Update: Microsoft has confirmed it has no plans to announce any acquisitions at this week's Tokyo Game Show.
Original story: It doesn't take much to ignite a rumour nowadays and after Microsoft acquired the parent company of Bethesda earlier this week, some people on the internet seem to think the former console manufacturer Sega is next in line.
So, how did this come about? It all stems from the recently revealed Shock Blue Xbox Series X controller. From there, it seems to have taken off. Twitter user @headfallsoff breaks it down with the following images:
"bringing a report from the land of gamers. a select few are convinced that microsoft is buying sega next and it's lead to a resurgence of my absolute favourite kind of post"
As you can see - these fans believe there's some hidden messaging spelling out "Sonic" and a reference to Xbox in a Sega Official tweet. Along with this, the Shock Blue colour ID supposedly matches the Sega logo.
Obviously, the rest of the internet isn't quite as convinced:
Keep in mind, this is separate to the rumour in June about Xbox consoles being rebranded as Sega systems in Japan.
Xbox will be hosting a showcase at the Tokyo Game Show tomorrow. While it's already told fans not to expect any "new" next-generation news, if anything is going down, maybe we'll hear something then about these absolutely wild rumours. Sega will also be at TGS celebrating its 60th anniversary.
What do you make of this? Feel free to speculate in the comments below.
I don't think they would buy Sega right after dropping 7.5 billon but a partnership is more likely. I'm all for MS buying Sega though.
I actually think this would make sense. Sega has beloved IP, including stuff for kids, which is in shorter supply in the portfolio. If you think Xbox wants to be the new Netflix, great IP is what you need.
On a related note, I feel like there are tons of dormant franchises I would love to see return. Jet Set Radio, Skies of Arcadia, and Crazy Taxi need to come back. And let’s not forget ECCO THE DOLPHIN. kidding. But a modern vectorman could be cool.
I doubt Sega is available up for grabs without a hostile takeover, but keep in mind MS has a ton of money to burn. They were about to throw 45 billion at Tik Tik, and I'm sure that has more to do with having too much money in hand than about actually wanting Tik Tok.
If the majority shareholders on Sega Sammy Holding are open to offers to cash out, then it's possible. I just find that unlikely.
Just keep in mind that MS not going for an expansion opportunity right now is only because they dim it a poor investment, not because "its too much money"
Out of personal amusement, here are the largest Japanese game developers I could think of, and their market cap. Might yield an idea on how likely any deal with the big ones might be:
Market Cap / Entity
💲 15.b / BANDAI NAMCO Holdings Inc
💲 7.77b / Square Enix
💲 5.92b / Capcom
💲 5.89b / Koei Tecmo Holdings Co. Ltd.
💲 5.45b / Konami Holdings Corp.
💲 3.114b / Sega Sammy Holdings
💲 1.64b / Kadokawa Corporation (they own From Software)
💲 0.051b / Nippon Ichi Software (NIS)
And for comparison sake:
💲 97b / Sony (owner of Sony Interactive Entertainment, a private company so cant be measured on its own)
💲 68b / Nintendo
@Chimera_Police I would love to see a return of skies of Arcadia. I used to own that game on Dreamcast several years ago, I got pretty far but never did complete it.
I completely agree.
At first, I was like 🙄 yeah right.
But they worked together to make the Dreamcast (still my favorite console of all time) and they have been pretty “friendly” lately. And Phil Spencer has said that they want to break into the Japanese market more this next-gen.
I still don’t see it happening though. Sonic is not a private company & is Japanese. So who knows what that entails? But it would certainly be another power move for Microsoft to show that Xbox is the best console to own.
The Dreamcast was my favorite console ever. And Skies Of Arcadia was awesome at the time.
but back to the article, yeah, tbh most of the evidence is kind of circumstantial, except for the Sega tweet with the lady doing an X by a box. That pose seems a little too thought out. I doubt it means a buy out but maybe a partnership deal?
Although, if they did buy Sega that would finally be the moment where I can lay back and just enjoy the Xbox because imo the only thing it lacks right now is a stronger Japanese support.
Yep. Just like Sony uses their $ for stupid timed 3rd party deals or keeping a Spider-Man character to the PS version of a game......
Microsoft just buys a whole company. 🎤 drop.
Sony brought this on themselves.
I mean as much as I’d welcome Sega; it doesn’t make sense.
1) MS has a great partnership with them, and there is no really no reason. It’s a mutually beneficial for both companies to maintain strong ties.
2) Sega’s parent company is into more than just video games, I mean Pachiko for one.
3) Sega is into more than than just video games, and the Arcade sector is still doing well in Japan. I don’t think MS wants to deal with that.
4) Pretty sure Japanese laws have some strict regulations on foreign companies buying said Japanese companies. I mean Tango Gameworks was already owned by an American company. And it was a vastly smaller company when ZeniMax bought them. This kind of an acquisition would require a lot of people signing off.
5) Finally, MS just spent 7.5 Billion in cash, the wallet needs a break
I would be thrilled if they bought Sega, but I don't think this is very likely. Especially when the rumors are just based on a controller being blue. But if it did happen, the possibilities would be endless. I don't think it is going to happen though, I am just happy with the Zenimax purchase.
To be honest, I think this rumor is a bunch of nonsense based on nothing. It’s been a rumor for years, but I doubt it’s happening.
But if it does, this would be ridiculous for Game Pass. I still buy most of my games physical (even though I subscribe to GP), but even I would have to consider going all digital at that point. And I am a collector.
I'd just be happy with some kind of partnership with Sega that brings a lot of their library to GamePass. Persona on GamePass would be perfect.
Edited my post above with some fun numbers. 🤓
@mousieone few counters:
1) Despite their relationship, Sega still is not doing any moves to make Atlus (their subsidiary) to port any of their games (like Persona) to XBox.
2) So? They can easily get rid of the unwanted sectors, or just let them operate as is.
3) Arcade business could actually help MS get a foothold in Japan
4) That just means it would take time
5) MS still has roughly 130 billion dollars in cash on the bank, that's not counting money they have just sitting in stock investments that they can quickly cash out. Investors dont like big piles of cash.
Mind you, I dont believe these rumors hold any water, but its not out of the realm of possibilities.
@KelticDevil Oh sure definitely. Thing is I think given Sega’s position, and the fact a ton of Sega IPs are coming, I think something like EA Play but with Sega titles makes more sense.
1) Well they just got Atlus to port to PC. And this is of course if we ignore that the game has huge ties to Sony just like SMT does to Nintendo. Again, it’s entirely possible P4G makes it to Gamepass for PC. Atlus is at best weird. They have, however, moved the other ones. I mean I believe one of Sega’s studios is working on Age of Empires IV.
2) I guess they could sell to Konami. I just don’t think MS wants anything to do with straight up gambling. Granted they take military contracts. Maybe.
3) Arcades are hard to run if you don’t know what you are doing. I could see them
Being hands off to that, if they did.
4) Time, Money, and even then. Besides the Bethesda deal is going to take a year and that’s US to US. I would think they’d want out of the red tape first before another hassle.
5) sure but this the gaming sector. I’m sure the money is budgeted for other sectors.
Anything is a possibility. I mean Bethesda, no one saw that. It could happen. In fact, I’m sure they debated which studios made sense buying and Sega’s name came up. In the end though this gets them most of the Western RPGs, a lot of classic FPS titles, and a Japanese Studio that tends to make horror games.
I do agree if they want the Global appeal with Gamepass, they need more Japanese support but at the moment Sega as a partner rather than a property probably makes more sense.
I doubt that, but if it does happen, that's gonna be quite a shock.
I'd prefer Sega keep its independence and just keep signing off the odd exclusive release here and there. It has strong ties with all 3 companies and I don't think MS needs to own everything. Also, even if it's a pipe dream I still hope one day Sega takes another stab at hardware... 'Crazier things have happened.'
@Gamer83 they did release “Hardware” recently, and it was amazing. I’d be very happy with. Retro style Dreamcast
I'm guessing you mean the Genesis Mini, which is very cool. Use it a lot more than I expected also. I play Streets of Rage 2, Street Fighter 2 and Contra almost every day. A Dreamcast retro release would be a day one buy, I'd also be down for a 'Sega Saturn Mini.'
@Gamer83 oh my Saturn ^_____^ all my friends wanted Playstations for xmas <.< but not me. Good times. Yes that would be welcomed.
Most of my friends went with PlayStation as well. I went back over to Nintendo until Sept. 9, 1999.
Yeah, people keep forgetting that we are talking about Japanese companies here.
Xbox buying any of that will lead to many angry Japanese people, as most of them own only Nintendo or PS (no PC or Xbox).
Plus, Japanese companies don’t like being bought by foreign companies.
Hey if this means we get the other Yakuza and Way of the Samurai, I'm all aboard.
I agree. This is probably some sort of Game Pass deal. Good point.
Outrun remake, yeahh =)
@TheGamerKing @tatsumi MS has already gone on record and said that they aren’t making Bethseda exclusive and will evaluate releasing them on Playstion on a case by case basis. You know like how they publish games on the Switch, right?
In other words, why would they make Sega games “exclusive” but not Bethesda? o.O
(Not that I think that buying Sega is a thing; just that they would be being it for Gamepass content not to keep the games off the other platforms)
As many have said I think it's pretty (well, extremely) unlikely, but I'd certainly be pretty excitied if it turned out to be true! Absolutely love that Shock Blue controller for sure. If/when I get an Xbox I'll absolutely be getting one of those with it.
I think it would be a great fit. Stranger things have happened...
I think a partnership is more likely.
xCloud is where the money is for Xbox in Asia.
But for that to take off, they need games on the Game Pass service that will appeal to that audience.
The iconic colours of sonic is blue white and RED, being as this has no red I wouldn’t have made the link. I think it’s more inline with the red and blue ones we saw on Xbox one.
If Microsoft did acquire sega then it wouldn’t make much difference as their flagship character has more rubbish games than good
Sega would be a great to have on board, big library of hidden classic gems that needs to be revived (next to sonic only lol).
But that controller tho!!!
If sega joins xbox it brings back old memories fron the console wars era sega vs Nintendo. Lol.
While you could argue that Sega fits with the xbox brand because of the Dreamcast-Xbox connection, I just don't see Sega as fitting for the xbox brand as Bethesda is.
As has been mentioned Crazier things have happened. A few days ago, nobody would have said MS could/would buy Bethesda although rumours had floated about a while back if I remember correctly.
Anyone who knows their gaming History will know about Sega and the OG Xbox connection and MS has been clear about wanting to break into the Japanese gaming market and offer more Japanese games on their platform - so its easy to see why this rumour could have started.
There may be some deal between MS and Sega but it would be highly irregular for a Japanese company to be sold to an American one...
@Chimera_Police @KelticDevil I agree that Microsoft and Sega have done some great work together in the past. Xbox was kinda like the Dreamcast 2, with a bunch of Sega exclusives for it. I’d love to see new entries in all these franchises!
@TheGamerKing Maybe bit it’s not the hardware they are trying to move in Japan.. They prefer software sales and services. And you can get those without being exclusive. I’m sure Ori and Minecraft make them money
I'm hoping it's some partnership that brings their games into gamepass. I would love some sonic games that i could play with my boys.
The Shock Blue controller was suspicious right from the start. There is no green controller but blue and white and the description is odd. Not only the controller is the same blue as Sonic and Sega but "Still iconic" slogan matches Sonic suspiciously (that it's the only thing I didn't get until now) but I don't think that Microsoft is acquiring Sega but they are cooperating.
That odd photo that Sega posted? LOL Xbox, it says. See you tomorrow, Sega. And welcome!
It would be worth it just for pushsquare comments alone.
@Tharsman According to Nintendo Life, Nintendo is the richest Japanese company and, according to your post, Sony is. So what is it?
@BlueOcean if I understand correctly, it means Nintendo is the Japanese company with the most cash on hand, but that does not translate to the one with the most valuable market cap (based on the cost of all available shares added up)
Edit: this also means Nintendo is, hypothetically, in a stronger position to do power aquisition moves like the one Microsoft just did. I would have to do a bit more research (not from a phone) to see how much cash on hand Sony and Nintendo both have.
@Tharsman So Nintendo has more cash but Sony is more expensive to buy?
Bob has a million dollars in the bank, but owns a small office space and sells products to 35 thousand consumers.
John has $20 dollars in the bank, but owns the Empire State Building and sells products to a 100 million consumers.
By all metrics, the business operation and assets John has make it more valuable despite having less cash.
Overall, for a publicly traded company, having cash is not cinsirered a good thing. It gives them a safety net, but money in the bank is money not being invested in growth. It's considered, by many investors, wasted potential.
That aside, despite Nintendos savings, their overall global operations are nowhere near as large as Sonys. Also consider comparing Sony to Nintendo is like comparing Microsoft to Nintendo, instead of comparing Xbox to Nintendo.
One more thing to add: because market cap is based on stockholder perception (of future growth potentiall, safety of investment, and other complex or simply emotional factors) Nintendo buying Namco tomorrow would not increase their market cap by $15b. It could, but it likely would take time, and could go any way. Could add more, could add less, could not move the needle. In very irrational moves, stock price could even go down.
@Tharsman Yes, I understand all that, the Nintendo Life article was poorly written. As you said, if you buy a $15b company doesn't mean that your company increases $15b its value, but more or less it should in the short term, at least. Things change afterwards. Nintendo is just like Uncle Scrooge 🤣.
@BlueOcean OK found cash in hand numbers
$136.527B Microsoft (you can subtract $7.5b to that, I guess)
So... yea this does not click as it should. I'll have to hunt more to understand what that "richest company" article was basing their claim on. My best guess, additional assets like real estate or stock investments.
"Nintendo become the richest company of 2020 in the country"
$8.4 billion USD it says. According to your post, Sony has three times more money than Nintendo. Something is wrong.
For what its worth, my source:
Also to note, 8.4billion, for Nintendo, is not a current number, but closer to what they had back in 2018.
@Tharsman Nah, I believe you but then is there a single correct thing on Nintendo Life's article? If they say that Nintendo is richer because it has more cash and they are not counting the rest, okay but even considering the cash exclusively is Sony richer?
@BlueOcean I went to the source, and translated it via a service, not the best but kinda good enough.
For one, it seems the article notes that many institutions were not accounted for being financial institutions (banks, securities companies, insurance companies, etc.)
Not sure if that would disqualify Sony, but Sony not being there at all, maybe...
Another possibility: it is called a "survey", instead of being based on financial reports. Could be auto-translate issue, but I am now guessing that the article is specifically talking about cash on hand, in Japan accounts.
Like, Microsoft might have 130+ Billion in cash, but its not all in US bank accounts. A lot of it lives overseas, where it cant really be used to buy domestic assets. Its part of how they paid for Minecraft, they took possession of the company in exchange of stock and money that they had in Swedish bank accounts but could not bring over due to taxing issues.
Sony's operation, very likely, has it's money spread across the world.
"okay but even considering the cash exclusively is Sony richer?"
I would say so. But its like having a trillion Mexican Pesos but being stranded in the middle of Canada. That money wont be worth the money its printed on until you exchange it.
@Tharsman So, from "the richest Japanese company" to "the Japanese company with more yens"? 😂
@BlueOcean It still is a meaningful distinction, as it shows domestic buying power. The source article, after all, was meant for Japanese audiences.
Sadly I am not sure how to get those numbers off the top of my head, and wont go spending all day digging financial sites.
But yea, Nintendo might actually have the monetary power (inside Japan) to buy Square Enix, when Sony likely cant do so.
I know, Nintendo might have zero euros and zero dollars (exaggeration) and Sony more dollars than yens and euros combined (which is likely because they don't care about Europe or Japan, lately).
SEGA is having fun with this now as well. One more day and we'll know if there's anything to this. Bah anyway to attach a picture to a post?
they already have surpassed the pretty wild hopes from last July, so Sega is feasible. the same goes for capcom, konami, koeitemco and fromsoftware
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