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Microsoft is rumoured to be looking to buy Valve, EA and others

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The rumour mill is spinning rather quickly lately, with rumours about Microsoft apparently looking at buying Valve, EA and others.

Polygon cites a "reliable source" for this information:

Some of the names being thrown around as possible acquisitions by Microsoft are, frankly, astounding, even unthinkable. But the fact that they are doing the rounds is instructive. The most recent one we heard (from a reliable source close to Microsoft) was, in fact, Electronic Arts. We also heard a whisper about Valve and about Korean outfit PUBG Corp., which Microsoft last year signed to a timed exclusive for its hit survival shooter, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

Considering Valve has a majority grip on the PC gaming market, constant growth and quite likely more money than they know what to do with, it would obviously be a target for Microsoft. However, to me, those are also all reasons why it just wouldn't happen. On top of that, Valve is privately owned and I doubt Gabe Newell will suddenly give it all over to Microsoft.

Let's not forget how Valve has also been paying people to improve Linux gaming. Valve has people working on SDL, Mesa, SteamOS (multiple updates this year already), Virtual Reality and plenty more towards making Linux a more attractive gaming platform. There's also this recent interview with Timothee Besset from our friends at BoilingSteam which gives a little glimpse into the work Valve is doing behind the scenes for Linux gaming too. It also seems from that, the Linux port of Street Fighter V is not actually dead. It seems they have a habit of announcing things too early!

Obviously if Microsoft somehow convinced Gabe and co to sell up, Linux gaming would change significantly, but I'm telling you now—it just won't happen.

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chepati 30 January 2018 at 7:43 pm UTC
wow, interesting times, my friends. We live in very interesting times.
Kimyrielle 30 January 2018 at 7:45 pm UTC

I couldn't care less if they buy EA (one nasty big corporation buying another is a zero sum game, I guess?), but Valve would be a total blow not only to Linux gaming, but gaming entirely. Valve is borderline too powerful in the market all by itself, but with Microsoft's added muscle, their market power would be unimaginable.

The last thing this planet needs is more monopolies.

I am generally curious when the world is going to realize that unregulated wild-west markets do not work, and the economy needs meaningful competition to function... *sigh*
sub 30 January 2018 at 7:46 pm UTC
Is there any realistic estimate on the value of Valve?
Linas 30 January 2018 at 7:47 pm UTC
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I don't know. The whole Linux push from Valve could have been a play to drive a hard bargain with Microsoft. I guess we'll find out how dedicated to Linux Valve actually is soon enough.
lunix 30 January 2018 at 7:48 pm UTC
Buying steam would be anti-competitive. People know that steam targets mac and linux too and probably for this acquisition they'd get a fine and ms would be forced to split up. Remember: after the IE vs Netscape case they needed to bribe many people to survive. They can easily bribe the authorities in the US but not in the EU(except in Munich).
Anyway, if they're planning to buy a gaming company that's weird to hear - not so long ago they acted like gaming is not important for them at all. But they may have realized how that's one of the most important pillar of windows. That would explain why they want to seal PUBG...
MaCroX95 30 January 2018 at 7:55 pm UTC
Microsoft is pissing their pants because they plan to move everything to UWP and they are starting to realize that noone actually uses Windows for anything else but x86_64 legacy software and games. Also companies like EA, Ubisoft, Valve, Blizzard all have their own clients and would never agree to put things on MS's store, so we see a pretty obvious move from MS... their philosophy is everything can be done if we offer some money.

Let's just hope that companies are smart enough since MS ruined pretty much every company they've bought.

We can only hope that money won't be as appealing to Valve as freedom is, though we don't know what sums are in the game here... Valve is probably better and makes more money on their own anyway...
TemplateR 30 January 2018 at 7:59 pm UTC
If Microsoft's UWP had a Linux version, then for us Linux fans this takeover would be really interesting.
derklempner 30 January 2018 at 8:03 pm UTC
Let's not forget these are rumors, at best, and buying EA, PUBG Corp., or Valve would be a huge difference from any of their past acquisitions, including Mojang at "only" $2.5 billion. Wake me up when it's not just unfounded rumors about what people think the company should do instead of actual offers being made or buyouts occurring.
Leopard 30 January 2018 at 8:05 pm UTC
So that shows how beautiful GNU/Linux is.

No one can lockdown this system.

MS had their eyes opened wide at Windows 8 era.

MS: I'm producing this system and everythings runs on it. All software , games etc. Yet we're only selling licenses but with percentage wise ; these scumbag companies making much more money with less effort on our very own system. Our Windows is just a tool for them so if i start to unify all those services on my systems store ; i can make much more "easy" money. Let's change our way to rather than being monopol on OS wise , being monopol on services wise.

If this happens and Valve acquired by Microsoft ; i will consider to buy a PlayStation for gaming and stop gaming on pc.
qptain Nemo 30 January 2018 at 8:08 pm UTC
I'm with Liam, I just don't see Valve selling to MS. Maybe I'm naive but I don't see what people in charge have to gain from it, I'd imagine they lead comfortable enough lives in the shadow of Steam the endless money machine to be tempted to exchange all the leverage they've got for just more instant money.

Also I actually don't see what MS has to gain for the stated goal of boosting the Xbox game library from buying Valve. Valve aren't particularly productive as a game developer these days... are they literally hoping to essentially cannibalize Steam and make every new good game that was coming to Steam an Xbox exclusive instead or something?

Their desire to buy Valve is an admission of weakness, though, which pleases me.

Oh, and yeah, Sony are very smart about their exclusives.

Last edited by qptain Nemo on 30 January 2018 at 8:09 pm UTC
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