Nintendo Is Not Playing The Acquisition Game

by Sage Ashford

Don’t look for Nintendo to jump into the studio-buying game anytime soon. That declaration comes from a report over at Bloomberg, where Nintendo’s current president, Shuntaro Furukawa, talked about their current stance on acquisitions: “Our brand was built upon products crafted with dedication by our employees, and having a large number of people who don’t posses Nintendo DNA in our group would not be a plus to the company.”

Undoubtedly, this response is a reaction to how, recently, both of Nintendo’s competitors in the console space have been making some major purchases. Sony previously purchased companies like Insomniac and Firesprite. Their most recent acquisition: Destiny developer Bungie. Meanwhile, Microsoft has been buying both developers and publishers for the last four years, most recently with their $68.7 billion purchase of Call of Duty and Overwatch developer Activision Blizzard.

But both Microsoft and Sony have their own reasons for bolstering their development divisions. Microsoft seeks to increase the value proposition of their Xbox Game Pass premium service, which currently has over 25 million subscribers. Sony is looking to expand the types of games they develop to reach a more diverse audience, with the company recently stating its plan to release no less than ten live service games by 2026.

Nintendo, on the other hand, has seen nothing but massive success with the Nintendo Switch, recently reporting that they’ve sold over 105 million consoles — making them the fastest developer to reach 100 million consoles sold. Meanwhile, they’ve also ranked in over $700 million in software, with their best selling game, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, having sold over 43 million copies. Buying up outside developers is not something they need to do nor a move that fits their culture. But with the current generation marked by these massive mergers and acquisitions, their position may someday change. Or, as it has since it resurrected the video game market in the 1980s, Ninetendo will go its own way.

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