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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.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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117 comments
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fractal 31 January 2018 at 10:21 am UTC
If MS paid $2.5B to buy basically a one trick pony company (I admit, a very profitable pony) in 2015, I can't imagine how much would they have to pay GAYBEN for Valve IP and their store when Valve had a net worth of $3.0B in 2012 and he alone went from $1.5B net worth in 2012 to $5.5B in 2018 according to Forbes.

In general it would have been a bad deal to tie your extremely profitable corporation to another corporation known for their reverse Midas touch regarding anything other than their flagship product and making less money off entire games on their equivalent of Steam than you make off digital hats.[/rant]
evergreen 31 January 2018 at 10:31 am UTC
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The future of pc-gaming is not decided from MS, FB, Intel, AMD, Steam... It's all in NVIDIA's hands: they have GRID, best graphic cards, best cloud gaming technology. If they decide to produce CUDA-PC/Laptops, to use Vulkan libraries and mount all on a linux distro, the others are DEAD in 1 year! Fuchsia... lol!!!


Last edited by evergreen at 31 January 2018 at 10:32 am UTC
Cyba.Cowboy 31 January 2018 at 10:53 am UTC
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Cyba.Cowboygaming is the primary business of Valve Software, and will likely be for the foreseeable future.
There was me thinking selling hats is their biggest earner







Well they did sell a lot of hats, so you never know... ;)
liju 31 January 2018 at 10:57 am UTC
fractalIf MS paid $2.5B to buy basically a one trick pony company (I admit, a very profitable pony) in 2015, I can't imagine how much would they have to pay GAYBEN for Valve IP and their store when Valve had a net worth of $3.0B in 2012 and he alone went from $1.5B net worth in 2012 to $5.5B in 2018 according to Forbes.

In general it would have been a bad deal to tie your extremely profitable corporation to another corporation known for their reverse Midas touch regarding anything other than their flagship product and making less money off entire games on their equivalent of Steam than you make off digital hats.[/rant]

I hope one day we can see the option for Valve to buy M$. How cool that would be (would it be?)? If the pace of earning compared to spending is faster for Valve than M$ then at some point in time it could happen ( : Its difficult to even imagine the consequences.

Anyway - I also do not believe this gossip. If it comes from M$ itself, means they are really doing worse and worse in all terms.
Scoopta 31 January 2018 at 11:06 am UTC
evergreenThe future of pc-gaming is not decided from MS, FB, Intel, AMD, Steam... It's all in NVIDIA's hands: they have GRID, best graphic cards, best cloud gaming technology. If they decide to produce CUDA-PC/Laptops, to use Vulkan libraries and mount all on a linux distro, the others are DEAD in 1 year! Fuchsia... lol!!!
...you sound like a real freedom loving person XD.
wleoncio 31 January 2018 at 11:25 am UTC
fractalGAYBEN

LOL, WTF was that about? XD
appetrosyan 31 January 2018 at 11:57 am UTC
Don't know about Valve, but Microsoft may very well look into EA, and ZeniMax.

MS need to make a shift away from Win32 to UWP, and since it's quite frankly as difficult as porting to Linux, they need to have compelling exclusives. EA is probably their best bet, as they've already worked with UWP games (such as PvZ). EA, being a huge company, would benefit from exclusive access to the backend source code (since they can produce better optimised games).

ZeniMax, probably not as likely, but still possible. And it would also explain quite a few things: like the reluctance to publish on competing platforms. Vulkan and OpenGL development is kind of hard to explain, but it will hardly cause any problems down the line.
appetrosyan 31 January 2018 at 12:17 pm UTC
Shmerl
tmtvlMicrosoft have proven themselves to be rather decent towards Linux as of late.

Not towards Vulkan though, which reflects the sick lock-in mindset of their gaming branch.

tmtvlThey also haven't blocked Minecraft from opposing platforms, so I don't think there's much to worry about no matter who they decide to buy out.

The only reason Minecraft wasn't borked is the fact that it already worked for Linux, so they didn't want to make their reputation even worse than it is now by axing it.

I think that is an oversimplification. The reason why Microsoft is playing nice with competing platforms is twofold.

For one they have the maximum market share on Desktop, and virtually all of it is habitual. I'm not only talking about Windows, they acquired Skype, and support their OS X and Linux clients reasonably well. Why? Because most people have synonimised Skype with free internet video calls, much like Copiers are synonimised with Xerox, or google with searching. It makes no sense to shoot themselves in the foot and cut their own profits.

Secondly I should quote that Microsoft is primarily interested in controlling the market. The reason why they support ubuntu on windows, is because that gives them extra leverage in a market they can't access conventionally. The entire point of this exercise is to proliferate everywhere they can, and compete wherever they can. They rarely ever have the best tool for the job, but they have always been ubiquitous. What would they gain from reabsorbing the Linux and Mac OS market share that they couldn't have gained without? Now that they're contributing to Linux kernel they get to pressure the foundation to do what they need.

Even if they acquired Valve, they wouldn't change much: the Linux ports we used to have will still be available and be stably made. Except everything that went into funding their competitors, now pays them a cut. Get the same effect, both venturing minimum effort and bearing none of the risks. They'd be insane to change anything, right now.
Mountain Man 31 January 2018 at 1:50 pm UTC
QuoteObviously if Microsoft somehow convinced Gabe and co to sell up, Linux gaming would change significantly...
"Change significantly" is an understatement. It would cease to be. Microsoft would kill all support for Linux gaming and force all developers to support Windows exclusively.
Mohandevir 31 January 2018 at 2:02 pm UTC
Microsoft wants to buy Valve... Probably a "courteous call" to gauge the interest and possibility, only. "The worst that may happen is a -No!" and it's probably what happened. Still, they made "the call" and are free to spread the FUD. Pure Microsoft strategy.

Still, it's logical for Microsoft to try... Imagine if Gaben was "foolish" enough to acccept... It would permit them to make Steam incompatible with Win7 & Win8, upgrade it so it gets locked to UWP and then start to dissolve it, over time, into the uwp. As a bonus, they put their filty hands on Valve's games ips and do wathever they will with it. It would be a glorious win on all boards, for Microsoft!

Edit: At least, Valve and "Lord Gaben" are now aware that Microsoft is looking to "up their game" and that the statu-quo is about to change. They should get ready accordingly.


Last edited by Mohandevir at 31 January 2018 at 3:12 pm UTC
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