Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer would very much like to buy Nintendo one day. In an August 2020 email to two senior Microsoft marketing executives, Spencer wrote that “Nintendo is THE biggest asset for us in gaming” and that “acquiring Nintendo would be a career moment and I honestly think it would be a good move.” for both companies.
The emails were revealed as part of a tranche of leaked documents from the FTC v. Microsoft lawsuit. One executive, Takeshi Numoto, asked Spencer and Chris Capossela in an email titled “random thought” about why Microsoft doesn’t find acquisition targets like Nintendo a “more attractive” way to “increase our consumer exposure and relevance.” . (At the time, Microsoft was in talks to acquire TikTok and Numoto didn’t think it was the best option.)
“I have had numerous conversations with Nintendo’s LT about closer collaboration and feel that if any American company had a chance with Nintendo, we are probably in the best position,” Spencer wrote, where “LT” is presumably an abbreviation for leadership team. . . She added that Microsoft’s board of directors “has seen the entire article about Nintendo (and Valve) and, like me, fully supports them if the opportunity arises.” Spencer also shared that the company was in “pretty active M&A discussions” around ZeniMax Media (which resulted in a deal that was announced a month later) and Warner Brothers Interactive (which fell through).