Forums - Microsoft Discussion - Polygon: Microsoft's Current Dilemma With Games

Machina said:
DonFerrari said:

Basically MS can buy anyone as long as it isn't something you like =p

Just Valve as far as second and third party developers goes, because there's something unique about the way they develop their IP that makes it almost impossible for another company to pick them up and maintain the Valve standard.

TF2/Dota 2/CS:GO - All have cosmetic-driven funding models that allows continued development. MS would be sorely tempted to introduce pay-to-win I imagine. The latter two also have very healthy and enormous community-supported pro scenes that were only possible because of Valve's hands-off approach and grew organically. If MS took over I've no doubt they'd handle them to be more like the LoL or StarCraft pro scenes, which is not something either community would be happy with.

There's something very personal and personable about the Dota 2 pro scene (possibly the same for CS:GO but I'm not as familiar with that scene) - it's highly community driven, from the development lead (one of the original Dota developers), to the updates (Valve clearly uses r/Dota2 to sound out fixes and updates to the game, reacting to reasonable community backlashes quite quickly), to the personalities (casters, hosts, and so on have almost all risen up through the community, rather than being imposed from above), to the prize pools with tens of millions being raised each year by players purchasing cosmetics. 

Half-Life - Even Valve obviously doesn't think it can deliver a game worthy of the Half-Life name, that's why there's been no third entry. Anyone buying Valve or the IP will almost certainly have to use the IP to cover such a major investment. It won't deliver, and a game that doesn't deliver is worse than no game at all.

Portal - I can't think of a developer that delivers the sort of witty dialogue that's synonymous with Portal, let alone a developer within MS's limited stable. Again, I'd rather the franchise went dormant than received a lacklustre entry.

L4D - Probably the one Valve IP which, although I really enjoy it, could be taken on and made just as well by another developer as it has been by Valve. No issues with this one.

Steam - I mean everyone knows that MS's approach to PC storefront has been useless, it's part of the reason Steam has come to dominate the digital PC marketplace. If MS took it over and made only the most modest changes so that users didn't really notice any change of ownership that'd be fine, but there's no guarantee of that at all. Now Steam is far from perfect, and could certainly be improved, but I've seen nothing in Microsoft's own past that shows it's up to the task of doing so.


I think, for the health of the Xbox brand in general, it is important for MS to start splashing some cash. Buying a few small-to-medium sized developers, or one large publisher, is something I'd be happy to see, so long as they were then actually let loose to make games and not just vaporware. Xbox sorely needs exclusives to remain competitive for the rest of this gen and perhaps more importantly next gen, and strong competition is the best way to keep Sony (primarily) and Nintendo (secondarily) on their toes.

I just don't want Valve to be the company MS buys xD

I would say that almost all games become different when change dev and can't really be replicated... several times even the sequels can't replicate staying on the same dev due to the time it was developed being different, team and corporate culture, etc.

A company could buy Valve as a publisher but keep its freedom as a dev like Sony perhaps would, but I can see you having worries about what MS would do.

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Azzanation said:
Farsala said:

Sony's assets alone is worth more than $150b, not a chance that they could buy Sony. They could buy up all the stocks for a ludicrous amount of money, but that wouldn't be buying it entirely.

Well not with there straight out cash. I am sure if they really wanted to they could easily make room for the Purchase by simply selling and trading.

They wont though because is buying Sony worth it? Will they make $150b back any time soon just to stop there competition? MS make money off Sony since they partner up with PCs etc. And it wouldnt help MS tackle there real competitor Apple by using all there cash on a company that isnt garenteed or stable to profit yearly.

Microsoft can get more cash rather easily if there was a call to investors. Microsoft doesn't need to actually have the cash to buy all three companies though to still buy them. Microsoft has a ton of assets and a great credit rating.

Microsoft could literally buy Sony, Take Two and EA.

But you are right. That Microsoft buying Sony would never make sense. They could, because by comparison Sony is a tiny tiny tiny company. But they won't.

CGI-Quality said:

They wouldn't for other reasons beyond money, such as the Japanese Government. Just looking at EA's earnings, however, this entire discussion has just gone into silly overdrive. It's not happening. Like I said, I can see Microsoft doing something with the PUBG team, but nothing beyond.

I agree. I don't think Microsoft dumping it's warchest on video games will sit well with investors/shareholders anyway.
Still nice to talk about a what-if scenario sometimes, right? :P

--::{PC Gaming Master Race}::--

Ka-pi96 said:
I don't think Microsoft could afford EA or Valve.

PUBG sounds very possible though.

I don't think you realize how much more MS is worth compared to EA.... Just to give you an order of magnitude... MSFT market cap is more 720 billions EA's is less than 40 billions .... MSFT does around 90 billions a year in revenue and 20 billions in earnings EA does less than 5 billions in revenue and less than 1.5 billions in earnings....



without going into details... EA is a dwarf compared to MS and pretty sure from past data that valve revenue is under EA's remember valve only gets a fraction of the steam price.... Anyway in the 2010' they were under a billion in revenue doubt that number quadrupled over the past 7 years...



people around tend to forget MS is among the biggest companies in the world when it comes to it's financials

Machina said:
Please anyone but Valve. Literally anyone.

To be honest, I don't see MS changing anything with Steam if they brought them. They will most likely keep Steam the way it is and probably merge there gaming libraries together which will benefit Steam owners since majority of Xbox games are not available on Steam. Much like how they brought Minecraft and didn't change a thing, if anything they added so many more cool features.

Buying Valve is more a PC move than a console move, it will also help there Xbox division a little with Valves IPs but the real boost is with the PC gaming space and having Steam as your default Gaming App on Windows will mean a lot more support and maybe more games built from Valves chest.

Anything can happen, Nintendo or Sony could buy Valve and they can make it amazing and they could also ruin it. This is something we can only assume right now. I personally love Steam as much as anybody however I am finding myself slowly moving away from it due to competition. Steam needs a little shake up, they are that far ahead of the competition however the drive is slowing down. I am tempted to buy games on Win Store now due to the Play anywhere feature. 

Last edited by Azzanation - on 01 February 2018