Rumor | Microsoft eyeing up Konami and Sega acquisitions to possibly invigorate waning Xbox console sales in Japan
There’s no denying when it comes to making acquisitions Microsoft and its Xbox Game Studios are not shy about aiming high. The recent purchase of ZeniMax Media, the company that owns id Software and Bethesda Softworks, for a whopping US$7.5 billion proves that Microsoft is actively and aggressively seeking to enhance its company portfolio and its vital Xbox brand. A popular tech commenter has indicated that the next companies that are being lined up for potential takeovers are the Japanese gaming stalwarts Sega and Konami.
Microsoft and Sega have been linked for decades and the acquisition of the latter by the former has been rumored for many a year. It would make sense for Xbox Game Studios to obtain Sega’s specialist knowledge and experience in the console area, and the Tokyo-based firm has certainly struggled over the last years in comparison to its Sega Genesis/Mega Drive heyday. Konami has also been thrown into the mix again, and the company would bring along valuable gaming IPs like Silent Hill and Metal Gear with any acquisition.
As usual, the believability of the rumors settles on just how important or not the Japanese market is for Microsoft/Xbox. Recent sales figures for the country are pretty dire for the Redmond company: 1,508 units of the Xbox Series X and S and just 10 Xbox One consoles sold for the week ending February 27. In comparison, for that same week 3,249 PS4 consoles were snapped up, Japanese gamers bought 33,792 PS5 machines, and 78,134 Nintendo Switch devices were purchased.
Acquiring Konami and Sega would not only make Xbox a stronger brand in Japan, but it would also appeal to the millions of fans of the two companies in other areas of the world who happen to own an Xbox console. Both Microsoft head Satya Nadella and Xbox chief Phil Spencer have made it clear that the acquisition of established game developers is the right direction to take, so maybe there will be some further studio expansion coming in 2021.