While the tech acquisition landscape this week is dominated by Salesforce snapping up Slack in a move to rival Microsoft Teams, Microsoft is continuing to beef up its gaming division. The latest move to bolster Microsoft Game Studios sees the company purchase esports company Smash.gg.
Smash.gg is a platform that organizes esports events. Unfortunately, not much is known about this deal because details are short. The company simply says Microsoft's acquisition will help “strengthen our existing relationships and explore new opportunities”.
It seems Microsoft will continue to allow Smash.gg to operate independently. On the platform, users can setup their own custom esports tournaments and other game-related events.
This is not a major purchase for Microsoft, evidenced by the single tweet to confirm the deal on the MSN Esports Twitter page. Still, it continues Microsoft's all-out push to acquire new companies to add to the Xbox and wider gaming brand.
Big news everyone! @smashgg is joining us at Microsoft. Same great tournament organization features. Same amazing team. Even more support and opportunities. Get ready to play!
— MSN Esports (@MSN_Esports) December 2, 2020
Success and Failure
For example, the recent $4.5 billion deal to acquire ZeniMax Media, the company behind Bethesda. However, it is arguable Microsoft is better at buying game studios and making them successful than it is platforms.
Game studio purchases typically turn out well for the company, with Minecraft behind the obvious example. Since buying Minecraft, Microsoft has turned the title into the most popular game of all time.
However, service purchases have been more mixed, such as Beam which eventually became Microsoft Mixer. Despite throwing money at Mixer, the game streaming service has since been folded. In terms of the Smash.gg acquisition, there seems to be less risk for Microsoft because the deal was likely much smaller.