Xbox nearly acquired Warner Bros. Games, the company behind the Batman games and Hogwarts Legacy. Over the last decade, we have seen a massive consolidation of the gaming industry. More and more gaming companies are combining and absorbing each other while others shut down completely. We've lost great publishers like THQ (though that has been somewhat revived by THQ Nordic), seen developers like Volition close their doors, and Xbox has bought up companies like Bethesda and soon, possibly Activision. PlayStation has also done its fair share of shopping by acquiring Bungie, a studio once owned by Xbox. However, a lot goes on behind the scenes and discussions for even more acquisitions are constantly happening.
However, one name caught a lot of eyes. Earlier this week, a massive leak saw a ton of confidential documents from Microsoft hitting the web. We know a new Xbox Series X model is coming next year, the next Xbox is in 2028, a bunch of unannounced games, The Elder Scrolls VI seemingly not coming to PS5, and so much more. It was pretty catastrophic and needless to say, Xbox was unhappy about it. One email with Xbox boss Phil Spencer revealed Xbox's ambitions for acquiring Nintendo or at the very least starting a really significant collaboration with them. This was back in 2020 and seemed to be one of the company's most desired acquisitions, but Spencer noted that it was in active discussion about two other companies: ZeniMax (Bethesda) and Warner Brothers Interactive. Spencer noted that both companies were "gettable" and seemed to be suggesting buying both, not just one.
However, one obstacle Spencer noted is that Xbox would not own any of WB's IP. It's unclear if this is because Warner Bros. proper owns it and therefore could choose to sell something like Harry Potter or DC to someone else or some other hypothetical or if Xbox would just be buying talent like Rocksteady. Either way, the value of such a deal would be huge and if Microsoft did get to completely leverage things like Batman, Superman, and Harry Potter, it would be huge, especially as PlayStation is putting out exclusive Wolverine and Spider-Man games. It's possible the changes in leadership at Warner Bros. resulted in the acquisition being killed off or Microsoft became more interested in Activision and knew it couldn't justify all three of these.
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