A confidential email from Microsoft from 2019 reveals how the firm considered waging a spending war with Sony in the video game sector.
Evidence from the lawsuit between Microsoft and the FTC uncovered several confidential documents. We learned that Microsoft had seriously considered buying many video game studios, including Sega, and that the firm wanted to migrate Windows to the cloud.
Another document is making the rounds of the web, it is an email sent in 2019 by Matt Booty, the boss of Xbox Game Studio. He discusses the strategy that Microsoft should adopt in the coming times. The mail is addressed to Tim Stuart, in charge of finances at Xbox.
Prevent the advent of a Disney video game
In this email, Matt Booty explains that an opportunity presents itself to Microsoft. The firm could “lead Sony into bankruptcy” in a spending race. In detail, we understand that it is not a question at this time of making massive buyouts, but rather of investing heavily in the Xbox Game Pass. Indeed, in 2019, we are before the takeovers of Activision Blizzard and Bethesda by Microsoft. Matt Booty estimates that it would be appropriate for Microsoft to spend 2 or 3 billion dollars in 2020 to prevent a new video game giant from forming and becoming unstoppable.
We understand that he especially fears that what happened in the world of cinema with Disney will happen again in video games. He points to the size that Sony, the Chinese Tencent or the giants Amazon and Google could take in the years to come.
In 2019, Google has just launched Google Stadia and according to Matt Booty, the firm has at least three or four years of being able to really develop games in-house. Eventually, Google will shut down its studios just 15 months after launch, before shutting down Stadia altogether. Regarding Amazon, he points out that the American giant has had a hard time concretizing its projects in the video game. Since this email, the brand has managed to release a few games, but it is true that Amazon Luna is still in its infancy.
He concludes that Sony is the only real video game player able to compete with Microsoft in the long term on the issue of subscription services.
Microsoft wants to become a leader in video games
In another document dated June 2022, we can read in Microsoft’s strategy that the firm has great ambition in video games. It simply wants to become the industry leader by 2030, in just eight years. This would involve ” double the turnover generated by Xbox. There is no doubt that the acquisition of Activision Blizzard would be a great accelerator in this area.
Behind Matt Booty’s sentence, which can easily make headlines, it is therefore above all a question of the race for content led by the entertainment giants. A race in which Sony also participates, which does not hesitate to sign exclusive contracts depriving Microsoft platforms of several flagship games.
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