Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard in record-setting $68.7 billion deal

FJY1RSjXMAECvK5.jpg

Microsoft announced today it would be acquiring Activision Blizzard, adding some of the biggest franchises in gaming to its portfolio, including World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, and Candy Crush. The deal is currently the largest in the history of the video game industry, beating the record set only last week when Take-Two acquired Zynga for $12.7 billion. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick will remain in his current role. While the announcement does not comment on whether or not Activision games will now be exclusive to Microsoft platforms, it does reference Microsoft's intention bolster Game Pass with Activision's portfolio, also announcing that Game Pass has recently reached a milestone subscriber count of 25 million. The deal is expected to close in the fiscal year 2023 and will make Microsoft the third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.

The merger comes at a tumultuous time for Activision Blizzard, after both the State of California and the SEC began investigating reports of sexual misconduct and worker discrimination at the company last summer. This controversy drew responses from across the industry, with PlayStation boss Jim Ryan reportedly condemning the company in an internal memo to employees, and Xbox CEO Phil Spencer stating in November that he would be "evaluating" his relationship with Activision Blizzard moving forward and that he was "disturbed and deeply troubled" by the reports. In an interview with The New York Times last week, Spencer said "we have changed how we do certain things with them, and they’re aware of that. But I also — this isn’t about, for us as Xbox, virtue-shaming other companies. Xbox’s history is not spotless." In a press release accompanying the acquisition announcement, Microsoft CEO and chairman Satya Nadella said “We’re investing deeply in world-class content, community and the cloud to usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first and makes gaming safe, inclusive and accessible to all.” To add to Activision's woes, the last Call of Duty release, Vanguard, reportedly performed below expectations and failed to beat the previous year's release, with some rumours circulating that the next Call of Duty may be moved up in the schedule to compensate.

This acquisition continues Microsoft's recent trend of major acquisitions across the gaming industry. Last September, they acquired publishing giant Zenimax, and have been purchasing scores of smaller studios for the past several years, including Obsidian, Double Fine and Ninja Theory.

:arrow: Source
 

FAST6191

Techromancer
Editorial Team
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
34,936
Trophies
2
Website
trastindustries.com
XP
24,422
Country
United Kingdom
Not saying it will happen, but what would be the fallout, if this got blocked?
Fallout is a different company.

More seriously.
It would probably depend what happened to cause it.

US monopolies and mergers type block it for whatever reason (they are fairly toothless at the best of times, and I can't get to this being questionable on that front but there might be some exception). Oh well, cost of doing business and you are mostly out lawyer and accountant fees which you would have likely paid anyway in an exploratory committee or whatever.
Shareholder revolt on the part of either side (not sure if they already voted on it or if there are enough shareholders in either party to outvote things). Could be more interesting.

On news of takeovers prices for shares in the company being taken over tend to rise, not least of all because most takeovers are priced at a price over the stock price on a given day and thus there is an arbitrage opportunity if nothing else. Price would fall for them most likely, even more so if MS was presumed to be their lifeline (don't think they are doing badly for money, credit or otherwise). What would go for MS stock price might vary, might go up as they have more money to invest in something else, might go down if this deal was presumed to be a good one for MS that would return in the near enough term to matter (or provided them with employees*), and if nothing else it is still MS so a bad day on their server division might be enough to render it noise in comparison.

*while game developers are usually seen as easily replaced peons (mostly because there are kids that will work for nothing, live in a cupboard and whatnot for the prestige/"fun" of working in games made every year) it does still represent a skilled trade and buying another company to dodge the annoyance of recruitment is a thing. As anybody that has played games and learned to filter out anything with a title featuring a re word that is synonymous with rehash will tell you then legacy IPs are also a thing of note in the modern industry.

More long term we would have to look at what state Activision Blizzard is in, what MS would have done with it (would it become Microsoft Studio #59, would they have stripped it for spare parts, or would it have remained mostly separate such that it could be spun off in 10 years if say EA wanted it like Nintendo sold Rare to MS back when). I don't think Activision Blizzard is in anything like hard pressed for cash (flow), credit or with a company killer lawsuit hanging over their head.
Likewise MS gaming is hardly in crisis either. Assuming this goes through we don't know how tightly MS will integrate this into their offerings (again could be basically another company but the cream goes to MS, and MS presumably gets assurances Activision will use/buy their tech and sell on their platforms, or could be said division #59) to be able to do what ifs. Nobody will deny though it is a big slice of the gaming industry pie and going by their purchases alone then MS is very much looking to be an even bigger player (they are already massive and have been for decades now) and that much more leverage in scenarios would be notable.

I presume Activision Blizzard got various ducks in a row to facilitate this takeover. If blocked they might then go searching for another buyer -- whether Tencent might come sniffing, joint venture from some other gaming firms, or some of the Arab money might come to party I don't know.
It also presumes MS won't come back for another kick at the cat -- might not be able to buy the whole venture but could buy a division, or two, or three and leave the remains to do their thing with their remain assets.
 

Jayinem

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2021
Messages
240
Trophies
0
XP
221
Country
United States
Bethesda has to be thinking "there's no way Activision is worth 9x more than us"

Minecraft creator "there's no way Activision is worth 27x more than Minecraft"

They want do overs.
 

Deleted member 577889

Active Member
Newcomer
Joined
Dec 31, 2021
Messages
28
Trophies
0
Age
47
XP
34
Country
United States
This is definitely for the best, the IP may actually get new games. Diablo has been stuck, WoW stopped advancing the MMORPG genre a long time ago, Overwatch died. Key employees are long gone.

There is a huge problem, though. A few:
1. Microsoft sees everything not as a potential for new development, but just as a means of getting cheap additions to Game Pass. I think Game Pass is a great idea, and especially for casual audience but what it also does is it's going to limit people. If the game isn't going to be on GP, they'll just ignore it. Why spend money when you can just play what daddy Phil will make available for you next month?

What happened to the developers since acquisition?
Where are the games from studios that were with Xbox since forever?

The complete monopoly over AAA games that people play the most may just make it even LESS appealing for people to pay for something that isn't on Game Pass, and that's huge. Who is going to spend 60$ or 70$ for, say, Returnal on PS5 if you can just keep playing CoD? And I don't think 70$ for a game is reasonable, the increase in cost should be dealt with using other means. But my point here is that these unique games are simply going to be lost and likely impossible to develop and fund unless they're scaled down to whatever revenue Xbox provides.

2. Phil Spencer does seem to make "pro-gamer" moves, but he isn't going to be on top forever. Imagine if the gaming division of Xbox would go back to the state of Xbox One and "TV, TV, TV". Back then Xbox 360 was the king. It had fantastic design, interface, notable Japanese games would not want to skip Xbox and there were lots of exclusives for everyone. They've had everything to beat Sony with Xbox One but the stupid decisions set them back to the original Xbox times.

3. Mainstream audience will absolutely settle for Xbox now, and that's huge. The balance between Sony and Microsoft is now ruined and the only thing that really gives PS a chance is the boom over PS5 and its exclusives. But we all know what Sony does to exclusives - they port them to PC, a Microsoft platform. While Sony's partner Square Enix doesn't even release their games on Steam anymore (FF VII Remake, Kingdom Hearts, FF Origin).

4. Just like Steve Jobs said, "Microsoft is McDonalds". Though, Apple is becoming McDonals now, too, they still have talented engineers who do follow Jobs' way of doing things. CEO and the managers don't let them do anything crazy, but Apple still has the fantastic foundation. Microsoft, on the other hand, had always been McDonalds with some exceptions here and there.

Forza is a fine game, it's well-made but it will never give the fun of actually LEARNING how to drive, of feeling the difference between each car, of seeing how much attention was put to the racing track. It just cannot compete with Gran Turismo, and I have played Forza Motorsport 5, 7 and Horizon games. It's like comparing Mozart to Travis Scott.

Absolutely zero games from Xbox that reinvent gaming and push it forward. Returnal, Demon's Souls, Bloodborne, Ratchet, Spiderman, God of War... the list can go on and on. Each Sony exclusive does something differently and that's why people like them, too. It's not just another Gears or Forza, and so far that's the only thing Xbox produces. "More of the same, more of the safe revenue". Even their Series S hold back the gaming industry with its lack of power, while Sony is trying to make something new. Not just in standard gaming, but also VR which is a very risky concept right now.


Nintendo and Sony are one of the main reasons why gaming has been something I could consider art. And don't get me wrong, I have spent 50 hours in the recent CoD Modern Warfare, shooting things for dumb fun. "Pop" style games can be fun, but they're not why I am in this hobby, they're just a distraction... and Xbox simply does not produce anything else. Sony creates studios, Nintendo creates studios.. Xbox just buys them and doesn't seem to do anything.
 
Last edited by Deleted member 577889,

Deleted member 577889

Active Member
Newcomer
Joined
Dec 31, 2021
Messages
28
Trophies
0
Age
47
XP
34
Country
United States
ah yes, this is totally a monopoly when
>Sony's already sold 16 million PS5s, and has over 100+ million PS4s
>nintendo already has the most popular video game console currently and sales for it aren't slowing down
>Valve's steam has 1 billion users.
but nah, MS buying up publishers like activision and bethesda is somehow monopolistic when Xbox's market share is fucking infinitesimal compared to sony and ESPECIALLY nintendos. i dont feel that we're in any danger of a monopoly unless they end up controlling the market in like, 3 years. which is probably not happening lol
Sony may have sold all the consoles, but how many are in the hands of consumers? The sales of software aren't revealed. What stops someone from selling their PS5 (and getting 100% profit + money back) and getting a cheaper Series S or Series X with gamepass?

It's the same as thinking EGS is successfull just because their servers are crashed when they give out free games. It's just the scalpers who collect those free games just to resell the accounts later.
 

eyeliner

Has an itch needing to be scratched.
Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
2,246
Trophies
1
Age
42
XP
4,008
Country
Portugal
No chance of future Spyro and Crash games coming to Nintendo I’m assuming. Seems pointless for MS to have the rights to those franchises since cartoonish platforming isn’t associated with the pew pew games MS gamers typically go for.

Very bad news overall for us platforming fans.
The way I see it is that there will be an immense inflow of IP's to Gamepass, while future games will directly head to Gamepass, and later to other consoles.
It would make sense for them to push Gamepass, and profit from the other platforms (the irony), just like they do with Minecraft.
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2008
Messages
5,139
Trophies
3
XP
8,007
Country
United Kingdom
I'm gonna make a prediction.. the end goal for Microsoft is to have the world's largest media delivery service, and they are building up to an eventual Netflix-level aquisition.

Sony will be forced to provide their games on Microsoft's service when they can no longer compete with exclusives on their own console.

Nintendo will plod along as the only true gaming console company for as long as they can but will eventually end up like Sega (who might be next on Microsoft's radar - but Japanese laws).

I really hope I'm wrong.
 

64bitmodels

Professional Nintendo Hater
Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2019
Messages
1,240
Trophies
1
Age
16
XP
2,046
Country
United States
Sony may have sold all the consoles, but how many are in the hands of consumers? The sales of software aren't revealed. What stops someone from selling their PS5 (and getting 100% profit + money back) and getting a cheaper Series S or Series X with gamepass?

It's the same as thinking EGS is successfull just because their servers are crashed when they give out free games. It's just the scalpers who collect those free games just to resell the accounts later.
well i mean, you can easily ask the question for Xbox. What stops someone from selling their Series S and just buying a Playstation? It's not like PS5 sales are slowing down, they probably have 20 mil by now. Don't act like scalpers don't affect Microsoft either, Series Xs are just as impossible to get as PS5s are. PS5 still has more units sold and more users out there. The higher scalper demand also means there are more scalpers getting PS5s. they realize it's the more in demand console. I don't find it a monopoly until MS has more units sold, more bought out studios, and more market share than nintendo.
 

64bitmodels

Professional Nintendo Hater
Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2019
Messages
1,240
Trophies
1
Age
16
XP
2,046
Country
United States
if microsoft buys ubisoft and EA next they basically get a monopolly on all western AAA studios, and i wouldnt count out on xbox buying EA for fifa next imo seems like the next step to get the COD/FIFA crowd all on their ecosystem.

If you buy all the big western AAA studios then nintendo and Sony would be left with only their internal studios and japanese developers which is kinda of a monopoly since indie devs cant do much to fight AAA games, also gamepass is basically killing indie developers now, since people get so many free games to play each month they dont have the urge to try out other smaller indie games, so Microsoft is killing them out too.
ok first of all, Gamepass isn't this magical service that provides EVERY game i want to play. there's still indies i buy on the xbox store because they're good games. I hardly think that gamepass basically makes every Xbox user completely forget that indies exist.
also, playstation is still far more popular, same for nintendo. FFS, they completely dominate in europe, yet i don't see anyone complaining about a monopoly there. probably because Xbox consoles can still be bought and sold in europe. It isn't a monopoly until ALL competition is gone, which probably isn't happening when NINTENDO exists.
 

Dr_Faustus

Resident Robot Hoarder
Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Messages
484
Trophies
0
Age
32
Location
The Best State on The Best Coast
XP
595
Country
United States
Also, out of all their ips, the only one I care about is Star Craft, and that's dead. So this buyout has no impact on me.
Watch MS resurrect it with a crossover in the Halo Universe.
Bobby walks away with billions of dollars
It won't be billions of dollars, but it will probably be in the high 100+ Million area. I will say probably 300-600 Million, and that is if he isn't caught up in the middle of his securities fraud case against the shareholders of the company for basically lying to them.
 
Last edited by Dr_Faustus,

SG854

Meow!!!
Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2017
Messages
4,694
Trophies
1
XP
6,536
Country
Fiji
Watch MS resurrect it with a crossover in the Halo Universe.

It won't be billions of dollars, but it will probably be in the high 100+ Million area. I will say probably 300-600 Million, and that is if he inst caught up in the middle of his securities fraud case against the shareholders of the company for basically lying to them.
Half a billion is no joke
 

Stone_Wings

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2022
Messages
407
Trophies
0
XP
418
Country
United States
In the end, Sony is in zero amount of danger. Period. Sony owns studios leaps and bounds better than Activision/Blizzard. Plenty of them. And is always the case with MS, they buy studios and then do basically nothing with them. The majority of PS owners love the PS exclusives, and those aren't going anywhere. Call of Duty? Overwatch? Candy Crush? Diablo? Lmfao. I'll take Bluepoint, Guerrilla, Housemarque, Insomniac, Naughty Dog, Santa Monica, Sucker Punch, etc. ANY day of the week over shitfest Activision/Blizzard.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 64bitmodels

pedro702

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Messages
11,595
Trophies
1
Age
32
XP
6,638
Country
Portugal
ok first of all, Gamepass isn't this magical service that provides EVERY game i want to play. there's still indies i buy on the xbox store because they're good games. I hardly think that gamepass basically makes every Xbox user completely forget that indies exist.
also, playstation is still far more popular, same for nintendo. FFS, they completely dominate in europe, yet i don't see anyone complaining about a monopoly there. probably because Xbox consoles can still be bought and sold in europe. It isn't a monopoly until ALL competition is gone, which probably isn't happening when NINTENDO exists.
That is not how monopoly works ,you always had other browsers besides internet explorer to download and use and yet Microsoft got accused of monopoly because of the market share it had on it, same way they had to make sure apple didnt go bankrupt or they would have to divide Microsoft in 2 due to monopoly and there was always stuff like Ubuntu or Linux but their market share and usage were so low that didnt stopped microsoft owning a monopoly.


Its about how much percentage of the industry you control, it doesnt need to be 100% or even 90% to be considered a monopoly.If microsoft buys EA and or ubisoft next they will control a vast majority off the gaming market, they are like one or 2 big purchases away to be able to kill the competition at any time they want. if they take all those studios away what is left for nintendo or sony? their internal studios and afew japanese studios.

Having a monopoly could just be having more than 80% of the entire market or even less depending on the market itself, its up to the courts to decide when its a monopoly.

Also you can check the number of indie games being sold on sony/nintendo compared to Microsoft, gamepass is relevant because people dont even go to the store they just wait and see what drops in on the next month, not saying its everyone but a vast majority of gamepass holders dont buy as much indie games or at all as they used too because of the service where they dont need to becuase they already have so much games to play or just waiting until they eventually reach gamepass.
 

64bitmodels

Professional Nintendo Hater
Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2019
Messages
1,240
Trophies
1
Age
16
XP
2,046
Country
United States
Its about how much percentage of the industry you control, it doesnt need to be 100% or even 90% to be considered a monopoly.If microsoft buys EA and or ubisoft next they will control a vast majority off the gaming market, they are like one or 2 big purchases away to be able to kill the competition at any time they want. if they take all those studios away what is left for nintendo or sony? their internal studios and afew japanese studios.
nintendo and sony still have a larger market share than MS in that case, even in the US, Nintendo is the most popular followed by Sony and then MS. Also, if you're right about that gamepass thing then they'd have the indie market which is a growing market due to a shitton of people growing disillusioned with most triple A games. (myself included)
also, do remember that nintendo's exclusives do usually pass the 10 million mark in sales. I'm pretty sure nintendo would be fine off with their internal studios. same for sony but to a far lesser extent
I really don't see the issue here, it's an irrelevant widely hated studio being bought and having their shit CEO thrown in the dumpster. it's shocking that its happening so soon after the bethesda acquisition but it certainly isn't going to birth a monopoly when those other 2 guys are far bigger titans
 

64bitmodels

Professional Nintendo Hater
Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2019
Messages
1,240
Trophies
1
Age
16
XP
2,046
Country
United States
In the end, Sony is in zero amount of danger. Period. Sony owns studios leaps and bounds better than Activision/Blizzard. Plenty of them. And is always the case with MS, they buy studios and then do basically nothing with them. The majority of PS owners love the PS exclusives, and those aren't going anywhere. Call of Duty? Overwatch? Candy Crush? Diablo? Lmfao. I'll take Bluepoint, Guerrilla, Housemarque, Insomniac, Naughty Dog, Santa Monica, Sucker Punch, etc. ANY day of the week over shitfest Activision/Blizzard.
all of that money they wasted on activi$ion could be spent getting more gamepass titles from studios people actually like, or resources given to double fine to make another psychonauts. yknow, actually making games. unless they actually do something with the company and actually use their IPs in some sort of productive way, it's 69 billion down the drain. (although considering MS, that's probably not that much for them)
the only good thing that comes from this acquisition so far is knowing that disgusting subhuman creep known as bobby kotick will leave the gaming industry alone in 2023
 
  • Like
Reactions: Stone_Wings
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
    KenniesNewName @ KenniesNewName: Nice improvement