In arguably the most bizarre rumour we’ve read since Shenmue III and Final Fantasy VII were being touted as potential announcements at E3 2015, there’s bonkers talk of Microsoft lining up an acquisition of Electronic Arts – the publisher of FIFA and Madden. The actual basis for the speculation is shaky: it’s mentioned off-the-cuff as part of a Polygon editorial, citing “a reliable source close” to the Redmond company. The actual article is about Xbox's "problematic" first-party portfolio; the purported acquisition isn't even part of the story's headline.
EA’s valued at some $35 billion, which Microsoft could obviously afford, but it’d be a significant investment even for a company of that size. Assuming that the platform holder then made the majority of the publisher’s output exclusive, it’d practically cut the firm’s worth in half. Of course, our understanding is that franchises like FIFA are legally required to launch on all viable formats anyway, so that’s worth keeping in mind.
We suppose that the Windows maker did keep its promise regarding the multiformat nature of Minecraft, but this whole story seems bizarre to us. The article also bands about potential acquisitions of Valve and Korean outfit PUBG Corp, which seem less crazy but still insane. What would Microsoft even do with Valve? Merge Steam with the Windows 10 Store? C’mon now! According to a SuperDataResearch analyst, announcements will be coming “very, very shortly”. Well, we’re waiting.gif.