Nintendo ‘Laughed Their Asses Off’ at Microsoft’s Offer to Buy Them 20 Years Ago

Nintendo

Microsoft once tried to buy Nintendo and it didn’t go quite as planned, a recent Bloomberg feature on the creation of the original Xbox revealed.  

Not taken seriously: Microsoft’s former third-party relations director, Kevin Bachus, shared that the Japanese video game giant reportedly “just laughed their asses off” when Microsoft made the offer 20 years ago.

  • At the time, the software company was releasing its very first video game console and wanted to secure exclusive titles. 
  • Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer sent Bachus and his team to meet with Nintendo to see if they would consider being acquired.
  • “They just laughed their asses off,” Bachus shared. “Like, imagine an hour of somebody just laughing at you. That was kind of how that meeting went.”

Still no: Bloomberg’s report also revealed how Nintendo turned down Microsoft a second time when the latter tried to work out a joint venture in which Xbox would build the hardware for Nintendo games to be played on.

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  • “We actually had Nintendo in our building in January 2000 to work through the details of a joint venture where we gave them all the technical specs of the Xbox,” said the former head of business development, Bob McBreen.
  • They pitched how Sony made a better console with its PlayStation, and a partnership would give Nintendo’s gaming library better hardware on the Xbox. 
  • “The idea was, ‘Listen, you’re much better at the game portions of it with Mario and all that stuff. Why don’t you let us take care of the hardware?’ But it didn’t work out,” he said. 
  • The Bloomberg feature also mentioned how Microsoft tried and failed to purchase Square Enix, with the game developer noting how the asking price was too low.

Feature Image via PlayscopeTimeline and TheMemoriumTeam

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