorly they earn less money and might not get invited back next time.
@MrGawain That's a line of argumentation I've seen several times elsewhere (almost word for word).
It doesn't ring true though. Netflix has produced a wide variety of content ranging from dreadful to absolutely incredible. The subscription model has an impact on the types of film/TV series that get made but I don't think it's negative in the way you're implying.
It's actually in the interests of Netflix (or in this case Microsoft) to produce some incredible "masterpieces" that take the kind of big creative risks that wouldn't be borne by a company operating a traditional content model. The "value" of having hundreds of programmes/games is eye catching (and keeps you engaged with the platform) but it's the big fresh mega-hits that keep you subscribing.
It's also the case that smaller more experimental games have more opportunity to thrive under a subscription banner rather than either a. being gated behind a fixed price that seems scary for someone who isn't already committed or b. having to be designed around a microtransaction core. Just look at Fall Guys (effectively a game behind a subscription service on PS4). That game has become huge - but it's a very innovative and strange game that probably would have struggled if you'd asked everyone to pay specifically for it upfront and would have been mutilated if it had been forced to be a FTP game.
@jsw-8 it would be terrible for gaming if this happens
At least if it was true then they couldn't run it into the ground like they did Rare: Sega already sorted that themselves.
Whether they buy Sega or not doesn't matter, what matter is if Microsoft does buy another company they better had a game plan for them otherwise like Rare they'll just become a name on a long list and not a product. Remember Square Enix had acquire so many studios that they had so many franchise on their long list that they couldn't deliver on, games such as Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy gets the main event while games like the Mana, SaGa, Grandia, and Star Ocean series gets mid-card status while games like Parasite Eve series, Bushido Blade series, Chrono series, Blazer series, Tobal series, Lufia series, and Ogre series were all missing in action.
Kinda awkward that they even saw it necessary to respond at all.😅
@Slowdive But I want Nintendo to buy the Bayonetta IP from Sega because they're the reason it wasn't a solo entry.
Oh god, I hope not after what they did to Rare.
Be interesting if they ever did. Would certainly give the Xbox brand appeal in japan something it's never had.
Probably should have bought Atlas when it was on the market few years ago
While acquiring more exclusives is probably a smart move for Microsoft, I hope they don't go too crazy with buying out other studios. I'm almost exclusively a handheld gamer at this point and won't be buying another Xbox regardless so every exclusive they get is just one more game I won't be playing.
Of course not. They’re buying Nintendo!!
@Kriven was looking this up on google and seems its Sega that owns trademarks and it's an agreement with Nintendo that they have in regards to publishing sequels (sega didnt believe enough in the ip to fund and publish 2 themselves )
and btw, there won’t be any new acquisition news at the show ⛔
This just means they aren’t planning to announce at the show which to be fair would be the wrong time and place to do so!
@Kriven I'm pretty the Japanese market still prefers to buy physical media and doesn't download much.
I agree with everyone screaming “omg I hope this doesn’t happen!!!”. Look what happened to Rare, a complete shell of its once former brilliance since Microsoft bought them. Microsoft tend to run these companies into the ground. Sega and Sonic work as multi platform and I don’t want that to change.
And frankly, we shouldn’t support these giant acquisitions. It’s not good or healthy for the industry.
I don't see Microsoft needing Sonic or Atlus...and isn't it public knowledge at this point how shady Sega is?
I wouldn't be getting involved, even if they have a pachinko empire...
@Brummieendo90 yep, it'll be horrible if Microsoft gets any bigger.
I think that they're buying studios to explore the option of becoming a huge publisher if Series X and S fail to hit the mark.
The only console they had that challenged the norm was the 360 and that's because of Sony's mistakes but Sony managed to turn that around. Xbox One and the OG has been nowhere near as successful as Microsoft hoped.
@jsw-8 yeah I think that's a good theory. Allot of the Xbox fanboys are salivating hoping a dubious trillion dollar company which is richer than the us government (it's - 3 trillion) gets a monopoly on gaming and I just don't understand the mindset. The more diverse and independent studios out there the better it is for gaming I really don't like the way things are headed at the moment. I want to own my games not have them locked behind a streaming subscription by an evil corporation.
The lady is making a Japanese symbol for no over a box of Game Gear Micros, hiding a secret inside.
Sega is a public Japanese company, which means:
1) Any buyout would have to have been made public already LONG before any announcement of a conclusion happened
2) Japanese public companies have various laws protecting them from being bought out by foreign companies without jumping through a LOT of hoops.
Microsoft is not buying Sega, stop saying otherwise.
LOL, I'm not even sure Microsoft wants SEGA. They're not exactly a beacon of quality and success right now and they'd probably require significant effort to be a worthwhile investment. The only one of the Big 3 that might be interested is Nintendo, they probably have a better idea of how to fix Sonic and SEGA than anyone else.
Sega helped Microsoft design the Xbox and Microsoft developed the Dreamcast OS. They're friends. Microsoft won't buy Sega but they'll cooperate, just look at those tweets.
@SalvorHardin You don't always need a buyout to achieve the same end result.
The "Sega XBox" in Japan is something I've always thought sounded like a good idea in concept for both parties (especially if - as seems likely - the PS5 never sells as well in Japan as the PS4 did). It would - of course - come with various strings attaching Sega tightly to Microsoft even if outright ownership were never on the table.
I still don't see it as likely but stranger things have happened.
I can’t see how Sega would add a lot to Microsoft’s portfolio at the minute. They’ve ruined most of their big franchises. Atlas maybe, their big PC games like Total War. But they’re so tied up with Sammy it doesn’t seem like an obvious target.
However this is absolutely not MS ‘shutting down’ anything happening. It just says there will be no big announcements at TGS.
@Kriven I'm confident that's one of the reasons MS bought Bethesda to secure their content (and that ORION streaming tech they showed off last year.) for the "streaming wars".
@SalvorHardin yep exactly I was saying the same to some xbot fanboys yesterday when they claimed Microsoft should buy Sony
@Ks123 I don't know. I think the MS buyout of Rare had some issues. Simply put Rare weren't the company Microsoft thought they were - at a time when Microsoft had no experience in the market to judge it well. Rare were very prolific on the N64 but owned few truly valuable IPs of their own (Donkey Kong Country and Goldeneye were their biggest games).
They also had an "internal studio" culture where different (small) teams basically worked in secret (in competition) until late on and were incentivised to do so. They were always likely to struggle to adapt as development teams had to get bigger.
I don't personally cheerlead this type of acquisition but I would say that things like the Bethesda purchase stabilise Microsoft's long term position in the market. This is generally a good thing IMO (when we see the complete mess that Apple has made with gaming on iOS for instance)
It should though, at least id neither of the other guys are gonna bother doing so.
@Pigeon Sega videogames division would be much cheaper than Bethesda. Sega don't have any IP on the sales caliber of Elder Scrolls or Fallout.
I told people, did I not. Microsoft wouldn't even try, let alone SEGA not wanting to sell. They can live off the pachinkos alone.
@TheGamerKing It might be an advantage over Sony that Microsoft would take. However, if Microsoft and Nintendo are left, then yeah, Microsoft would probably try to take Nintendo down.
No, MS isn’t buying Sega. There’s a hundred reasons why that would not happen.
@StuTwo steam sales of fall guys were STRONG before it hit psn for free. It’s just one of those games that went viral. The psn deal had little to do with it
@Pigeon @glaemay It would definitely be cheaper. Sega Sammy as a whole has a market cap of just under $3 billion currently.
Microsoft and SEGA do have a history together. They worked very closely before and after the launch of the original Xbox.
Since then though, there hasn’t been too much cooperation between the two companies. Yakuza remained a PlayStation exclusive until very recently and very few Atlus games ever make it to Xbox.
If I had to guess though, I’d say the rumours were at least somewhat fueled by the past close relationship SEGA and Microsoft has.
Microsoft "No acquisitions will be announced at TGS."
NL: "Microsoft shuts down rumors that it's buying Sega"
That's kind of a leap in thinking, isn't it? I don't think for a moment Microsoft is buying Sega, but that's kind of like:
Corporation: "We promise prices won't go up for 60 days!"
Media: "Corporation has locked in prices without future changes."
It's almost as if people want to see these horrible acquisitions happening. They are bad for gaming, regardless your preferred platform or brand.
@Slowdive People are already complaining about the lack of venerable Sega franchises. I complain about the lack of F-Zero, Wave Race, Excitebike and others. Platinum fans curse MS for the failure of Scalebound. There are defunct franchises everywhere. And yet people, perhaps suffering from naïveté, think larger organizations are MORE nimble and flexible - whereas they only grow LESS so. Even Bill Gates knew that!
I'm just wondering about the image used for this article. At what point did they create a gallery of Sega characters that gave such a prominent position to Billy Hatcher?
I actually enjoyed that game, but it's another one of those Sega entries that they seem to have no interest in re-releasing, like Bug!
I’ve seen Capcom floated too and personally I think they’d make more sense. They’ve already partnered on the Dead Rising series, MS could benefit from having Street Fighter back on the console and Resident Evil is in a resurgence. Monster Hunter would also be a good series to pick up.
Capcom last I checked has had some financial struggles the past few years too and perhaps could benefit from a safety net.
That said, any Japanese studio acquisition by MS needs to be handled with care as it’s a market they struggle in and they’ll have a lot to do to make sure culturally the two entities can work together well.
would be a very weird pairing imo. Sega has always sold better on Nintendo and Playstation because those both do better in Japan.
tbh Nintendo should buy Sega lol.
I don't think Microsoft wants to buy Sega. Sega is a very large company after they acquired Atlus parent company Index Holdings. For Microsoft to acquire Sega they need to purchase Sega Sammy which is just a massive multimedia company with its pockets in large amounts of Japanese business from anime, manga, pachinko and radio. That and MS by buying another major publisher would start investigations into them trying to form monopolies and MS saved Apple in the 90s to avoid those discussions. Microsoft does not like being associated with the term monopoly as that means the US Government can chop them up. The same would apply to Nintendo and I doubt Sega Sammy would just sell off Sega/Atlus to Nintendo without the Big-N acquiring the entire company and that is a major risk for Nintendo.
Nintendo is not a company known for buying companies unless they have to. Monolithsoft was the exception, not the rule. The Big-N loves being partners with studios not owning them.
A foreign company buying a small Japanese firm is one thing, but a larger one is actually quite rare so his was unlikely anyway.
Well so far we dodged a bullet but that’s not the most convincing denial. My guess is that they made a decision to leave the possibility open like this to get attention or because they’re in talks with Sega.
@Alpha008 maybe but from their perspective they really need to stick it to Sony and at least prevent Sony from dominating this generation as well.
Sounds like the Pachinko side of the company is the only one that makes real money. If the investement they can make on panxiko machines by selling their videogames divisions is worthy, then they will sell it
Microsoft does not like being associated with the term monopoly as that means the US Government can chop them up.
@wexter I think the advent of what the French call le GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) has provided Microsoft with much cover. I mean, look at the four deadly sins they represent: Google - advertising; Apple - smart handheld devices; Facebook - disinformation; Amazon - destruction of retail. If the USA isn't going after them....
Worth noting is the attempt by three of the four to gain significant influence on gaming (e.g. Nintendo and Amazon conspiring to prevent third-party sales on the latter's platform). I'm glad Disney isn't involved yet...
@Kriven I don't think Sega actually owns any part of Bayonetta. They published the first game for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but then Nintendo took over as publisher going forward. I'm pretty sure the IP is 100% owned by Platinum.
I'm pretty sure Sega still owns the Bayonetta franchise even if Nintendo published it, their branding was still credited on the box and in the game. I'm sure once Nintendo's exclusivity of the games are over Sega will still have the rights to port Bayonetta 2 & 3 to any platform they see fit in the future. Wii U and Switch just so happens to get the games first.
@Retro_Player_77 Nintendo has what's called an exclusive publishing deal with sequel options. Basically, Sega allows Nintendo to publish and retain ownership of the individual games, so Nintendo owns Bayonetta 2 and Bayonetta 3, but not the Bayonetta IP. Sega retains the rights to the IP Itself. So, Nintendo gets first say on if they will publish any sequels or if a game they published will appear on other platforms. If Sega wanted to gain back Bayo 2 and 3 and publish them on the PS5 they'd have to buy out Nintendo at a great cost. If let's say Nintendo says no to publishing Bayonetta 4, then Sega can go ahead and publish the game on their own. But, at the moment with Nintendo fronting the cost of development for Bayonetta games and Sega gets a cut of all sales at really zero cost what reason do they have to buy out Nintendo?
It's good business for Sega to retain this deal with Nintendo. And if Nintendo wants to buy the IP I think Sega would be willing to talk. But, right now it's a win-win deal for all parties. Nintendo gets to retain control of the games they've published in the deal and have options to publish sequels. Sega gets to take in a profit at really no cost and the IPs value goes up with each successful game Nintendo publishes without any real investment by Sega. P* gets to develop future Bayonetta games with the financial backing of Nintendo and if Nintendo ever decides to say no to future titles Sega can greenlit sequels on their own.
Even Microsoft isn't THAT stupid!!!! LOL
@COVIDberry MS are at no risk of any sort of Monopoly issues in the gaming space. They’re coming off a console generation where they were a distant follow up to Sony, who themselves own many studios, and even Nintendo have caught up with them in only a few years. Then you have EA, Activision and other studios or publishers.
They’d probably need to buy Sony before they’d start drawing any sort of anti trust attention, and even that might not be enough. There’s still be other manufacturers out there as well as massive publishers.
@Ks123 cry a lilttle louder
We Can't hear you over that
Little violin that's playing
What is your comment even in reference to, because I’m confused. Are you drunk? Just daft? And did you really go out of your way to create an account and use your one and only comment just to send me a snarky reply? You flatter me. 💁🏼♂️
As far as you clearly being incensed by my comment, yeah I don’t exactly want Sega to be gobbled up by Microsoft and become an empty shell like Rare did. (Set aside the argument that Sega is already an empty shell of itself, which I don’t exactly disagree with.) Microsoft doesn’t have very much substance to offer the gaming industry. Xbox is a vanity project that Microsoft likes being involved in despite little actual success. The 360 was their only console that moved the needle for the industry and innovated in any substantial way (and that was in spite of their red rings self sabotage that would have imploded any other company). Every other one of their boxes has just been meh, performed decently enough to stay afloat without really doing much the completion wasn’t doing. So yeah, Microsoft eating up companies just to have a fighting chance to compete this generation as a last effort is pretty lame to me. So when Microsoft gets out of the games hardware business in 10 years why should Sega (or other developers) suffer for that.
@MrGawain bit ow if Sega would give them a foothold in japan. It's not about Xbox sells it's about overall saturation of the market.
Seems farfetched to begin with. A partnership between the two like in the original Xbox days is way more likely. Sega dumps a bunch of games on game pass, have some timed exclusive, w/e.
Sony will only worried if MS bought Rockstar. No GTA 6 on PS5 will killed it instantly. GTA is a game that last a generation.
@Ks123 I will kindly disagree. I think the value of the Xbox brand is as an alternative console to the Playstation for the average consumer. Microsoft's goal with the Series X/S is to provide a solid entry-level experience at an affordable price point. The Series S while a digital-only system is set at a better price point than the PS5 Digital, and with Gamepass you can play most new released MS titles for $10 for a month. That is the value of the Xbox brand as Sony keeps pushing the Playstation in the direction of a high-end consumer product (despite being comparable to the Xbox in specs) Microsoft fills that nice consumer-friendly priced niche.
Nintendo offers something completely different from the two hence why Microsoft loves working with Nintendo. As they probably see them as an industry innovator, but also as a friendly rival who they can work with and provide their software on as their console provides something different.
That's my two cents though.
@Kriven From what I've read, the Bayonetta trademark and publishing IP for the first game is owned by Sega, Nintendo owns publishing rights for Bayonetta 2 & 3, and Platinum just develops the games.
@Wexter hey, I really appreciate your good dialogue.
I agree that Gamepass is a really interesting offering. I think that it will force Sony to eventually roll out something similar. But you have to admit it’s a total loss leader for Microsoft. If they’re giving away brand new games for $10/month subscription it’s an admission that they were being outsold 2 to 1 in hardware and software to Sony. It’s a great service, but it was necessary for Xbox to compete and survive.
As for Series S being a great entry level next generation machine, I totally agree with you. It’s great for what it offers. But it’s playing by a completely separate set of rules than the PS5 Digital. It’s a total apples and oranges situation, the Series S and PS5 Digital, which I don’t know many casual games really understand what they’re getting. The PS5 Digital is identical technology to the full fat PS5, just without a disc drive for physical media. The Series S, on the other hand is A) actually a scaled down version of technology inside the Series X to justify the price and B) will require another $220 proprietary storage expansion once you quickly run out of space, making your new affordable Series S suddenly cost over $500. But yes I agree the Series S was again necessary for Microsoft because if it was an apples to apples competition again then I don’t know how Xbox would survive this generation.
I should also add that while I’m not an Xbox gamer, I appreciate that they’re trying different angles this generation. It’s not for me but more competition is always a good thing because it forces everyone to be on their toes.
Oh and Nintendo til I die. Lol
Fun fact, Microsoft nearly worked out a deal back in the day with Sega, where the first Xbox system would have been backwards compatible with Dreamcast games. I think that really would have warped how we all perceive the Xbox if that deal had gone through.
I don't understand why Microsoft gets blamed for rare. Just because you own something doesn't mean you're responsible for its failure. Has anyone ever thought that maybe Rare was a one trick pony?
@Ks123 mario works pretty good as a multi-platform title too I agree
@lordzand a lot of rare employees actually left specifically due to not liking the difference of working for microsoft instead of ninte do, it's all quite well documented
@lordzand Microsoft gets the blame cause they never utilize Rare's fantastic vast library of IPs to their fullest. Aside from remaster version of Banjo and Conker as well as finishing games that had development that started on the GameCube such as Kameo and Perfect Dark Zero and making compilation like Rare Replay, Microsoft didn't do much with Rare just like how Sega didn't do much with most of their other hundreds of IPs. I doubt that with acquisition of more studios that we actually see more of those games, if anything the more studios they acquires, the less games they focus on. Square Enix had acquired many studios of many RPGs but they hardly do anything with 80% of those IPs they got (and also those they originally made) aside from re-releases or remastered.
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