According to confidential documents revealed during the trial between Microsoft and the Federal Trade Commission of the United States, Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, expressed his interest in acquiring Nintendo before the acquisitions of ZeniMax Media and Activision Blizzard.
In an email, Spencer mentioned that Nintendo was the main asset for Microsoft and that he had had discussions with the leadership team of the Japanese company about a possible closer collaboration. However, he noted that an immediate purchase was not feasible as Nintendo had a large amount of money and showed no interest in expanding its market share.
Although the acquisition did not materialize, Spencer mentioned that he was open to establishing a more direct relationship with Nintendo in the future. It was also revealed that Microsoft also considered the possibility of acquiring Valve and debated between buying ZeniMax Media or Warner Brothers Interactive.
Nintendo’s market valuation closed in 2020 at over $76 billion, representing significant growth compared to previous years. Despite its monetary value, the acquisition of Nintendo would have been complicated due to its brand prestige, tradition, and legacy.
Regarding the leaked documents, the Federal Trade Commission distanced itself from any responsibility and stated that it was Microsoft who mistakenly uploaded the files to the website of the Northern District Federal Court of California.
Sources: NBC News