Just when you think that the purchase of Bethesda by Xbox was something new, we must remind you that it is an activity that has been going on for several years, we can even say that it dates back to its origins and at the time it began with Square and Midway, the studio in charge of Mortal Kombat.


All this comes up because November 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the launch of the original Xbox and those involved in the project remembered how hard it was to create the brand from the moment Microsoft decided to fully enter the subject of video games.

Bob McBreen, head of business development, said in a recent interview that Microsoft tried to buy Square in early November 1999. “We had one of those big dinners with its CEO and Steve Ballmer,” McBreen said.

“The next day, we were sitting in his boardroom and they said,” Our banker would like to make a statement. ” And basically, the banker said, “Square can’t go through with this deal because the price is too low.” We packed up, went home, and that was the end of Square. ‘

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It is worth noting that at least Xbox tried it and that perhaps the price for the Japanese company was low, especially since they were dragging the successes of the last three Final Fantasy.



Nintendo, EA and Square had already said no to Microsoft to join the Xbox project, however, that does not mean that there was no more company in the sights of the North American giant.

“We were talking to Midway to acquire them,” said Kevin Bachus, Xbox’s director of third-party relations. “They were taking their desire to be acquired very seriously, but we couldn’t figure out how to make it work because we would immediately take them out of the PlayStation business, and we didn’t need their sales and marketing group, so it left us without much value.”

While Xbox couldn’t get hold of studios like Midway or Square, Tecmo and Konami immediately supported them and jumped on Microsoft’s console ship. To that we must add that the best partnership they had was that of Bungie, who left them to the successful Halo which, to date, continues to deliver very good sales numbers.


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