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Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard

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A bit of wider industry news today. News which completely blows my mind - Microsoft are out to acquire Activision Blizzard. Pending all the regulatory approvals they need to go through which takes times and can be denied.

This continues the very worrying trend of these mega companies amassing huge resources. Microsoft now control a ridiculous amount of publisher and developer teams, easily helping towards more lock-in with Microsoft services and products. For Microsoft, it makes sense of course, since they can continue dumping titles into Game Pass and get more subscriptions for recurring revenue.

Activision Blizzard has been in a lot of hot water lately, which is probably a big understatement. Employees and investors have repeatedly called for the removal of the current CEO, Bobby Kotick. The press release is a bit vague on what will happen with Kotick, as it mentions Kotick "will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard" and then "Once the deal closes, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming". So it somewhat makes it sound like Kotick might only be there until the deal is fully done but it's pretty vague. Probably intentionally vague due to the ongoing issues. Update: Kotick will remain, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed via email. Update #2: They tried to clarify again later that they were speaking generally about the acquisition so it's anyone's guess what will happen with Kotick (IGN).

This will be an "all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 billion" which is so much money I can't even begin to imagine it.

Microsoft will then own the likes of Activision, Blizzard and King studios with Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty, Candy Crash and global eSports activities through Major League Gaming. The press release states this will make Microsoft "the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony".

Since Microsoft isn't quite the same as the Microsoft of old, we might end up seeing more Activision Blizzard games come to Steam and so making it even easier to run them on Linux through Steam Play Proton. Imagine having Diablo, Starcraft, Overwatch, various newer Call of Duty games and so on being a few clicks away on Steam + Linux.

What do you think to this news? The deal is expected to close in 2023.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Meta, Microsoft
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122 comments
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elmapul 18 Jan
Quoting: fagnerlnI don't know why you guys are worried, Activision/Blizzard is a cancer, a lot of bad practices. (I read that Diablo 2 ressurected has some "check in DRM" which you need to login every 30 days to keep playing)

And the first party games usually works on proton.

I mean, the war is against Sony, which to be honest, even with that huge amount of studios, PlayStation is still more interesting than XBox.

im worried about this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metcalfe%27s_law

i may not care about actblizz games, but someone else do, and this person may care about the same games that i do, and if such person refuse to use linux on their steamdeck, because linux cant play actblizz games, then its one less person using steamOS on the deck, wich means one less reason for companies to care about it, if that include one company who make games that i care about, then their future relases might not work as well...
elmapul 18 Jan
Quoting: Mohandevir
Quoting: elmapul"$68.7 billion"
xbox division dont have this kinda money AFAIK, so i guess the main microsoft company is involved, i doubt its to compete against sony and nintendo, this probably is their answer to valve.

which is so much money I can't even begin to imagine it.
mandatory meme:
link

My guess is that it's an answer to Tencent acquisitions more than an answer to Valve. The US government as become pretty chilly, across the board, with China acquiring US interests, lately. Microsoft seems pretty fine with Valve and the Steam Deck.


microsoft main sources of revenue are:
office, azure and windows.
if steamOS can steal some marketshare from windows they will cut the good guys facade, if it cant, then microsoft wins anyway.
mrdeathjr 18 Jan
Quoting: NanobangOne of these days Microsoft will acquire Microsoft and we'll all die from the resulting black hole.

link

based 18 Jan
I see this as good news.
ActiBliz work culture is so disturbingly bad that I really cannot see how this is a bad thing, Microsoft being the owner now they would get in trouble for whatever Kotik (intentional) does, or at least I hope that would be the case.
This might also mean Blizzard games/future Blizzard games could go over Steam which is a dream-come-true for me.
Bobby should've been fired and jailed ASAP but this ain't a perfect world ig
Upscale 18 Jan
Quoting: LordDaveTheKind
Quoting: UpscaleDon't forget Nintendo off that list
I recall there are a few constraints on acquiring a Japanese company. Am I wrong?
No idea, but it looks like everyone missed this point.
Raaben 18 Jan
It's weird seeing so many think this is a good pattern and praising MS for being gamer friendly lately. Does no one else see these grabs as a great lock-in? Give it a little time, buy another beloved studio or three, then start the MS store exclusivity. With no other possibility from any of those shell publishers anymore, it will be a forced success - what Epic tried but with the capital to pull it off. And then, it could even be a simple swap to UWP and game over WINE/Proton.
wvstolzing 18 Jan
Quoting: elmapul
Quoting: NanobangOne of these days Microsoft will acquire Microsoft and we'll all die from the resulting black hole.


lol

actually this day exists its called yesterday.

You mean their stock buybacks? yahoo finance link
As a person that only plays retro games and indie stuff on itch.io. Meh.
F.Ultra 18 Jan
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Quoting: Upscale
Quoting: LordDaveTheKind
Quoting: UpscaleDon't forget Nintendo off that list
I recall there are a few constraints on acquiring a Japanese company. Am I wrong?
No idea, but it looks like everyone missed this point.

A lot can happen in 21 years though.

Quoting: BielFPsThe only factor that I can think it could prevent this acquisition would be Tecent.
Depends on what kind of Money MS would throw at then, I think the right amount would make Tencent sell, isn't that their entire business with Epic, to draw up the worth of it to sell it all for a huge profit? Or do we see Tencent as a long time owner?


Last edited by F.Ultra on 18 January 2022 at 6:06 pm UTC
14 18 Jan
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I don't appreciate the way Microsoft handles Minecraft accounts -- super annoying when you have multiple and they keep logging out; parental controls sound good but have to be disabled just to join your own LAN server -- and breaking Halo co-op when it used to work.

The other part is their sheer size. They own GitHub! LinkedIn! Many game studios and many other technologies.

I've really looked forward to AAA games for most of my gaming life, but I'm finally starting to shift like others here. Games I've spent a ton of time lately: Deep Rock Galactic, SnowRunner, Ready or Not. I have been sinking time into them and they are made by smaller companies.
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