The US Federal Commerce Fee is at present butting heads with Microsoft, because the regulatory physique tries to dam the software program big’s proposed $65 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Xbox head honcho Phil Spencer was the most recent government to take the stand and deny ever fascinated by stuff he wrote a number of years in the past, and as a part of the hearings a tranche of inner emails have been made public. One among which reveals the fits in Redmond licking their lips on the prospect of buying the long-lasting Sega.

A 2020 electronic mail from Phil Spencer to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and CFO Amy Hoodand makes the case for buying Sega in some element, and requests “Technique Approval to method Sega Sammy concerning a possible acquisition of their Sega gaming studios.” Sega Sammy Holdings is the results of a 2004 merger between Sega (gaming) and Sammy (pachinko). Microsoft, understandably, solely desires the videogames.

Spencer goes on to say Sega has “a well-balanced portfolio of video games throughout segments with world geographic enchantment [that] will assist us speed up Xbox Game Go each on and off-console.” He attaches a memo and a few bullet factors concerning the Japanese big, noting Sega’s gaming division represents round half of Sega Sammy’s whole income, “or ~$900M of income and $60-90M of working earnings, in every of Sega Sammy’s final three fiscal years.”

There are some apparent notes to hit for why Sega could be a significant asset, not least franchises like Sonic the Hedgehog, Yakuza, and the more and more well-liked Atlus portfolio. It is also a significant PC presence with not solely the above however the likes of Soccer Supervisor, Whole Warfare, and Firm of Heroes. Spencer’s memo suggests future Sega video games would launch “with subscription exclusivity” on Game Go, although this would not essentially imply Sonic changing into Xbox unique: “we’ll proceed to promote acquired video games and franchises throughout all game platforms.”

Sega was one in all many potential acquisition targets for Microsoft right now, even when it was “essentially the most enticing” (don’t fret Mr. Kotick, they are saying that to all of the boys). Different potential acquisitions included Hades developer Supergiant Video games, the now Sony-owned Bungie, Hitman developer IO Interactive, and Pokémon GO developer Niantic. Curiously sufficient Microsoft is worried {that a} Bungie acquisition might include a “excessive burn-rate”, although what’s actually driving the thought is that Future’s one of many “highest hours producing titles on console Game Go.”

The e-mail disclosure doesn’t, sadly, embody any reply from Nadella: it is unclear whether or not Microsoft selected to formally pursue this acquisition, or it fell by the wayside as Spencer eyed up even juicier targets. One other doc dated April 2021 is a merger overview that also lists Sega as a key goal, amongst others, however till the Activision Blizzard affair is sorted out every other acquisitions are unlikely.

Shopping for Sega would have made some sense for Microsoft, and do not be shocked if it occurs a way down the road. Sega isn’t just a legendary gaming firm, however has had a detailed relationship with Microsoft for the reason that late Nineties: Sega’s console swansong, the too-good-for-this-world Dreamcast, ran on a customized Home windows OS, and it has been a key third-party developer for Xbox from day one. Sonic could be blue however, now and endlessly, the green is what retains him working.