An internal email from Xbox’s Phil Spencer in 2020 has revealed that the company was (and potentially still is) considering Nintendo as a potential acquisition.
Revealed as part of a deluge of leaked, unredacted documents from the FTC Vs. Microsoft case in the United States (the original of which appears to have now been removed), the email goes into surprising detail regarding Spencer’s thoughts on the acquisition, going so far as to say that “getting Nintendo would be a career moment” and that it would be “a good move for both companies”.
Spencer also acknowledges the difficulty in securing Nintendo as an acquisition (you don’t say), noting that Nintendo is “sitting on a big pile of cash”. He goes on to state that a former key member of Microsoft’s board of directors, ValueAct, has been acquiring significant stock in Nintendo, implying that this could “create opportunities” for Microsoft.
Despite this, Spencer perhaps quite rightly states that any hostile takeover action would not be a good move and that without any key catalyst, there would likely not be any opportunity for an acquisition in the short term. He ends the email by stating that it’s “taking a long time for Nintendo to see that their future exists off of their own hardware.” Given the monumental success of the Nintendo Switch even in 2020, this seems a rather odd thing to say, don’t you think?
Either way, regardless of Spencer’s words here, it’s probably unlikely Nintendo will be acquired by any entity anytime soon, so you can rest easy. What’s perhaps most amusing about all of this is that the email is titled “RE: random thought”, which is frankly just hilarious given the highly sensitive content.
It’s also interesting to note that Microsoft had already reportedly approached Nintendo with a buyout offer way back before the original Xbox launched, with the latter apparently laughing “their asses off” at the very notion.