What you need to know
- Microsoft has announced an agreement to acquire Smash.gg, bringing its online platform for esports tournaments within its gaming portfolio.
- Smash.gg offers organizers tools to handle management, payments, and analytics for tournaments, targeting both amateur and professional organizations.
Online video game events platform, Smash.gg, has announced it has entered an acquisition agreement with Microsoft. The company, rooted in tools to host and support esports events, reportedly looks to join Redmond for an undisclosed sum, further bolstering its gaming presence alongside the Xbox brand. Smash.gg announced the deal via its official website. We've reached out to Microsoft for confirmation, although it did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Headquartered in San Francisco, Smash.gg first started operations in 2015 as a platform for esports events around Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. fighting series. Its services have since expanded to other titles, although its name and presence remain closely tied to the fighting genre. Its suite of tools offers support to grassroots and professional organizers, handling management, payments, and analytics through an all-inclusive platform.
"Since we started in 2015, our goal has been to build active esports scenes around the games people love to play," Smash.gg said in a statement. "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. If you have any questions about existing tournaments please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org."
Microsoft also confirmed the news through its MSN Esports Twitter account, stating it brings "even more support and opportunities" for the organization.
It may seem like an unexpected acquisition for Microsoft, with Smash.gg best known among Super Smash Bros. communities, even down to its brand identity. But with steady expansion over half a decade, the acquisition signals further diversification with its services, stressing availability across "all game communities." And Microsoft has the portfolio to bring smash.gg to new audiences, whether the Xbox platform, its MSN eSports franchise, or even backend developer tools like Playfab.
Microsoft generally has a positive image in the gaming scene, with its Xbox platform a crucial division in its gaming efforts. But that also comes with resentment in some gaming communities, following its decision to shutter its Mixer live streaming platform earlier in 2020.
But for smash.gg it's a natural progression, with the company previously suggest the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic had impacted its bottom line. It stated "lots of conversations" were underway to maintain growth amid rumors of a closure, including "talks about acquisition or combination with services." It appears Microsoft was that ideal partner, potentially saving the platform, and placing it in the spotlight alongside its broader gaming portfolio.