An internal email that has surfaced during the FTC v. Microsoft court case has revealed that Xbox boss Phil Spencer expressed interest in acquiring Nintendo in 2020. In the email, Spencer referred to Nintendo as “THE prime asset for us in gaming”, indicating that he saw great potential in the collaboration between the two companies.
This revelation came to light as part of the ongoing court case, and according to The Verge, the email was addressed to Microsoft’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Chris Capossela, and executive vice president and commercial chief marketing officer, Takeshi Numoto. Spencer mentioned in the email that he had already engaged in conversations with Nintendo’s leadership team regarding closer collaboration.
However, Spencer acknowledged the challenges of such a merger, noting that Nintendo’s current financial standing and the lack of pressure from their Board of Directors for market growth or stock appreciation could potentially hamper any immediate plans for collaboration. Nevertheless, he emphasized that Microsoft was determined to pursue this opportunity in the long term, stating, “we are playing the long game”.
The email also mentioned that Mason Morfit, a former member of Microsoft’s Board of Directors and co-CEO of ValueAct Capital, had been acquiring Nintendo shares at that time. Spencer believed this could create opportunities for Microsoft in the future, as Morfit may push for further developments within the company.
While it remains unclear what the ultimate outcome of these discussions was, it is evident that Xbox boss Phil Spencer held a strong interest in the possibility of acquiring Nintendo. This revelation provides a glimpse into the strategic thinking and long-term plans of the Microsoft gaming division.