Let’s be honest, when Forbes covers anything video game related it feels as if you’re being handed down outdated gold-making tips from politicians who, just yesterday, proclaimed the Pandaren as the leading cause behind hand-to-hand combat-related incidents in US kindergartens. While some developers see making Forbes’ video game newswire a thing to shout to their followers, it’s games industry reporting is truly a muddled, disconnected, and ultimately confusing mess of information. Case in point: the massive amount of “Microsoft should sell Xbox” spam that’s been flooding my RSS and Twitter feeds as of late.
Adam Hartung’s “Microsoft Still Can’t Find Its Future. Is It Too Late for the Company?” has become a highly debated topic over the last few days, with the debate largely based upon an article filled with more misinformation than a WarZ press release. Not only does Hartung’s article completely go against Forbes’ previous piece “With Personal Electronics, Xbox is Microsoft’s Ace-in-Hole“, touting the Xbox as Microsoft’s main differentiator (and savior), but his recommendation that the company sells its entertainment division to the likes of Sony or Barnes & Noble must be derivative of knowledge that can only be gleaned from the airwaves while wearing one’s own level 90 Tinfoil Hat.
I’m not making this up… see for yourself in all its blockquote glory
The entertainment division could be spun off, sold to someone like Sony or possibly Barnes & Noble, or dramatically reduced in size. Unable to make a profit it will increasingly be seen as a distraction to the battle for saving Windows, and Microsoft leadership has long shown it doesn’t know how to profitably grow this business unit.
So let’s take this golden nugget of wisdom handed down to us and really dig into what’s being suggested here.
1. Sell to Sony.
Sony Entertainment, who recently posted one of their best quarters financially by netting a loss of $198 million (hey kids, it’s $114 million dollars less than the previous quarter!) is definitely in the position to start buying up competing companies. Sony needs a beer and a hail mary pass to the next generation of consoles, not a Xbox division.
2. Sell to Barnes & Noble.
In May of 2012, Microsoft pledged $605 million to B&N in an effort to help the book company stabilize and move forward in the highly competitive ebook marketplace. Well, that and to make sure the Nook division pushes out a Windows based device by owning 17% chunk of the subsidiary. So wouldn’t that be the equivalent of Barnes & Noble purchasing Xbox with Microsoft’s own money?
3. Downsize the “distraction” and focus on Windows.
It’s the perfect plan: fire the employees of one of our most innovative divisions in recent history, with nearly a 50% market share, in an effort to have our unimaginative leaders focus on an operating system for PCs.
New plan: don’t listen to Forbes, at all, replace leaders with visionaries, save jobs, make the gaming industry a better place.
Carelessly handing over a division, or writing a “call to action” filled with misinformation on Forbes suggesting such, can have a tremendous economic impact and far reaching implications. No matter how divided the gaming community may be in the battle for which system is best, they understand how important competition and innovation is to the games industry. They don’t want a brick and mortar bookstore behind their system, and they don’t want people who are better suited peddling an OS to businesses making key decisions with their free time.
Most of all, they don’t want Forbes or uninformed stockholders playing games with their games.
Now about those gold-making tips…