Welcome to Lazy Writing, a place where Player 2’s writers can fill in a quiet day while being as lazy as possible. After all, what is lazier than a “top 5” article? Don’t worry though folks, all of our 5 responses will be on one page, we are too lazy to chase hits by putting them on multiple pages.
Lazy Writing – 5 Top Targets for Microsoft’s Cheque Book
With the Bethesda deal done and dusted, Microsoft is apparently back in the market for more studios to boost their Game Pass machines. There are also a lot of rumours circulating that Microsoft would love to try their hand at the Japanese market once again so they are looking at purchasing one or two studios to do exactly that. So with all that in mind, I thought it would be fun to look at some potential targets for the Big M’s money machine, so here are my 5 Top Targets for Microsoft’s Cheque Book.
Konami is one of the names that gets bandied about whenever a big company brings out their cheque book and with good reason. Konami has a host of underutilized IP under its banner, with the biggest being the behemoth that is Metal Gear Solid. Of course, Kojima has moved on, but that’s not to say that the idea of a Microsoft published Metal Gear game wouldn’t be a cracking title. Throw in the ever asked for Silent Hill reboot and the chance for Microsoft to bring Pro Evo back to its glory days and it is looking like a mighty fine option. The only catch is Konami currently makes tonnes on its Pachinko machines so that gambling aspect may not sit well with the Microsoft hierarchy.
Not a Japanese developer, but one that MS would do well to look at, Techland is perhaps an ideal target for a buyout. The developers behind the excellent Dying Light and cult classic Call to Juarez: Gunslinger are in the position a lot of similar sized developers are, they have the talent but struggle for funding to get their games out in a timely manner. This is where Microsoft steps in, much the same as how they handled the Double Fine, Ninja Theory and Obsidian purchases, they become a safety net and pool of resources so talented devs can do what they do and that is making great games. There is no doubt it would be a great fit and despite the shooter legacy that the Xbox brand can’t seem to shake from the 360 era, it has actually been a very long time since they have had an FPS besides Halo under the Xbox banner. The other big bonus is we might finally get to play Dying Light 2.
This is the smallest of the dev teams I am going to suggest but it is potentially the most promising. Developers of the chronically under-appreciated “The Cycle” but more importantly the masterminds behind perhaps the most affecting story ever told by a shooter in Spec Ops: The Line, Yager have talent coming out of their ears, they just don’t seem to have the marketing nous to capitalise on it. That’s where Microsoft comes in, hands them a blank cheque and says “Hey Yager, you do you, we will take care of the rest.” It would be wonderful to see them take on another project like Spec Ops but I think they only way they are going to be able to do that is if a big company buys them out, so it may as well be one that lets the team work as it functions best and not one that will change everything on them (*cough* EA *cough).
This is a company that often gets mentioned in the same breath as Microsoft because it really is an obvious fit. Microsoft wants to move into Japan in a bigger way and SEGA has a host of IP that could do with some reinvention and reinvigoration that a Microsoft purchase could provide. This is all being fuelled even more by the recent Game Pass deals that the two companies have made, bringing a host of SEGA title (namely the Yakuza franchise) to Microsoft’s sub-service. Really this buyout makes complete sense and I think both Microsoft and SEGA fans stand to gain a great deal if it occurs. Can you imagine, SEGA All-Stars Racing featuring The Master Chief and Marcus Fenix? Nah… that is a step too far.
Let me start out by saying this is extremely unlikely. The fact is Capcom is killing it at the moment and already have deals in place with both Nintendo and Sony for various titles. In fact, the only reason I am mentioning Capcom is that there have been a lot of rumours of another “Bethesda-sized” buyout and Capcom is the only company around that I can think of that fits that bill. But holy hell, it would be earth-shattering if it were to happen. No single move could even come close to the effect that a Capcom buyout would have on Microsoft’s presence in Japan. Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Monster Hunter all on Game Pass. That would be the granddaddy of all moves by Microsoft. As I said, I think it is highly unlikely, but it sure is something to think about.
So there you have it, five companies that I feel would thrive under Microsoft and would help push the Xbox forward in areas that it has lacked. It is worth noting I have no inside knowledge and am likely talking out of my backside, but as with any article of this nature, the fun is in the speculation. So why not speculate yourself? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook what companies you think are the perfect fit for Microsoft and the Xbox ecosystem, we are keen to hear your thoughts.