Xbox One’s relative lack of exclusives might be a thing of the past, as Microsoft is looking into acquiring EA, according to recent reports.
Polygon stated that a “reliable source close to Microsoft” revealed that Electronic Arts has been targeted as a “possible acquisition” for Microsoft, while also mentioning Valve and PUBG Corp. as two more publishers that Microsoft is eyeing.
While an acquisition as major as EA might seem like an impossibility, Microsoft has the cash and the need for exclusives, and now that Phil Spencer has graduated from the kids table in his position as executive vice president for gaming, Microsoft seems more willing to invest in Xbox and Windows Gaming than ever before.
Scoring exclusive franchises like Madden and FIFA, not to mention Battlefield and BioWare’s upcoming titles like Anthem, would be a huge coup for Microsoft. It would also shine an interesting light on Xbox’s recent decision to release all of its first-party titles on Game Pass at launch and Spencer’s stated desire to shift Xbox to a more subscription-based service. Besides, EA is no stranger to subscription-based services and already has an existing relationship with Microsoft through Origin Access and EA Access (which has yet to come to PlayStation 4).
Spencer recently mentioned on Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb’s podcast that Xbox fans should expect some “positive changes” in its E3 2018 briefing. Announcing a major acquisition and exploding Xbox One’s library of exclusives, paired with Xbox Game Pass, would definitely be a “change,” though “positive” would remain to be seen. It would at least give Xbox fans something to brag about online and would definitely make more of an impression that simply listing off “console launch exclusives,” whatever that means.
Until then, Xbox One will still be getting first-party titles in the forms of Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2, and Crackdown 3. Fable 4 is also rumored to be under development at Forza studio Playground Games.