Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard

I also wanna say in a way it’s kind of Insert Credit’s fault I’ve ever bought any Bobby Kotick game at all, because if it hadn’t been for Tim’s glowing Action Button review of CoD4 back in the day I never would’ve given that series a second look…

Some scattered thoughts:

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    overall, this is bad for the industry. consolidation of this scale is never a good sign, and continues us along our march toward the current film model of netflix/hulu/disney/amazon prime being the only places creators can sign anything.

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    I would not be surprised if MS still allows activision to release games multiplatform. Microsoft has been pretty vocal about wanting games to be cross-platform and this could be the start of that. Like if Sony wants CoD they have to allow cross-platform play now, that kind of thing.

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    I feel like the sony of today will actually buy a company in response to this but it'll be somebody ridiculous. Sony doesn't have the money MS does but Sega is in a bit of a vulnerable position now so... (that's pretty unlikely - if I were sony I'd try to buy embracer group, the consolidation mavens of europe)

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    the available business models for game developers has been shrinking fast. It used to be you just sold your game, or publishers or platforms gave you money. But now the only guarantee of money is selling to subscription services, and publishers and platforms both funnel you into that as a result. Releasing little arcadey experiences like Gunsport will likely never be a sustainable model for us on its own, which sucks. In general I'm incredibly worried about the future, and what maintaining a game company looks like even in the next 5 years. I can't think about it too long or I'll freak out. I don't really want to make games for twitch, or games as a service, either. We have a bigger game down the pipeline here but if it doesn't sell like gangbusters... I really don't know what I do after that! Because if you don't have A Hit before the big subscription consolidation comes, you're in real trouble.

  • I am of course opposed to all this eating of big fish by huge fish, but if it must keep happening then man I wish they’d buy somebody good.

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    @“exodus”#p54402 embracer group

    These are the Koch Media guys, right? Koch already handles like 60-75% of game distribution here in Spain and it's been an absolute pain in the ass dealing with them these last couple of years. They are in charge just on the top of my head of Capcom, Squenix, Sega, SNK, Techland, Crytek, Starbreeze, 4A, Volition and yes, Activision. It's so bad that if for whatever random nonsense you get on their bad side you instantly lose access to game coverage of more than half of the big budget mainstream space, and a big chunk of the AA and indie space as well. If all of that was transferred to Sony I can't even imagine the nightmare, it would be a lot worse than this one on the European space I feel.

    It’s really hard to see this in any positive light. I’m not much of a fan of MS nor Activision Blizzard’s IPs. There’s simply no way this level of consolidation will lead to anything positive.

    Is the culture within MS’s owned game studios better than within Activision Blizzards? Will new ownership improve the unbelievably toxic environment? Even if Bobbly Bollock leaves? Doubt it.

    Thanks @LeFish for the incredible nickname

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    @“rejj”#p54311 this news makes me sad. Maybe it upsets me, I’m not sure yet.

    A few hours later and I’ve decided: it upsets me

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    @“exodus”#p54402 I feel like the sony of today will actually buy a company in response to this but it’ll be somebody ridiculous. Sony doesn’t have the money MS does but Sega is in a bit of a vulnerable position now so… (that’s pretty unlikely - if I were sony I’d try to buy embracer group, the consolidation mavens of europe)

    Yeah I feel like the Sony of today is unlikely to buy any Japanese company... which leads me to the horrifying thought that MS could actually buy Sega if they want?? Oh no why did I even type that

    now I understand why they rejected my $1B offer. I just wanted to make starcraft 3

    @“wickedcestus”#p54432 You‘ll get em’ next time, champ

    @“Syzygy”#p54415 This would make sense, considering my brother - very much in the “frat bro” demographic - switched over from yearly CoD releases to Warzone a couple years back.

    Also if anyone’s gonna buy Sega it’s clearly Nintendo, duh

    @“wickedcestus”#p54432

    I have been chuckling to myself every time I see that image touting StarCraft as a flagship property. Dudes, it’s been the same 12 years from StarCraft 1998 to StarCraft II in 2010 than from StarCraft II to now in 2022 with no news about any StarCraft game in active development. And I say that as a regular player of Heroes of the Storm today which is the most recent game released in the SCII engine and architecture.

    @“antillese”#p54442 i had the exact same reaction. SC2 wasn‘t done as dirty as heroes of the storm but definitely hasn’t been a priority at Blizzard for a while now. At this point, if there is a StarCraft 3 it won‘t look anything like the previous ones. Thankfully SC2 esports has basically stabilized itself thanks to third-party support, so I don’t mind too much.

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    @“2501”#p54352 I assumed some kind of Sony partnership was the reason for FF7R being a timed PS4 exclusive, for example.

    Well, it stands to reason that there is some form of business partnership between Sony and Square Enix for all the exclusive PS5 games, like there was a deal between MS and Namco in the early years of Xbox 360.

    Problem for Sony is I think they want to get game studios, not entire structures that they would then need to reform. I think Sony for instance would be more interested to acquire Dimps or Arc System Works than the entirety of Square Enix, from whom they can just as well secure titles with their current business partnership.

    What I could see on the other hand is Sony investing directly in more publishers such as Square Enix and Bandai Namco in order to prevent a purchase of these publishers from Microsoft or Tencent. Similar to their strategic investment in Epic. And another possibility to consider is Sony purchasing game studios from other publishers.

    I echo @"exodus"#p54402 ’s concern for smaller developers and I still worry about the long term industry consequences of Game Pass (which is obviously an incredible deal for consumers today). That being said, any action that tips the scales back towards Microsoft right now is probably better for developers and publishers in terms of business parity and seeing policy progress from all platform holders on this generation.

    Tiny tiny hope is that it's not done deal till gov approval. Still tiny tiny chance of FTC blocking this before deal closes fiscal 2023. I highly doubt it though.

    Also, [checkout game related company market cap ranking for context. ](https://companiesmarketcap.com/video-games/largest-video-game-companies-by-market-cap/) (Not on the list, Sega $3.6b, Konami over $6b, Bandai Namco over $15b)

    MS at $2.27 trillion is just mind boggling. Seeing how they gobbled up the biggest US game company, the likes of EA and Take 2 and all those JP companies are all ripe for the picking.

    I have a few scattered thoughts but they mostly boil down to; what the fuck

    and

    I hope microsoft lets the baker's dozen of AAA studios make their own stuff again instead of cod, that is a lot of talent and experience making one franchise annually.

    Bad Event: Microsoft is buying Activision Blizzard at a time when Activision Blizzard are the subject of a network of severe, morally reprehensible controversies.

    Worse Reality: Microsoft is able to buy Activision Blizzard at this time _because_ they are the subject of a network of severe, morally reprehensible controversies. The price is never gonna be lower without the potential for further growth just not being there anymore. Slimeballs like Kotick and the Blizzard Boys will perhaps loudly try to look like they're doing the world a favor by exiting the company as a result of the takeover, but in reality they're surely setting themselves up with some of the most monetarily vast golden parachutes in history.

    Maybe they're also hoping it will somehow disrupt or deter union organizing. I hope this more than anything bites a whole hunk out of their fucking asses.

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    @“chazumaru”#p54308 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.

    Yeah this is worth revisiting for a moment:

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    Microsoft Corp.’s head of Xbox said he’s “evaluating all aspects of our relationship with Activision Blizzard and making ongoing proactive adjustments,” in light of the recent revelations at the video game publisher… Phil Spencer said he and the gaming leadership team are “disturbed and deeply troubled by the horrific events and actions” at Activision Blizzard Inc… “This type of behavior has no place in our industry,” Spencer wrote.

    [upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/QAorOgH.gif]

    This just reminds me of the Disney/Lucas/Marvel consolidation. Everything is eventually consumed and digested by the market. I just hope there will be something decent to replace what's getting eaten. Whatever we had before is gone for good.

    Yeah idk Phil the chaos of restructuring following a takeover, literally one of the biggest corporate takeovers of all time, seems like a great way for the people responsible for said horrific events and actions to be able to just slink away and become harder to pin down