Microsoft (MSFT) finished 2018 as the world’s most valuable company, with a $779.8 billion market cap, and, while it’s difficult to predict where the stock will head in 2019, the tech giant may have tipped its hand through its M&A activity over the last 12 months.
While the company’s acquisition of GitHub for $7.5 billion was perhaps the most notable of 2018, another statistic stands out: 7 out of the 15 acquisitions made by Microsoft last year involved video game development studios.
Included in this list are PlayFab, a complete backend platform provider of services to build, launch and grow cloud-connected games; Compulsion Games, creator of We Happy Few; Undead Labs, creator of the State of Decay franchise; Playground Games, creator of the Forza racing franchise; Ninja Theory, creator of Hellblade; Obsidian Entertainment, creator of the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic series; and Inxile, creator of the Wasteland series.
If this pattern of acquisitions persists into 2019, one potential target for Microsoft could end up being Discord, the popular chat service utilized extensively by video game communities and guilds, which recently closed a $150 million fundraising round that values the company at $2.05 billion.
This idea might not be as outlandish as many would think, as the two companies are already collaborating and Microsoft has been shifting away from its hardware-focused model to digital content and streaming.
Here’s the full history of Microsoft’s 2018 M&A activity:
- November 19, 2018: FSLogix
- November 14, 2018: XOXCO
- November 10, 2018: Obsidian
- November 10, 2018: Inxile
- September 13, 2018: Lobe
- June 20, 2018: Bonsai
- June 18, 2018: Flipgrid
- June 10, 2018: Ninja Theory
- June 10, 2018: Playground Games
- June 10, 2018: Undead Labs
- June 10, 2018: Compulsion Games
- June 04, 2018 GitHub
- May 20, 2018: Semantic Machines
- January 29, 2018: PlayFab
- January 3, 2018: Avere Systems