Microsoft is eyeing up the acquisition of EA, Valve, or PUBG Corp, Polygon sources say.
Polygon's Colin Campbell reports that the Xbox creator is looking to bolster its suite of first-party studios, and that it has the cash – at least US$130 billion – to do so.
By contrast, the market value of EA is about US$35 billion.
Four analysts Campbell spoke to all believe studio acquisitions are the best way for Microsoft to close the gap on Sony when it comes to exclusive games.
"Because of where we are in the lifecycle of all these things, I’m expecting to hear Microsoft announce something very, very shortly," said SuperData Research CEO Joost van Dreunen.
Sony has 15 first-party studios from which God of War, The Last of Us Part II, Dreams, Days Gone, and a Shadow of the Colossus remake will emerge this year.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has six first-party studios, from which Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2, and Crackdown 3 will release in 2018.
Microsoft acquired Minecraft maker Mojang in 2014, Lionhead in 2007 (which it closed in 2016), Rare in 2002, and Bungie in 2000.
It also hasn't had a great run with exclusive releases: both PlatinumGames’ Scalebound and Lionhead’s Fable Legends were cancelled in the last two years.
Here's Twitter user Nibel's take on the situation (which won't embed for some reason – sorry Nibel):