Nintendo Execs “Laughed Their Asses Off” When Microsoft Tried To Buy Them
Microsoft recently began a new chapter in their Xbox division’s story with the launch of the Xbox Series X. The new console unit is helping to ring in the original Xbox’s 20th anniversary with the greatest technical power that the line of consoles has ever seen. While Xbox spent many years being directly opposed to Sony and Nintendo, Microsoft has partnered with Nintendo more in recent years, even having Microsoft properties like Minecraft’s Steve in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. However, it seems that early on in the Xbox’s history, Microsoft attempt to buy Nintendo, which ultimately led to an unexpected and undesired response from Nintendo execs.
Bloomberg has released a new oral history of the Xbox brand that they have compiled to celebrate the original Xbox’s 20th anniversary. Several key figures from the conception stage of the Xbox brand have spoken about Microsoft’s early days of embarking into the video game world. One strategy they had was to either partner with or acquire a pre-existing video game publisher or developer. Their first major acquisition attempt was to buy EA, who declined, citing Microsoft’s history of trying new projects and abandoning them quickly if they failed. Their next attempt ended up being to acquire Nintendo. As former Microsoft director of third-party relations recalls his meeting with Nintendo, things didn’t go as they had hoped:
Steve made us go meet with Nintendo to see if they would consider being acquired. They just laughed their asses off. Like, imagine an hour of somebody just laughing at you. That was kind of how that meeting went.”
Former Microsoft head of business development Bob McBreen also told the story of when Microsoft pitched the acquisition to Nintendo, trying to sell the idea of Microsoft improving Nintendo’s inferior hardware (compared to Sony’s then PS2) but still allowing them to make creative games. While Nintendo was far from the top of the industry at that time, they did decline the offer and ultimately fared well on their own. Microsoft also apparently tried to acquire other major game publishers like Square Enix and Midway Games in the hopes of making Final Fantasy or Mortal Kombat Xbox-exclusive franchises, to no avail. The first Xbox would eventually launch and prove its own worth without a major acquisition, and the brand is surely in a more stable place today. No red ring of death for the Xbox brand any time soon.
What do you guys think about the Nintendo execs laughing at the idea of a Microsoft acquisition to their faces? Let us know in the comments below! Be sure to stay tuned for the latest Nintendo news, such as Nintendo’s acquisition of Luigi’s Mansion 3 developer Next Level Games, here on Don’t Feed the Gamers! Follow us on Twitter to see our updates the minute they go live!
Cory Lara1572 Posts
A royally radical and totally tubular 90s kid, Cory has a passion for all things nerdy, particularly gaming and nostalgia. While an accountant by day, he strives to be as creative and humorous as possible in his free time, be it here writing on Don't Feed the Gamers, or making dumb satirical posts on his Twitter, Youtube, Facebook and Instagram accounts.