Xbox explains its acquisition strategy

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Xbox has been all about investments the past few years, including in subscription models like Game Pass, cloud gaming with xCloud, and of course with major acquisitions like Bethesda.

Sarah Bond, corporate vice president at Xbox, talked about the company’s strategy during our GamesBeat Summit Next event.

“I always thought that gaming was undervalued, historically,” Bond said. “When I see people waking up to the power of games and the inherent value of it, that’s a real confirmation of our acquisition strategy. We’ve believed that all along. And it’s that belief that was the basis with which we built Game Pass. It’s that belief that enables us to do the acquisitions that we have. It just encourages us to keep going and is affirmation that we are 100% on the right track.”

In the past few years, we’re seeing gaming become more valuable than ever. Some of this happened in the wake of the pandemic, which gave gaming a boost as quarantined populations flocked to gaming for entertainment. But even before that, gaming has been making gains. Microsoft has the resources to spend big money to invest in gaming, and it hasn’t been shy about doing so.

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These days, gaming acquisitions have become a major talking point and subject for speculation. Even yesterday, Unity announced its plans to buy Weta Digital for $1.6 billion. Microsoft has brought in major studios like Bethesda and smaller ones like Psychonauts 2 dev Double Fine. What’s next? While Bond wouldn’t get specific, she did talk on what it is Xbox looks for when pondering a new studio purchase.

“What we’re looking for is fit,” said Bond, noting that Xbox is looking for acquisitions that can add value to both parties.

Of course, any game studio could give Microsoft more exclusive content to Game Pass, which itself gives Xbox more value. It’s just a matter of searching for gaps that it wants filled. For instance, I imagine Microsoft now thinks that it’s pretty set on RPG front with Bethesda, Obsidian, and InXile in its stable.

Microsoft also has shooters covered well with the Halo and Gears franchises. Speaking of which, Halo Infinite is nearing its December 8 release, and Bond concluded her talk to express her excitement for the title’s launch.

“It is going to blow people’s minds,” Bond noted. You can watch her full GamesBeat Summit Next talk above.

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