Nintendo executives reportedly laughed at Microsoft’s proposal to purchase the Japanese video game company 21 years ago.
Reported by Bloomberg, Microsoft’s journey into video games saw the company attempt to acquire multiple high-profile video game companies such as EA. In a brazen move, Microsoft attempted to acquire Nintendo but the move was quickly laughed out by the company.
In the report, head of business development at Microsoft Bob McBreen said: “The first company we reached out to buy was EA. They said, “No, thanks,” and then Nintendo.”
In a meeting with a small number of Microsoft and Nintendo employees, Steve Ballmer explained to the Japanese company that they would be interested in acquiring them.
“They just laughed their asses off,” said director of third-party relations, Kevin Bachus. “Like, imagine an hour of somebody just laughing at you. That was kind of how that meeting went.”
After being laughed away by Nintendo, Microsoft moved their efforts to other successful companies. Square (now Square Enix) and Midway Games both turned down offers, but Halo developer Bungie agreed to Microsoft’s proposal. Bungie eventually departed from Microsoft in 2007.
Microsoft’s current acquisitions are going far smoother with no currently reported executives laughing away their proposals. In recent years, the company has acquired multiple development studios including Obsidian Entertainment, Ninja Theory, Double Fine and more.
Microsoft’s largest video game acquisition is still ongoing with the company poised to put down $7.5 billion for Zenimax Media and all of its subsidiaries.