Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Microsoft tried to buy Nintendo, but got laughed at the coin

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Microsoft specific pitch made have some meaning. At the time, Nintendo was lagging far behind Sony from a hardware standpoint. So Microsoft figured it could take hardware production and let Nintendo focus on software. “We actually had Nintendo in our building in January 2000 to work out the details of a joint venture where we gave them all of the technical specifications for the Xbox,” said Bob Mcbreen, business development manager. “The pitch was their stinky material, and compared to Sony PlayStation, it did. So the idea was, “ Look, you’re a lot better in the parts of the game with Mario and everything in between. Why don’t you let us take care of the material? But that did not work.

While this is certainly the most notable of Microsoft’s failed acquisitions, a few other notable developers have passed on the company’s openings. EA was the first company Microsoft contacted; the software giant succeeded with a simpler “no, thank you”. Microsoft was also meeting Square (now known as Square Enix) and Mortal combat Midway developer.

An acquisition that made go through has given Microsoft what has been the flagship Xbox franchise since day one. At the time, Bungie was a little-known developer, but Halo: Evolved Combat arrived alongside the first Xbox in November 2001 and was immediately acclaimed. It’s no exaggeration to say that gaming gave Xbox immediate legitimacy and helped it carve out a significant share of the gaming market despite the dominance of Sony and Nintendo. To learn more about the birth of the first Xbox, Dina Bass’s oral history at Bloomberg is a must read.

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