Microsoft has been throwing its chequebook around for years. According to an article published by Bloomberg that highlights the history of the company, at one point they even tried to purchase Nintendo in order to secure more Xbox exclusives (sounds familiar).
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However, as hard as Microsoft tried, Nintendo did not budge. Not only did they shoot the company down when looking at a buyout but at one stage Microsoft also wanted to build hardware which could play Nintendo games. According to Kevin Bachus, former director of third-party relations, the acquisition meeting was a complete disaster. He says;
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”#53FF33″ class=”” size=”21″]Steve Ballmer 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[/perfectpullquote]
Microsoft then tried their luck again in January 2000 as the company had ideas to create a console that worked with both Nintendo and Xbox games. Head of business development Bob McBreen claims that Microsoft went into the meeting to tell Nintendo that its hardware stunk. The idea was to try and get the company to partner with Xbox and allow Microsoft to work on the hardware while Nintendo works on Mario games. That did not work.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”#53FF33″ class=”” size=”21″]”We actually had Nintendo in our building in January 2000 to work through the details of a joint venture where we gave them all the technical specs of the Xbox. The pitch was their hardware stunk, and compared to Sony PlayStation, it did. So the idea was, ‘Listen, you’re much better at the game portions of it with Mario and all that stuff. Why don’t you let us take care of the hardware?’ But it didn’t work out.[/perfectpullquote]
But that is not all. Bloomberg reports that Microsoft at one stage tried to buy out multiple companies including Konami, EA Games, Square Enix and even Midway, who at the time developed Mortal Kombat. Instead of putting their hard-earned cash into building new studios, they just wanted to buy already-successful ones. Twenty years later and nothing has changed. You can read the full Bloomberg article here but it needs a subscription.