Nintendo and Microsoft are very buddy-buddy nowadays, with the two companies working closely to release games on Switch, share some online interactions, and pave the way for future partnerships. In a newly-discovered legal document, this could all be considered a part of Microsoft’s ‘long-game’ to merge with, if not acquire Nintendo.

In an Xbox email from 2020, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer talked about the company’s desire to merge with, or acquire Nintendo to further their place in the game industry. According to Spencer, Nintendo was seen as the ‘prime asset’ for Microsoft to go after to achieve their goal, and they felt if any U.S. company could make it happen, it would be them.

Spencer goes on to talk about how the potential deal could come about, but acknowledged there were hurdles in the way as well. Along with that, Spencer notes that not going with ‘hostile action’ to snag Nintendo would be a good move, and the company would continue to play the long game by discussing the matter, working with Nintendo and looking for opportunities.

As we’re now in 2023, it’s clear Microsoft still hasn’t achieved their goal of bringing Nintendo under their umbrella. It’s tough to say if Microsoft would still have interest in folding Nintendo into their umbrella of companies, but if Microsoft was willing to play the long game back in 2020 and their position in gaming has only fallen since then, you’d have to imagine they’d still love a chance to secure Nintendo.

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Comments (11)


10M ago

I imagine Sony or Google or Apple or Tencent would love to do the same, so I'm not really bothered by what he said, even though a lot probably are.

No regulator on Earth would allow it as things stand now.

That and seeing how Nintendo is an important part in Japan, the government will take even more care that such a thing shouldn't happen.


10M ago

This article contains an error, it says that he thought a hostile action would be a good move. I do not like the idea of Microsoft acquiring Nintendo, what Phil Spencer said was "Without that catalyst I don’t see an angle to a near term mutually agreeable merger of Nintendo and Microsoft, and I don’t think a hostile action would be a good move so we’re playing the long game. But our Board of Directors has seen the full writeup on Nintendo and Valve and they are fully supportive on either if opportunity arises, as am I."


10M ago

It's cute that Phil Spencer thinks Nintendos future exists off their own hardware when Phil can barely manage to sell his own hardware compared to Nintendo.


10M ago

Thinking about Nintendo changing to suit Microsoft's style and needs makes my blood curdle.


10M ago


If I read Phil Spencer’s full statement, he said “I DON’T think a hostile action would be a good move”. Looks like the story here suggests the opposite?


10M ago

I'm a little wary about Nintendo retooling as an "entertainment company," but they'll still be Nintendo as long as they're independent. If anything like this happens, it really will be the end of a 40+ year gaming dynasty.

Damn you, corporate consolidation. This is, in a very real way, why we can't have nice things.

cheesus 2

10M ago

How about Microsoft selling Ninte do rights to use Rareware


10M ago

And I once seriously considered purchasing Disney but then remembered that even the idea sounded stupid. Basically the same story as this.


10M ago

Please don't allow the scum to buy Nintendo


10M ago

What a joke! I mean, the Xbix department from MS looks more and more like the analogy I have used several times before and here we go again:
Xbox is like the very rich and uncreative kid that no one really likes, but they get "friends" with having "cool stuff".

It's sad since they really dis damn good in the 360 era, but now they have muscle(money) but can't fight (uncreative ,as mentioned).

"Project Platinum" is another scary thing. If they truly acquire Plat I'm out.

Oh well, time will tell.