We know that Microsoft has been investing heavily in gaming companies and hardware during 2020. The company announced earlier this year that they would be acquiring Bethesda for more than $7 billion and today, they are announcing the acquisition of another company, Smash.gg.
So what is Smash.GG? This is a community-driven esports platform that focuses on growing competitive communities. Posted as an announcement on the company’s website today, Microsoft is acquiring the company for an undisclosed sum:
Since we started in 2015, our goal has been to build active esports scenes around the games people love to play. Today we’re excited to take the next step in that journey by joining Microsoft to help strengthen our existing relationships and explore new opportunities. Smash.gg will continue as a self-service esports platform available to tournament organizers from all game communities.
Smash.GG is an online platform that makes it easy to create and organize esports events. While we don’t know the exact reason why Microsoft is buying this company, one thing is clear, Microsoft sees a future for esports and wants to be part of the action. And considering in 2020 esports is expected to generate revenues of around a billion dollars (PDF), this is a potential big bet for Microsoft.
[Update] Microsoft says that this asset will be used to help build out content on MSN and at this time, it is not being integrated or included with Xbox content and services.
Esports has been growing in popularity and while it may not be ‘mainstream’ quite yet, the segment is growing rapidly with popular titles offering millions of dollars in prize money for top tournaments. With Smash.GG joining the Xbox portfolio, it’s clear that Microsoft is planning to venture deeper into this segment.