One reader worries that the long-term impact of the Activision Blizzard acquisition for both Microsoft and Sony will be worse than many realize.
If there’s one thing gamers are definitely getting tired of, it’s Activision Blizzard. So I hesitated to even try to write this function. However, I am not here to discuss the rights and wrongs of Microsoft and Sony, and am happy to point out that they are two large companies whose executives would gladly sell their grandmothers to add an extra dollar to their stock price – so ‘I’m not going to pretend that one or the other has the moral superiority.
What I want to talk about is the detrimental (look at me!) impact this all has on the gaming industry and the players themselves. The acquisition was announced in January 2022 for $69 billion, which is so much that it is almost incomprehensible. But to put that in perspective, Disney bought Star Wars for just $4 billion, making it the biggest acquisition Microsoft – sometimes the biggest company in the world – has ever made.
It’s not normal to buy the games industry’s biggest publisher, and Microsoft knows that if they do, they’re going to pull off a massive coup, which is why Sony is fighting it so hard. What worries me is that the couple is not doing anything else in the meantime. Their release plans have dropped to near zero since the announcement, and both are currently afraid to do anything that might undermine what they told Monopoly investigators.
Microsoft has already used the success of The Last Of Us as proof that Sony doesn’t need Call Of Duty, and Sony has proven with Redfall and Starfield that Microsoft secretly wants everything exclusive. So we won’t get any Fable reveals or news of any other major PlayStation 5 exclusives until this whole thing is done and dusted, and that could be months, maybe even years.
They will have to step out of line at some point, they can’t reveal anything, but the outcome of the acquisition is now far more important to both companies than anything else.
As long as they can, they will continue to avoid announcing or doing anything that could turn the situation against them, and it’s sad to see that happen. It will take years to recover from all this, on top of all the problems of the pandemic. Not only that, but think of all the problems Microsoft has had managing the developers it has already bought.
Now imagine the problems they will have when Activision and Blizzard become part of Microsoft. Two giant, multi-studio companies that Microsoft could only afford because their share price took a dive when it was discovered how poorly they were managed in toxic working conditions.
Microsoft never managed to properly manage 343 Industries, how the hell are they supposed to manage all of that on top of all the other new studios they have?
It would be a nightmare of their own making, and that’s not all. Relations used to be quite cordial, now Microsoft and Sony hate each other to the core. Plus, Activision Blizzard hates Sony, which would destroy any hope of any future collaboration between any of the three companies.
It also fuels the fanboy rivalry to unprecedented levels, where people interpret everything as Xbox vs. PlayStation, not Microsoft and Sony literally saying something to fool researchers.
It’s a never-ending drudgery. Even if the acquisition gets the green light this year, it will still take much longer, perhaps decades, to complete. If it ever comes to that. It’s more likely that the impact will be felt for generations of consoles to come, resulting in Sony making big deals with Google or Amazon or someone else. And so the rhetoric and the disgusting amounts of money changing hands will only increase.
And we’ll all still be sitting there wishing they’d just get down to business and announce some new games…
From reader Loblo