Microsoft Tried to Buy Zynga Before Take-Two Interactive Acquisition

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Though Activision Blizzard’s considerable slate of successful properties – call of duty chief among them – has, of course, been a massive factor in Microsoft attempting to acquire the company, other major benefits have also been given their due consideration. For instance, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said last year that Activision’s considerable presence in the mobile gaming space – as the owner of candy Crush maker King first and foremost – has been one such factor.

In fact, Microsoft’s attempts to gain a foothold in the mobile space have preceded even its proposal to acquire Activision Blizzard. The company is currently embroiled in court proceedings against the FTC over the proposed deal, and as part of the legal battle, Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently revealed in court (via The Verge) that Microsoft spent “a lot of time” in negotiations with Zynga regarding a potential acquisition, before the mobile game company was eventually purchased by Take-Two Interactive in a deal worth $12.7 billion.

Microsoft, meanwhile, decided to go after a bigger company that would allow it to properly jumpstart its mobile efforts.

“We entered into some discussions with a company called Zynga, it ended up getting acquired by Take-Two,” Spencer said. “In the end for our opportunity, we thought we needed to have something that was even bigger than Zynga was, given our very small starting space in the mobile business.”

Plenty else has come to light courtesy of Microsoft and FTC’s legal battle in recent days, including Xbox and PC exclusivity for MachineGames’ upcoming IndianaJones title, The Elder Scrolls 6 still being over five years away from launch, Starfield’s potential PS5 exclusivity having prompted Microsoft to acquire ZeniMax, the critically panned red fall only having managed to “generate minimal sales”, and more.


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