Xbox job ad suggests it’s not done with acquisitions

Microsoft is seeking a manager to help evaluate future acquisitions in the games industry.

The job role, which was published this weekend, seemingly indicates that the corporation isn’t finished with its recent acquisition spree, which has seen it acquire Bethesda Softworks and announce Activision Blizzard in record deals.

“The Gaming Strategy & Development team serves as the corporate strategy function for Team Xbox,” the job ad reads for ‘Manager, Gaming Strategy & Development’.

“We partner closely with the Gaming Leadership Team to identify and evaluate transformative growth opportunities. Our charter includes helping to answer Microsoft Gaming’s most challenging business questions, leading Gaming’s M&A program (eg, Activision Blizzard, ZeniMax, Double Fine, etc.), and identifying and understanding key industry dynamics.”

According to the description, the winning candidate’s responsibilities will include “supporting strategic decisions with quantitative and qualitative rigor”, identifying “key consumer / technology / business” trends and “developing and evaluating the business case for content & technology acquisitions (M&A)”.

M&A activity in the games industry hit a record $85 billion in 2021 and has been forecast to reach $150 billion this year, with huge deals such as Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard and Take-Two’s buyout of Zynga having already been announced in 2022’s opening months.

Discussing industry consolidation earlier this month, influential figure Geoff Keighley suggested more major deals could be announced sooner rather than later.

The Game Awards creator tweeted: “Have heard from multiple people: As you might suspect, there are a few other big video game deals in final stages of negotiations. It’s going to be an interesting year!”

Speaking in November, Xbox boss Phil Spencer told the Wall Street Journal that the company was “definitely not done” acquiring development studios.

“There’s no quota,” he said. “There’s no kind of timeline where I have to go acquire studios by a certain time, but if we find a studio where we have a good fit, we share what we’re trying to go do and what they’re trying to go do , and if we feel we can both get better together, absolutely.

Xbox job ad suggests it's not done with acquisitions

“It’s one of the privileges we have of being at Microsoft and having the capability to take a long-term approach, and adding amazing creators to the portfolios is an important part of that.”

On several previous occasions, Spencer has expressed a desire to acquire an Asian game developer, “in particular a Japanese studio”. Spencer has also previously said Xbox is targeting acquisitions in the causal and social gaming spaces.