With the news that Microsoft has purchased ZeniMax, and thereby gaining access to Bethesda IPs such as Fallout and Elder Scrolls, many have wondered if this could just be the beginning of a Microsoft/Xbox buying spree.
We all know that the company is aggressively growing its portfolio of first-party studios, and has more than enough money to buy more game developers. In fact, Xbox Boss Phil Spencer has even said that they are always open to buying more developers that would complement the direction the company is heading in:
“The Game Pass portfolio and subscriber base continues to grow. We’re launching a new console. Last year was our biggest year ever on PC in terms of revenue as Xbox Game Studios. A lot of the business is doing really well, so we’re always in the market for new opportunities with studios.
With this in mind, we decided to take a look at some of the studios Microsoft could potentially scoop up:
Deciding to rather focus on Pachinko machines rather than the amazing gaming IPs they own, Konami might be a great fit for Xbox.
Buy purchasing the studio, Xbox will gain access to an amazing gaming catalogue that includes Metal Gear, Bomberman and Contra, just to mention a few.
If those titles were added to Game Pass, it could be a huge boon for the popular gaming service.
More importantly, Microsoft could help revive these IPs that Konami clearly doesn’t care for anymore.
Imagine a new Metal Gear Solid game or even Contra that doesn’t suck.
With Phil Spencer hinting that Microsoft is keeping an eye out for a Japanese developer to join their first-party studios, Konami might be a perfect fit.
Warner Bros. Interactive
With Spider-Man seemingly at home with Sony, Microsoft might need their own superhero franchise to compete against the friendly neighbourhood Web-Head.
Over the last year, there have been many rumours that both EA and Microsoft were toying with the idea of buying Warner Bros. Interactive. Of course, it would only make perfect sense for Xbox to add the Warner Bros. Interactive library to Game Pass, which in turn might even get a few Batman fans to sign up for the service.
Just imagine what the Arkham franchise could mean for the Xbox brand moving forward.
CD Projekt Red
It has been mentioned that Xbox wants their consoles to become the best place for playing RPGs, hence the acquisition of studios such as InXile, Obsidian and now Bethesda.
It would be ideal then to acquire one of the biggest RPG developers out there: CD Projekt Red.
Last year there were rumours that Microsoft was in talks to buy the developer, but so far this hasn’t happened.
With Cyberpunk 2077 set to be one of the biggest releases of this year, acquiring the studio behind it would definitely benefit both Xbox and their Game Pass service.
The Danish studio behind the critically acclaimed Limbo and Inside would also make a perfect fit for Xbox.
Although the studio is known for taking their time with their games, they have always exceeded the expectations of fans who have become accustomed to waiting patiently for them to release their next project.
There is already a relationship between the studio and Microsoft, who published their first game Limbo. And with Inside releasing first on Xbox One, it would make sense for the company to cement the relationship.
For next-gen, Microsoft will need to add more story-driven exclusives to their roster if they want to compete with the likes of The Last of Us or even God of War. This is why long-time collaborator Remedy Entertainment might be the perfect fit.
With narrative-heavy games such as Control and Alan Wake under their belt, Remedy Entertainment knows how to weave a story.
Having worked with Microsoft on Quantum Break, it might be worth it to add the studio to the Xbox family.
This might seem a bit far-fetched since SEGA has their fingers in more than just the gaming pie. But the internet has been flooded with (unsubstantiated) rumours that Microsoft could be eyeing SEGA.
Apparently the first clue is the fact that the new Xbox Series X controller is the same blue that SEGA uses.
Microsoft has mentioned that they would love to acquire more Asian studios, so this doesn’t seem completely ridiculous.
Imagine the whole Sonic library on Game Pass. And with SEGA and RARE working side-by-side, we might even see the blue hedgehog returning to his glory days.