Microsoft has bottomless pockets, and in the aftermath of its Bethesda acquisition, it looks to be reaching deep. The worry, of course, is that things could escalate both dramatically and rapidly – with other publishers potentially purchased by giants like Google, Tencent, Apple, and the aforementioned Redmond juggernaut.
In fact, this is what Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella had to say about current events in an interview with CNET: “You can't wake up one day and say, ‘Let me build a game studio.’ The idea of having content is so we can reach larger communities.” According to the executive, that means the company will “consider buying even more video game companies in the future”.
The real danger for PlayStation is that it could very quickly find itself muscled out of an industry it’s dominated for decades. Sony simply doesn’t have the same kind of capital as its competitors, and while it’s made smart acquisitions in the past, its primary efforts have revolved around organically growing its own intellectual property and homegrown production pipeline.
Ultimately, we’ll need to wait and see how things play out. PlayStation is, remarkably given recent events, still by far the global market leader, and acquiring giant publishers like EA and Capcom will not be straightforward – as we’ve seen with Ubisoft takeover attempts in the past. It’s going to be a fascinating generation, but maybe not always for the right reasons.