Posted Jan 19, 2022, 7:31 AMUpdated Jan 19, 2022 at 9:27am
In Tokyo, investors freaked out. Sony shareholders discovered Wednesday morning the announcement of Microsoft’s acquisition of developer Activision Blizzard, for a record $ 69 billion, Sony shareholders rushed to sell as many of their shares as possible, suddenly convinced to see the Japanese hero being roughed up by the pioneer. Wargames have been launched in the global video game and metaverse market. At the close of the Japanese stock exchange, Sony’s shares recorded a 12.8% decline, which represents a loss of capital … $ 20 billion. He had not been heard of in over six years.
The Japanese giant, which produces PlayStation hardware and distributes a huge catalog of games, has dominated this segment, in terms of revenue, for years. Last year, the group, which also operates in music, film and electronic components, generated $25 billion in sales in its video game business.
Using a similar model (console and titles), Nintendo, in its last fiscal year, recorded $16 billion in sales. An amount slightly higher than the 15.4 billion generated by Microsoft’s Xbox ecosystem.
Analysts believe that the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by the American computer giant could weigh on a portion of Sony’s revenue in the coming years, possibly depriving its consoles of one or more of the popular franchises developed by the American studio. The company notably owns the star series Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Diablo.
Neither Microsoft nor Activision Blizzard has yet mentioned a form of “privatization” of these games that would prevent them from being sold to competing consoles for distribution exclusively on Xbox and on the online gaming network by subscribing to “Xbox Game Pass.” “
But investors, still focused on the worst-case scenario, remain feverish. “Sony will face a formidable challenge to stand out in this war of attrition,” analyst Amir Anfarzadeh of Asymmetric Advisors warned in a note on Wednesday. “Even if it doesn’t make that choice right away, it is very likely that Microsoft will eventually turn Call of Duty into an exclusive franchise for its platforms,” explains analyst Serkan Toto, founder of Kantan Games in Tokyo. He did not pay such an amount to continue supplying competing consoles. »
According to experts, Microsoft’s incredible initiative could prompt Sony to speed up its campaign to acquire content in turn. “At the beginning of February, while presenting its quarterly results, the group will certainly be questioned about its projects,” comments Serkan Tutu. In the past year, the Japanese group has already bought several studios, including American Bluepoint Games, Finnish Housemarque, and British Firesprite. But he has not yet dared to take on the volume that his American rival launched on Tuesday.
In Tokyo, it appears that investors have already identified some potential targets for him. While Sony’s title fell apart on the Japanese venue, several major Japanese studios recorded it, a big boost. Square Enix stock rose 3.7%. Capcom stock rose 4.6%.