Microsoft starts the year with an exceptional acquisition. The creator of the Xbox falls into his hands Activision Blizzard for a tidy sum of $ 68.7 billion. After that, the acquisition of Bethesda in 2020 for $7.5 billion looks minuscule, when it was already an earthquake at the time.
Activision Blizzard is not only one of the largest video game publishers in the world, among its franchises are Call of Duty, Diablo, Warcraft, Crash Bandicoot, Tony Hawk, Overwatch, but also Candy Crush, as there are some for all tastes.
Microsoft specifies in its press release that Activision Blizzard will continue to operate independently, with Bobby Kotick remaining at the helm. However, Phil Spencer, president of Microsoft Gaming, intends to forge synergistic relationships very quickly. Thus, he promises that as many games as possible will be included in Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, which are strategic offerings that today have 25 million subscribers.
Obviously, the question for exclusives arises: Will Call of Duty in the future abandon PlayStation? “The Activision Blizzard games are being enjoyed on various platforms and we plan to continue supporting these communities in the future.”Says Phil Spencer. To find out what really happens when Microsoft notably books Starfield and Redfall, Bethesda’s next big production, for Xbox and PC. Phil Spencer also sees this war prize as a way to speed up cloud games As well as in mobile games. soon leather Halo for Candy Crush or a meeting between Call of Duty and Doom?
As Activision Blizzard has been going through a serious social crisis for months over accusations of sexual harassment and assault, Phil Spencer assures us of his commitment. Treat everyone with dignity and respect. »
From an economic point of view, the publisher integration would make Microsoft the third largest video game company by revenue, after Tencent and Sony – “only” third place which could be used as an argument when the time comes. the time. To obtain the green light from the regulatory authorities.
The amount spent, $68.7 billion, is clearly a record, even for this company that does not hesitate to sign big checks. LinkedIn, which until then had been Microsoft’s biggest expense, cost “only” $26.2 billion. Phil Spencer had warned he was still starved of studios when acquisitions had already doubled in recent years – there would be 30 in total with the new operation – but the fact remains that the Activision Blizzard purchase was a huge surprise. This is quite simply the largest acquisition ever made in the new technologies sector. It narrowly passed Dell’s $67 billion acquisition of EMC in 2015.
Finally, the press release for 2022 wouldn’t be a press release for 2022 without the word “metaverse”. It’s Satya Nadella, the big head of Microsoft, who sticks with it: “Games are the fastest growing and most exciting entertainment category across all platforms today and will play an integral role in the development of the metaverse platforms.”
In the face of Microsoft’s ghouls, Sony does not stand idly by. The PlayStation creator has also strengthened his creative teams in recent years by joining the services of Insomniac Games (Ratchet & Clank, Spider-Man, etc.), Bluepoint Games (responsible for remaking Shadow of the Colossus, Demon Souls…) and other studios, but Nothing on the scale of Bethesda and even less than Activision Blizzard. after this DealEverything seemed possible. How far will consolidation go in the video game industry?
Update 6:40 PM – Activision CEO Bobby Kotik’s fate appears doomed. according to The Wall Street Journal, will be taken down (or will resign) as soon as Deal It will be completed, which leads us to go back to at least next year.