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

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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.

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Ampersound

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i can see nintendo going braindead and say mobile games make more money than ours so lets use that and their next switch wont have buttons it will just be a screen and all the games will be playable with only touch screen controls.
I would agree, but Nintendos culture has always been a lot about family.
Maybe it would somewhat break their tradition if a family didn't get together at the TV for example, but everyone would be using their own Nintendo Phone or whatever to play together.

That would be completely braindead indeed, something way too similar to a phone.
 

Dr_Faustus

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Lets hope we see some games that are actually on the disc when we buy them and it wouldn't be a bad idea if they made this studio go like RARE, and dont crap shit games out each year.
well rare did what 5 games since it was bought in 2002? and most of them were pure crap, so yeah i fear what will happen to any game that isnt a mateure fps under microsoft, they arent too keen on games that arent for their target audience imo.

To be fair when MS bought Rare they really had no practical idea on what to do with them. This seems to have changed radically since those times.

the first problem with your prediction is the idea that nintendo would ever release on anything but the switch
Uh, Super Mario Run, AC Pocket Camp, Dr. Mario World, Mario Kart Tour would like to remind you otherwise. Nintendo has been testing the waters of the mobile market for some time now. They clearly see where things are going on that end, and the Switch was more or less a reactionary evolution of combining home and portable console lines because their portable console line was reaching its end of purpose. The Mobile market basically did to them what Nintendo did to Sony in the same space years back with the PSP and the Vita. The smartphone market basically made the need for a handheld market obsolete, so they merged their hardware lines into one which worked out for them. That said I cannot see them striking twice on this endevor unless they can figure out backwards compatibility for the Switch, which does not seem that easy given the platform its working on.

there is no 3ds dark age lol 3ds sold 80 million units, it was a success, it sold more than the gba...

nintendo will never become a service because they love doing their innovation hardware stuff, i can see them not releasing a switch pro and going straight for switch 2 in like 2 years.
75 Million units and it did not sell more than the GBA line which was at 81 Million. Also considering that the DS sold 154 Million it was most likely considered a failure on their part, especially since the 3D gimmick was doing it no favors they released the 2DS line to make up for it (which by the way, got roped into 3DS sales as well!)

You also forget that Nintendo at the heart of the company that existed before games was a company that would pivot towards anything that would make them money. Games just happened to be the biggest success for them at this point but if profit share loses over scale then there will need to be changes in how they approach distribution if they cannot profit from their games anymore. They might not sell out but they will not be going down with their own ship if the opportunity to release their games on agnostic platforms means more money in their pockets in the long run.
 

Henx

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Gamers must think where they want the industry to go. They can do this by deciding with their wallets. In my opinion supporting Microsoft will only bring disaster. Not only because they have a history of monopoly, which was exacerbated by this deal, but they also have a history of being friendly towards an industry, only to later f*ck it up.

Sony is not much better, neither Nintendo. But at least they don't have monopoly so far. Seriously, all the studios they keep buying to put everything on the Game Pass has the potential to bring too much power in MS hands. It is not too late, but it will be if they continue to profit from the industry.

I'd say stop using Windows and Office, and move to Linux. Steam is doing a lot to improve gaming on Linux. That's less money for Microsoft. Buy more indie titles, and much less AAA from big the corporations to avoid any further catastrophic deals.
If you want to play MS titles, use the pirates :)
 
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FAST6191

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Sony is not much better, neither Nintendo. But at least they don't have monopoly so far.:)
Nintendo did have a monopoly. I can't say was not good times (see 8 and 16 bit eras) but at the same time it was far from great with them excising any amount of control over the industry, what could be produced, having to bow to their censorship... aka the reason
Sony also had a monopoly next -- Nintendo, Sega, Microsoft of the PS1 and PS2 eras were also rans. It was also good times and the relaxing of censorship and control efforts was welcome but still far from ideal.
If anything has a monopoly today it is probably Steam on PC which also seem to go in for censorship (which previously was not a thing) and are not much in the way of a value added proposition (yes yes yes steam fanboys too lazy to point their save folders at dropbox or whatever they have cloud saves), and indeed the lack of game resale is a massive detractor but different discussion there.
 

Borgman2018

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Nintendo did have a monopoly. I can't say was not good times (see 8 and 16 bit eras) but at the same time it was far from great with them excising any amount of control over the industry
It's not the same: Nintendo's monopoly was limited to the US only, in the rest of the world Nintendo was far from dominant.
 

calagan

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Probably the only move drastic enough to save the X-box platform from disappearing into oblivion, but at what cost...
 
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