Not too long ago, reports on the web claim Microsoft was interested in acquiring the likes of Electronic Arts (EA), and possibly Valve, and PUBG Corp, the makers of PLAYERUNKNOWN’s Battlegrounds.
Many found this rumor to be nothing more than hot air because to them, it wouldn’t make sense for Microsoft to acquire EA. Furthermore, it would be anti-consumer due to the possibilities of the software giant choosing to keep EA games from Sony’s platform, the PlayStation 4 and others to come.
From my point of view, gamers and critics are getting way ahead of themselves and are overthinking this situation.
EA games would still be multi-platform
If for some reason Microsoft manages to gobble up Electronic Arts, the giant from Redmond would probably have to pay over $40 billion due to EA’s current market cap. There’s no way Microsoft would easily regain that amount of cash by releasing the games exclusively for Xbox and PC.
The company will do the sensible thing by releasing all EA games across every platform for the best chance of recouping its investment and making a profit. If we look at Minecraft, Microsoft bought the game and the developing studio for $2.5 billion, but despite that, the game is available on PlayStation and the Nintendo Switch.
Folks need to realize the Microsoft of old is dead. We’re no longer looking at a company that wants to keep its software solely on the Windows platform, and that’s great for consumers and Microsoft’s bottom-line because more folks get to use its products and services.
OK, so how will non-exclusivity benefit Xbox and the PC?
It’s all about Microsoft’s subscription services, Game Pass. Just recently the company announced that all future first party games will launch on Game Pass the same day as retail stores. That’s a huge deal since gamers get the chance to pay $10 per month to play as many games as they want.
The idea of buying a single video game for $60 is dying as Microsoft moves to mimic Netflix. The company only needs to release EA games, or all of its first-party games on Game Pass as promised, while folks who own a Nintendo Switch or PlayStation 4, are forced to pay $60 for each title.
Success comes from gamers realizing it makes more sense to subscribe to Game Pass instead of buying individual games for $60. They’ll then decide to switch from the Sony PlayStation in favor of the Xbox platform.
More Game Pass subscribers, more money, and that’s how Microsoft wins.
Will Microsoft truly acquire EA?
There’s no proof pointing to such a huge acquisition. Polygon’s report claims it got information from someone close to Microsoft, so there’s that. Still, I believe it’s possible because there’s only one way for Microsoft to transform Game Pass into a viable platform, and that’s with quality games.
Bear in mind, Disney acquired 20th Century Fox back in 2017 for the primary purpose of boosting its upcoming streaming platform. Microsoft will want to do the same to create a huge lead over any other company that might consider creating a similar service to Game Pass.
At this point, buying Electronic Arts makes more sense than PUBG Corp or Valve because the company has more to offer.