News Profit's Takes

Does Microsft Want To Invest In An Indian Company?

According to sources that spoke to TechCrunch, Microsoft has recently had conversations to invest in the Indian play-to-earn gaming platform Zupee. These discussions could also reportedly see Microsoft lead a $100+ million funding round for Zupee.

TechCrunch‘s sources are saying that an agreement has not been reached between the two sides and there is “a reasonable chance” the deal doesn’t come to fruition. A person familiar with the details of this proposed deal said that a team within Microsoft has expressed apprehension about the company moving into the betting space. As a result, the team urged Microsoft to steer away from the deal.

At this time, Microsoft has not responded to a request for comment. Meanwhile, Zupee declined to comment on the potential deal.

Zupee is a cloud-based casual gaming platform headquartered in New Delhi. To date, the organization has raised over $120 million giving it a $600 million valuation. Zupee reports that its games have been downloaded over 70 million times.

The Profit‘s Take:

I haven’t seen Microsoft do anything that big in the Indian gaming space so far. Also, this is a play-to-earn gaming platform, and I don’t think Microsoft has done a big P2E deal yet, either. Microsoft’s strategy has felt consistent so far. They’re buying up AAA publishers and established IPs for large sums of money. Then, they use the newly acquired assets to bring more people to Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft hasn’t specifically said that’s their plan, but that’s what the strategy feels like. That’s why this story is so interesting. This move feels out of line with that plan unless you believe this is a funnel for AAA games and Xbox Game Pass also. Maybe Microsoft sees something here, and they believe the Indian market will move towards AAA gaming soon. I’m trying to make this fit with what I believed was Microsoft’s strategy, but I’m having a hard time with it. Microsoft may think that you can crack the P2E world by providing more AAA experiences and a common platform. If you bring Web3 to Game Pass, then every game in the Microsoft portfolio will offer the same token. By having all of this IP under one roof, then Microsoft is better positioned than anybody else to do play-to-earn gaming. I think we need to stop using these buzzwords like play-to-earn or Web3. Just tell people you can earn money or valuable tokens by playing video games. I still don’t know where they’re going with this, but it’s fascinating, nonetheless. Play-to-earn is certainly a real thing and can be a force in our industry. I just don’t know if it can succeed long-term in its current form.

(All information was provided by TechCrunch and Yahoo! Finance)

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