Imagine if Nintendo didn't stand on its own two feet, but belonged to Microsoft. Sounds damn weird in today's times, but such a takeover was actually discussed many years ago. That comes from an extensive report by Bloomberg magazine, which is all about the origins the first Xbox console turns. As is well known, it came onto the market in 2002, around this period the discussions took place. It has long been known that such a takeover was one day, but the report reveals exciting new details.
Microsoft had specifically toyed with the idea of taking over other software companies such as Electronic Arts and Square Enix in addition to Nintendo – as well as a few others. However, the relevant talks were anything but successful. While Electronic Arts simply declined with thanks, the negotiations with Nintendo were somewhat different. According to Kevin Bachus, the former Director of Third Party Relations in the Xbox division, the then Microsoft Steve Ballmer had organized a meeting with Nintendo to check out the possibility of a takeover – amid much laughter:
"They just laughed themselves to death. Imagine someone just laughing at you for an hour. That was roughly how this meeting went back then."
Planned takeovers of Square Enix and Midway Games did not materialize for various reasons. At Square Enix, the talks failed because their management saw the offer from Microsoft as too low. What would the gaming world look like today if one or more of these acquisitions had been successful back then? What do you all mean? Let us know in the comments!
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