Phil Spencer Thinks Acquiring Nintendo Would Be A Career Moment

Documents from the FTC v. Microsoft court hearings have leaked online, and a whole lot of information about Microsoft’s plans and strategies for making its mark in the gaming industry with Xbox has been revealed by these leaked documents. It is being considered the biggest Xbox leak in history by a mile. 

We previously covered the upcoming mid-gen refresh of Xbox Series X|S specs and release window, both of which were also made public courtesy of these leaked court documents. For more on that, click here

The leaks include an email from August 2020, in which Phil Spencer, CEO  of Microsoft Gaming/Xbox, expressed an interest in acquiring Nintendo for their gaming ventures.

Image: KYODO

In the email addressed to two top Microsoft marketing executives, Chris Capossela and Takeshi Numoto, Spencer talked about the importance of gaming for Microsoft’s consumer outreach. He mentioned his ongoing discussions with Nintendo’s leadership team regarding the potential for closer cooperation between the two companies.

Spencer acknowledged that Nintendo had a substantial cash reserve but hadn’t actively pursued market growth or stock appreciation. However, he pointed out that Mason Morfit, a former Microsoft board member, had been acquiring shares of Nintendo, suggesting a possible shift in Nintendo’s direction.

While Spencer was hopeful about collaboration, he noted that a merger of Nintendo and Microsoft in the near future was unlikely without a catalyst like Morfit’s involvement. He also ruled out the idea of a hostile takeover.

Spencer also shared that Microsoft’s board of directors supported exploring opportunities in the gaming industry and mentioned ongoing merger and acquisition discussions, including Warner Brothers Interactive and ZeniMax.

Leaked Intenal Microsoft Email | FTC v. Microsoft Court Documents

Despite these discussions, Spencer expressed Microsoft’s interest in working with Nintendo. He believed that while Warner Brothers Interactive and ZeniMax were different from Nintendo, they still offered valuable opportunities for Microsoft in the gaming market.

However, Spencer believed that convincing Nintendo to expand beyond its hardware-based business model will be a challenge. Still, he believed that a partnership with Nintendo would benefit both companies in the long run, even though it might take time for Nintendo to embrace the idea of moving beyond its hardware limitations.

Though Phil Spencer does mention in the email that acquiring Nintendo would be a career moment for him, according to him, Nintendo is a key aspect of Microsoft’s success in the gaming industry.

The email is from 3 years ago, and looking at the current circumstances and the time period after this email, it’s clear that Microsoft didn’t pursue the idea of acquiring Nintendo (or who knows what’s going on behind closed doors). 

Nonetheless, they went for the biggest acquisition in the gaming industry ever two years later by showing interest in acquiring Activision Blizzard. And all these internal Microsoft document leaks are a result of that. Crazy! What are your thoughts about this news? Let us know in the comments section below.


Abdullah Amin

Abdullah is passionate about staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in the gaming industry. With a strong background in writing and research, he is able to provide in-depth analysis and informative articles for a wide range of gaming audiences.