Microsoft didn’t aquire SEGA due to lack of ‘muscle’

Right now Microsoft is a big player in the game console race, but a decade ago they weren’t in the same position as they are now. Like a bad stereotype, before Microsoft entered the market with the Xbox, there were tons of rumors about them purchasing a gaming company, and one of those comapnies was SEGA.

So why didn’t Microsoft ever pick up SEGA? Well, according to then-CEO Bill Gates, he thought that the house of Sonic lacked the ‘muscle’ to compete with a company like Sony. This is what Joachim Kempin, who worked at Microsoft from 1983 to 2003, had to say:

“There were three companies at that point in time, I think this was [Sony,] Sega and Nintendo. There was always talk maybe we buy Sega or something like that; that never materialized, but we were actually able to license them what they call Windows CE, the younger brother of Windows, to run on their system and make that their platform. But for Bill [Gates] this wasn’t enough, he didn’t think that Sega had enough muscle to eventually stop Sony so we did our own Xbox thing.”

He did state that SEGA was “a very different bird” which we can all agree. But its not like they hated everything SEGA did, I mean, they did put the Xbox in the hands of Dreamcast era SEGA COO Peter Moore.


6 responses to “Microsoft didn’t aquire SEGA due to lack of ‘muscle’

  1. Mengels7 says:

    While it might have helped them in Japan, they’ve certainly done far better here in the North America than they would have with Sega.

    • George says:

      I think the best thing they could have done was still do their Microsoft Studio stuff and have SEGA do their thing. More games that target everyone (SEGA = Weird and Japanese. Moscot games. Mass appeal to younger crowd) (Microsoft = OMG HARDCORE PC SHOOTER GEARS ETC)

      I think franchises like Sonic the Hedgehog, Billy Hatcher and mash up games like All-Stars Racing would do very very well with a big marketing budget that Microsoft has. I think they would do well world wide. Nintendo big even. With the right marketing of course.

    • Betablocker says:

      That is a stupid thing to say since they employed so many former Dreamcast executives from America, Peter Moore is just the tip off the ice berg.

    • George says:

      I think what they mean’t is that their franchises aren’t worth buying a whole company. It would be a TON of trouble. Especially since their Japanese. It’s cheaper to hire people that work at a studio then buying a company.

      I think they see it as a brand, SEGA name wasn’t worth the cash. Opinions, to me I love the SEGA brand. But then again, I’m bias lol.

    • Betablocker says:

      My response was to Mengels. I completely understand that Sega was a very diverse company back in the year and had a very different corporate culture as well. Japanese companies had a hard time merging with them.

  2. Ben says:

    Microsoft hasn’t been so great at marketing family-friendly titles….well, till the Kinect came along.

    They let Rare’s Banjo Kazooie and Viva Pinata, not to mention Kameo, bomb. It’s tough to say if they’d be able to find success with Sonic.

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