Microsoft buys Activision/Blizzard. Thoughts?

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Where will Valve and Epic stand (EDIT) if/when MS starts to make everything Gamepass/store exclusives`?
I don't see exclusives, more likely first release on XBox & PC, then later on other platforms—much like all the other exclusives work, now that Sony seem to be allowing their exclusives onto other platforms.

Besides, such an action would probably polarize the gaming community, so they'd be a sizeable market sympathetic to Valve, Epic etc. On top of that is the danger of approaching monopoly territory. MS have been down that road before, and won't want a repeat—they were careful to keep Apple alive over 20 years ago so they could point to them as a viable Windows competitor.

There's no question though that Game Pass is now going to be an offer most gamers can't refuse. So it's up to the other companies to compete. I'm sure they all realize gaming is moving to the cloud, and gaming hardware is going to be irrelevant soon—maybe by end of decade. It'll all be Netflix for games, same as it is for movies, TV, video, books, music.
 
Which 3 companies? MS, Sony, Nintendo? Or you include Roblox or EA or…?

~100 years ago there were ~200 car companies. And then there were 3. Now there are maybe 3 dozen of some size. Industries start with an explosion, then the winning formulae rise to the top and hoover up the rest that haven't closed down, and then it depends.

If the investment level for progress is huge—eg large aircraft or computing chips—then the big companies usually hang onto the market. With smaller barriers to entry, new companies can arise and get decent market share. Gaming is in this category—eg the rise of very recent growth of Roblox and Epic.

So long-term I don't see the industry owned by a few. There will always be the top players, but plenty of other significant players also—eg car industry is dominated by Toyota and Volkswagen, but there are plenty of other significant players like Ford, GM, Daimler, BMW etc etc. And then there's the very recent rise into the stratosphere of Tesla—who knows where that one will lead.
My personal belief is that in mainstream gaming, there will only be 2-3 game companies that own everything. And I'll tell you why. Back in the early days of gaming, a company could come out with a high budget, blockbuster every once in a while, and then fill in the gaps with smaller games. Back then, we just expected the average game to be one of those smaller ones, and we'd get a really big game here and there. But then sometime a decade or so ago, they started putting out more big budget games, and less smaller ones. They trained us gamers to expect that more, and it got to the point to where now every single game has to be a big budget game, and if it's not, it's going to fail.

Having a bunch of game companies out there, all trying to do that all the time, isn't going to succeed. So the ones that can't hack it are getting bought out by the ones who can. Eventually, you end up with 2-3 huge game companies gobbling up all the rest. It's just like Walmart and Amazon killing off all of the Mom-n-Pop stores.

The only thing that will be left other than that will be the indies that don't give a rip about the gaming world machine, and they just want to make games because they still have a vision for making good games.
 
I see Electronic Arts, Take-Two, Square Enix, Ubisoft and CD Projekt Red being eaten alive in the coming years
The latter 3 sure, but EA and T2 have opportunities to make their own moves—maybe gobble those 3 and others.

There are of course other major companies involved with gaming, which we're not considering. Top 25 by revenue 2021 $M:
Tencent
$7,932​
Sony
$4,147​
Apple
$3,599​
Microsoft
$2,916​
Google
$2,749​
NetEase
$2,225​
Activision Blizzard
$2,163​
Nintendo
$1,630​
Electronic Arts
$1,551​
CyberAgent
$895​
Take-Two Interactive
$813​
Square Enix
$677​
Playtika
$659​
Bandai Namco Entertainment
$648​
Zynga
$587​
37 Interactive
$560​
Nexon
$543​
Netmarble
$531​
Konami
$483​
NCSoft
$456​
Century Huatong Group
$428​
Capcom
$425​
Warner Bros. Entertainment
$405​
Ubisoft
$396​
Aristocrat Leisure
$344​
So there are still plenty of fish in the gaming sea—whales, sharks and krill :)
 
Nov 26, 2021
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@Brian Boru Oh absolutely. For instance, Electronic Arts' acquisition of Codemasters (which happened so quickly I didn't realise they'd come to an agreement) is fresh on my mind. The longer the list you provide goes on, the more I see livestock being fattened up, rather than independent companies blazing their own trails. I honestly believe the number of acquisitions of all companies these past few years has gone up, and this latest news is only encouragement for those who have the money. :sweat:

We shall see in due time!
 
Which 3 companies? MS, Sony, Nintendo? Or you include Roblox or EA or…?
I was thinking of Tencent, Microsoft and Sony, now that MS owns Acti-Blizz.

Nintendo just does their own thing. Tencent takes bits and pieces, from everywhere. Maybe a bit arbitrary not thinking about mobile, but those companies that affect the gaming space I'm interested in.

There will always be start ups. Thing is that all tends towards consolidating as well. Companies like Devolver and Annapurna are publishing a lot of indie stuff. Smaller budget titles from these mid level guys that end up on Gamepass get more media buzz. Its only natural people are much more willing to give things a shot for the price of a sub. Another question then, is at what point does every indie game have to go Gamepass to get any mass market attention and what are the implications of that in the long term? Certain types of games that MS curators don't like might not get any mainstream love at all.

I don't see exclusives, more likely first release on XBox & PC, then later on other platforms—much like all the other exclusives work, now that Sony seem to be allowing their exclusives onto other platforms.
We might not see permanent exclusives straight away, but further down the road if Gamepass becomes as big as Netflix is for TV, who knows?
 
Certain types of games that MS curators don't like might not get any mainstream love at all
Is there an indication that MS will be curating? Imo that would be a great thing—I gave up exploring Indie releases on my own because at least 95% of them are garbage. I'm all in favor of those 95+% being relegated to the realm of Indie enthusiast outlets, so it's again worth exploring Indie releases elsewhere.

at what point does every indie game have to go Gamepass to get any mass market attention
Hopefully per above, the vast majority are never let near Game Pass—MS are on a winner with GP, unless they allow it to be horribly devalued by association with Indie drivel. All the Indies currently go on Steam, does that get the better ones much attention? I doubt it, they probably just get buried under the thick layer of dross.

We might not see permanent exclusives straight away, but further down the road if Gamepass becomes as big as Netflix is for TV, who knows?
I agree, who knows? Microsoft have form in both directions, and of course you're right, it could easily go the way of TV, totally fractured all over the place.

It's funny, I was chatting with another business guy ~2 months ago when Act-Blizz share price took a dive. We figured either Google or Amazon would be likely suitors, we discounted MS & Sony since they've already got great exposure to gamers. With gaming heading to cloud once G5 is in place, it was so obvious that the other cloud players would want to increase their gaming footprint. Oops :D

Everyone's talking about Sony being worried by this, but Epic can't welcome it either—it's gotta push the breakeven on their store out quite a few years, possibly even make it unviable.
 
Is there an indication that MS will be curating? Imo that would be a great thing—I gave up exploring Indie releases on my own because at least 95% of them are garbage. I'm all in favor of those 95+% being relegated to the realm of Indie enthusiast outlets, so it's again worth exploring Indie releases elsewhere.
Everything they put on there has looked at by someone at Microsoft or it wouldn't be on there. I'd call that curation. Theres maybe 100 games on PC Gamepass, not sure, plus the ones from EA play included with the sub.

Agreed, there's a lot of rubbish around like in any form of media. Usually we'd rely on critics and WOM to let us know if a game or anything is worth looking at. If most of those guys in the future are only going to Gamepass and they only let established developers in to be safe, it becomes an even more closed cycle and we'll hear about stuff from the same people, makes it even harder to break into.

I think its worth putting up with a certain level of crap to find the odd diamond in there. Its not like we have to play it all, influencers/media/people with a lot of time on their hands usually find the good stuff anyway and it gets out there.

Obviously its all speculation and the sky isnt falling yet, Steam is still strong and Epic obviously isnt going anywhere yet as well as Itch.IO and others. But its scary when Microsoft starts swallowing up massive competitiors like this, diversity and competition are good for us consumers.
 
Jan 13, 2020
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Activision Blizzard boss mulled buyout of Kotaku and PC Gamer - report
In order to "change the public narrative".

Activision Blizzard's controversial boss Bobby Kotick recently considered acquiring video games websites such as Kotaku and PC Gamer, according to a new report.
That's according to the Wall St Journal, and sources with knowledge of Activision Blizzard's recent plans.
Kotick apparently suggested the idea to "change the public narrative" surrounding Activision Blizzard, following months of media coverage of the company's culture, history of sexual harassment allegations, and subsequent employee protests.
Activision has denied the report, while Kotaku owner G/O Media declined to comment. PC Gamer did not respond.
The suggestion seems to be that Activision Blizzard wanted to make an acquisition which would give the media something new to chew over - rather than an outright attempt at purchasing media outlets which had previously published critical coverage. Still, the effect would likely to have been chilling.
Kotick is expected to finally leave Activision Blizzard next year, once Microsoft's $68bn buyout of the company is completed.
 
i was talking Blizzard

I just went through https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Activision_video_games and only one I remember playing in 40 years was Wolfenstein 3d, and that was more out of curiousity having played the first Wolf long ago on Apple iie. So I won't be missing them really.
Ok, I'll play. These are the games I've played:

Kaboom, Chopper Command, Pitfall, Beamrider, Keystone Kapers, H.E.R.O (one of my favs back then), Activision Decathlon, Rampage, The Last Ninja, Atlantis, Demon Attack, Double Dragon, Predator, Beyond Dark Castle, Archon, MechWarrior, Quake 2, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, Commander Keen, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Destiny 2.

I've played way more than I expected. But most of them were from the 80s. I don't really get into Call of Duty.


Sidenote: I didn't know Activision put out The Manhole, which is the predecessor of Myst.
 
in a true sign of how out of touch he was, he thinks people still take notice of Kotaku? Get with the times.

Agreed. As someone on eurogamer said. Bobby didn't want to use his vast fortune to address the problems at activision, instead he's prepared to spend money to gaslight everyone instead.

The whole exclusivity thing would be the biggest concern. Only time will tell.

So how will this effect me personally? honestly very little the few IPs don't interest me in general. Yes, that includes diablo 4. COD, WOW, Overwatch, starcraft doesn't interest me at all. Maybe under new leadership we might see more games. Only time will tell...
 
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Jan 22, 2020
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As someone with zero attachment to any of the Blizzard IPs and very few of the modern Activision ones I feel like I won't have a horse in this race until the rumour mill starts promising me a reboot of Interstate '76 or Heavy Gear and I completely melt down. It does make Gamepass more attractive I suppose, which may be part of the point, but like most of you I don't envision anything approaching exclusivity for many titles moving forward, if any. Playstation owners have money too after all, more than me if they have a PS5 in their house.

More interesting to me will be the fate of the rights Activision may still have for such properties as Transformers or the Tony Hawk series. I presume their historical involvement in the seeming majority of Marvel games is a thing of the past in a Disney-owned world but they did put out some great superhero games back in the day. Will they bring back series like Prototype or True Crime? Will they start making single-player Star Trek games again?

Probably not. Probably just more CoD. Figures.
 
Think about this. Even if you don't play any Activision/Blizzard games, think about how it will affect you and the gaming world, indirectly. Even if you don't like Call of Duty, it's pretty big on the PlayStation. If Microsoft makes it exclusive, how will it affect Sony, and what will be the repercussions on the entire gaming world because of that?
 
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Zloth

Community Contributor
Microsoft will own Infocom, too. Zork/Minecraft crossover? Could you dig down and find yourself in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike? Or maybe Master Chief will take his helmet off and reveal that he is part of the storied Flathead family?
 
It also gives them a huge catalog of things that they can sell to people as NFT as well. Lots of game assets people can be "sold" for no loss.

Microsoft shook up the video game industry this morning, announcing that it will acquire publisher Activision Blizzard—the company behind Call of Duty and Warcraft—in a deal valued at $68.7 billion. And Microsoft says that it’s a move made in anticipation of the metaverse.

The metaverse is a term that describes a future vision of the internet, in which users interact with avatars across shared 3D spaces. It’s envisioned as a more immersive way to socialize, play, and even work online, with blockchain technology and crypto
assets (including NFTs) expected to play a role as users move across interoperable platforms.

In a release, Microsoft said that the deal will provide “building blocks for the metaverse.” Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella added, "Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today, and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms.”
link

I don't want to know about the metaverse. Have they renamed the Internet of Things, or is it just a way to sell more VR goggles since FB is involved in both.
 
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I don't want to know about the metaverse. Have they renamed the Internet of Things, or is it just a way to sell more VR goggles since FB is involved in both.
The Internet of Things is physical objects that communicate with each other. I believe "metaverse" is just a new word for connecting all your services and making it more convenient for your customers to buy everything from you once they've invested a bit. Basically what Apple has been doing for years, but for online services.
 
The Internet of Things is physical objects that communicate with each other.
WE are part of the internet of things. Every person with a mobile phone or internet connection. Its also all the other things like home appliances and devices needed to keep world ticking. Everything is connected.

Insider Intelligence forecasts 3.74 billion IoT mobile connections worldwide by 2025 and more than 64 billion IoT devices installed by 2026.

Some people think its a good thing, I feel its an invasion. Younger generations won't think anything of having all their stuff reporting its status at all times. Being listened too. All the time.
Why does our washing machine need WiFi?
I don't even want a smart TV but its too late as brother bought us apple TV so its always listening anyway.
I don't want fridge telling supermarket what its empty of.


Its getting harder to buy things that aren't smart..Metaverse sounds like a VR shopping mall where you go to buy stuff & play games. I can do that now without goggles though. Its not offering me anything new. It sounds like virtual AOL... we been here before, companies try to get you into their eco system where its only them that profits. FB trying to create new internet so they can control it.

Check out Second Life for a long-running version of the meta.
no, Better than life shows me what living your fantasies can truly lead you.
 
Some people think its a good thing, I feel its an invasion. Younger generations won't think anything of having all their stuff reporting its status at all times. Being listened too. All the time.
I wonder about that. Young people might feel it's more normal because they grew up in it, but they're also more likely to actually understand how it works. I think there's plenty of older people who don't realize at all how connected everything is nowadays.

At least here in Europe there's only an increase of privacy laws as time goes on, so it seems like we're going in the right direction.
 

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