Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard

https://news.microsoft.com/2022/01/18/microsoft-to-acquire-activision-blizzard-to-bring-the-joy-and-community-of-gaming-to-everyone-across-every-device/

I know this forum is probably not the target demo for Activision/Blizzard games (?), but this is huge news.

Any guesses on what Sony should do? Or what this will mean for the industry?

All I can think about is how Microsoft came and massively rewarded the absolute worst behavior in the industry right in the middle of everyone trying to punish it. Incredibly frustrating, and that‘s without speaking anything to Microsoft’s exponentially growing monopoly over major third-party developers. Plus that weird footnote about “providing building blocks in the metaverse”… There's nothing about this acquisition that gives me any hope for anything at all.

As a non-native English speaker, my main takeaway from this is « Xbox chief is reevaluating relationship with Activision following latest misconduct revelations » was meant to be understood way more literally than I thought.

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@“ukigusa”#p54300 I know this forum is probably not the target demo for Activision/Blizzard games

there's probably a couple of The Lost Vikings fans in here, at least!

...this news makes me sad. Maybe it upsets me, I'm not sure yet.

@“chazumaru”#p54308 wow, I completely forgot about that. They’re really swooping in at a weak time for the company.

I can’t see too many ways that this will actually be positive for the general consumer in the long run. Sony simply can’t compete financially.

@“chazumaru”#p54308 I didn‘t get super excited by Phil Spencer’s sudden outburst of apparent ethical conscience couple of weeks ago, with him critizising NFTs, supporting emulation and also this because I knew there would be some nonsense happening soonish rather than later. Certainly didn't expect it to be this nonsense but ¯\ (ツ)

https://twitter.com/VGC_News/status/1483435745096474624

Add this to the equation and I'm instantly zoning out of the whole story. By the way, Windjammers 2 is releasing the day after tomorrow and it'd be cool to have some games going, any fellow IC members that are planning to play that?

I thought the “Phil Spencer is the only cool person in AAA games” take had a funny smell to it.

Turns out CEO billionaires are always bad. Always always bad bad.

Morality aside (surprise: multibillion-dollar corps don’t have any), I gotta say I’m amused by the, as the kids would say, big-dickery of this move. Genuinely not sure how this doesn’t take a huge bite out of PlayStation’s market. CoD may not be the singular ultra-blockbuster brand it used to be, but it’s still one of the premier console titles right?

The outcome I really hope _doesn’t_ come out of this is Sony trying to buy up big Japanese publishers in an arms race. Partly because competitive diversity is important, but mainly because I just want to play every game on my Switch.

There‘s no way that games will be Microsoft + PC exclusive at that amount of money being spent. Coupled with Game Pass already being a loss leader they’d have to make their money elsewhere. Hardware sales are finite so the next thing to do is to publish on other platforms where they can actually make money from Sony and Nintendo customers as a publisher.

@“2501”#p54337 I am worried about this. What stops Sony from buying Square Enix, Bandai Namco, or Konami? Other than I guess maybe them not wanting to be bought. I'm pretty sad that console exclusivity might actually get worse, rather than better going forward. Especially when these consoles now all cost $500+ a pop.

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@“ukigusa”#p54300 I know this forum is probably not the target demo for Activision/Blizzard games (?)

Well… personally I still enjoy the occasional round of _CoD Zombies_ or co-op missions, and I’ll buy remastered versions of the original Infinity Ward games probably any number of times. (Speaking of which Microsoft _did_ do an exceptionally good job updating _CoD2_ for Xbox One.) I’m also tentatively, mildly curious about _Diablo IV_ if the eventual release includes local co-op and isn’t, y’know, bad.

I was already heavily leaning toward a Series X over a PS5 if I even bother with a next-gen console: Sony no longer has any exclusives I care about (_MGS_ is dead, Team Ico is gone, and I’ve had my fill of Naughty Dog) while Microsoft has a few, not to mention a bigger focus on couch multiplayer in their own tutles which is a big deal to me. Honestly though I’ve barely played anything but my Switch since mid-2020, and would much rather get an upgraded version of that… any time now, Nintendo. It’s just so much easier and less stressful to start and finish games knowing I’m not restricted to one physical spot for an entire playthrough if I ever want to see the end, and I’m not sure I can ever go back.

Anyway, kinda seems like Acti-Blizz were on a downward slope even before the big scandal hit, tbh: the Blizzard side was getting bad press for putting out botched remakes of its classic titles and capitulating to Chinese censorship, while the Activision side was trying to cope with the realization that the _CoD_ bubble finally burst while all its other properties were run into the ground years ago. The company’s IPs are still valuable, but confidence in its leadership was clearly declining even before it made the pages of the _Wall Street Journal_. I’m kinda surprised Microsoft isn’t ditching Kotick considering they have the perfect excuse, but I guess he’s a tricky bastard and probably knows his way around a negotiating table.

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@“JoJoestar”#p54317 any fellow IC members that are planning to play that?

I'll definitely be windjamming in a couple of days

@“fridgeboy”#p54341 Well, these are very different propositions. In theory, Bandai Namco would be much harder to buy than Konami or Square Enix (which would be harder to buy than Sega or Capcom). Sony has invested into Squaresoft and then Square Enix in the past. They sold their shares in 2014. Nintendo presently owns a little below 1.75% of Bandai Namco.

Sony has indicated several times that they are looking to acquire more companies, including in Asia, so I don’t think whatever they do would necessarily be in direct response to Microsoft buying ABK. Sony probably wouldn’t even have been able to be part of the conversation for a company bought straight up for $68.5B so it’s not like they’d be making up for it.

@“LeFish”#p54339 This is something they already do in a limited capacity, i.e. with Minecraft and a couple XBLA games like Cuphead. I will be interested to see if they do this going forward with major console releases, of which they’ll now have several. No major Bethesda titles (as far as I can remember) have been announced for release since the buyout, so it’s anyone’s guess whether, say, Elder Scrolls VI will be an Xbox/Windows exclusive, or timed exclusive, or what exactly. Outer Worlds 2 was announced as a Microsoft exclusive though, wasn’t it?

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@“chazumaru”#p54348 They sold their shares in 2014.

I knew Sony owned shares in SquEnix; didn’t know they sold them! PS4 is obviously still their primary development platform for big-budget console titles and they’re semi-unique among big publishers in their general indifference to Xbox. I assumed some kind of Sony partnership was the reason for _FF7R_ being a timed PS4 exclusive, for example.

@“JoJoestar”#p54317 I know that the following statement is not particularly brave, or impactful, but fuck this guy.

Frank has a Good Take on this:

https://twitter.com/frankcifaldi/status/1483467368860844034?s=20

I was hoping that this would be the end of him actively hurting other humans and the games industry. It would be easy to just say, "yeah, seeya, thanks for the discount on the deal thanks to your bad behavior", if you are Satya Nadella (CEO of Microsoft). I still harbor some kind of hope that he'll be gone in 12 months or whenever his MS shares vest as part of the deal. This is the part that leaves the worst taste in my mouth about it.

Insert Credit-adjacent pro-follow Khalief Adams' (Brandon - get him on the podcast, he rules and you probably actually know him!) take is here:

https://twitter.com/KahliefAdams/status/1483498443368644608?s=20

Khalief Adams is also a vocal proponent and fan of Game Pass. I think he's right about it being a superb value for "most" game-touchers. The thing is, I think the Insert Credit demographic is not most game-touchers. I dunno if say Christine Love, or Necrosoft, or Action Button, or Maddy Makes Games, or even say medium sized groups like whomever is going to publish the next R-Type or the next Ancient Software game are going to be able to compete with "but Call of Duty is free!"

I agree with the various people above that this will likely drive ever more consolidation of this industry and ultimately harm smaller creators that this forum disproportionately likes.

@“JoJoestar”#p54317 WSJ sources are actually now saying that Kotick is out after the deal closes.

@“sabertoothalex”#p54360 I guess we'll need to see how things evolve for the next couple of days/weeks then.

It's of no consequence to the thread but I have been referring to Kotick as Bobby Bollock for about 20ish years and that will not change whether he stays or goes.

@“sabertoothalex”#p54360 Money Never Sleeps