As part of the string of leaks resulting from published unredacted documents from the ongoing Microsoft Activision acquisition, it’s been revealed that Microsoft head of gaming Phil Spencer considered Nintendo as a key acquisition target in 2020. A leaked email discussion between Spencer and Microsoft’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer Takeshi Numoto, reveals that Nintendo was an intended acquisition target. The conversation was prompted Spencer was asked by Numoto why the company wasn’t being considered as a possible target. Spencer also stated that former Microsoft board member Mason Morfit, and president of ValueAct, had been “heavily acquiring shares of Nintendo” an action that “could create opportunities” for Microsoft, but such a hostile action would not do any good currently, and that the company is “playing the long game.” He also added that Microsoft’s Board of Directors has “seen the full writeup on Nintendo (and Valve) and they are fully supportive of either if opportunity arises.” He concluded by saying that at some point, getting Nintendo would be “a career moment” and “a good move for both companies.”
internal Microsoft email from Xbox chief Phil Spencer discussing Nintendo as a potential acquisition target and Warner Bros. Games pic.twitter.com/3o8ck8K58c
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) September 19, 2023
A snippet of the email from Phil Spencer in response to Numoto reads:
“Takeshi, I totally agree that Nintendo is THE prime asset for us in gaming, and today gaming is our most likely path to consumer relevance. I’ve had numerous conversations[with the LT of Nintendo about tighter collaboration and feel like if any US company would have a chance with Nintendo we are probably in the best position.
The unfortunate (or fortunate for Nintendo) situation is that Nintendo is sitting on a big pile of cash, they have a BoD that until recently has not pushed for further increases in market growth or stock appreciation.”