Microsoft Spend Sony Out of Business

Look, we're sick of hearing about the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard saga as you are, but you've got to admit, some of these details are just too juicy to ignore. In its ongoing attempts to appease the FTC, Microsoft has had to present a number of internal emails before the courts — and boy are they eye-opening. One such email saw Xbox boss Phil Spencer weighing up the advantages of buying SEGA's game studios (as well as Bungie), but this newly unearthed message arguably takes the cake.

"We (Microsoft) are in a very unique position to be able to go spend Sony out of business," wrote Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty, in an email from December 2019. The Redmond-based tech giant was reportedly ready to spend several billion US dollars in order to further its plans for Xbox as a business. Of course, it did go on to buy ZeniMax Media (Bethesda) in 2020, for around $7.5 billion.

It's not a great look for a company that's now trying to convince competition authorities that its $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard is a good thing for the industry. But apparently, Microsoft insists that this is an outdated email, and that it never actually pursed this particular "spend Sony out of business" strategy (despite, as mentioned, spending $7.5 billion on ZeniMax Media just months later).

In any case, this is the kind of quote that you're going to see banded about the internet for a while. Obviously, one executive's choice of words in an email doesn't necessarily reflect their organisation at large, but the fact that such a strategy was mentioned at all perhaps tells us everything we need to know about Microsoft's perception of the games industry.

What do you make of all this? Flash the cash in the comments section below.