Recently, it seems like Microsoft and Sony are on purchasing sprees. Could either company look to buy Nintendo next? Believe it or not, Microsoft tried a long time ago, and Nintendo didn’t even consider it.
Nintendo seems too large to be sold; it’s one of the three pillars of the video game industry. But Activision Blizzard also seemed too large, seeing as it’s one of the largest video game publishers. That didn’t stop Microsoft from shelling out $67.8 billion for it.
Sony responded by buying Bungie, creators of Halo and Destiny.
Those are two massive video game companies sold in a very short time. That made us think about Nintendo. Sure, Nintendo makes one of the three major consoles, but could Microsoft or Sony throw an offer at Nintendo large enough to seduce it to sell?
Well, Bloomberg published a fascinating history on the creation of the original Xbox, and in it, there’s a story about Microsoft attempting to acquire Nintendo 20 years ago. Nintendo simply laughed at Microsoft, showing that the company wouldn’t even consider being sold.
However, 20 years is a long time. Is Nintendo currently too large to sell? Now, Nintendo has a $57.93 billion market cap. That means Nintendo is actually smaller than Activision Blizzard, which has a market cap of $61.56 billion. Even if Nintendo sold for more than its market cap (as Activision Blizzard did), the company would still sell for somewhere in the $60 billion range, which Microsoft has shown isn’t out of reach.
Of course, Nintendo is actually in a better position than it was all those years ago. The meeting with Nintendo happened in January 2000, right before Nintendo released the GameCube and at the end of the Nintendo 64 lifecycle.
To put where Nintendo is into perspective, the Nintendo 64 sold 32.93 million in its lifetime, while the Nintendo Switch has already sold 92.87 million units.
If Nintendo laughed at Microsoft then, how would the company react now?