In response to rumors surrounding the acquisition of Sega, Chief Operating Officer Shuji Utsumi denied that the company was looking for a buyer, and shut down any speculation that Microsoft was set to acquire them. Utsumi then added that Sega was instead focused on bringing its IPs to other platforms, as well as buying out companies on its own such as Rovio.
Rumors have long circulated about Microsoft acquiring Sega, and some discussions sprang up as far back as the early 2000s. At the time, some rumors fluttered about the original Xbox's compatibility with Dreamcast games after the latter console's demise. Though the talks fell through, Sega eventually became the third-party developer it is today, with plenty of its titles on the Xbox family of systems and Xbox Game Pass, such as the Like A Dragon and Persona series. While both companies have been amicable to one another over the years, Sega has long prided itself on being a major developer and IP owner.
A CNBC interview that was reported by Dexerto further emphasized Sega's disinterest in being bought out by Microsoft anytime soon. Utsumi said that following the success of both Sonic the Hedgehog movies at the box office, Sega is instead looking towards bringing more of its properties to different platforms and reaching more audiences. The news came nearly a month after Microsoft completed its acquisition of Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. The buyout concluded a long saga that saw the deal scrutinized by global regulators, with Microsoft spinning off the streaming distribution rights to Ubisoft in the UK as part of the deal.
Many companies are interested. We feel honored. We have attractive IPs and potentials. Companies owned by the owner. A strong owner. I don't think that kind of transaction is going to happen.
In June 2023, during the Activision buyout litigation, some leaked FTC internal documents pointed towards Microsoft potentially buying Sega and Bungie as far back as 2020. These documents contained contents from an email that Xbox lead Phil Spencer sent to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and CFO Amy Hood. While Bungie ended up being acquired by Sony for $3.6 billion in July 2022, Sega still maintained its independence and continued to bring games to the market.
With titles such as Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth and Persona 3 Reload on the docket for 2024, and the impending Sonic the Hedgehog 3 movie, the company and its properties are showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. But with no plans for being bought out in the foreseeable future, it remains to be seen which companies will fall under Sega's banner instead.
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