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Microsoft has acquired Activision Blizzard. Woah. .


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2 minutes ago, Sarlaccfood said:

Whilst they’ve not been troubling any rllmuk GOTY lists for the last few years I don’t think anyone is seriously questioning their worth as IPs are they? Don’t take the bait. 

I’m not sure it is bait - it feels like some sort of performance art 😄 

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4 minutes ago, Darren said:

 


Yeah but Crichy doesn’t like any of them so they don’t count.


I had to hold myself back from saying that. “It’s not relevant if I don’t like it!” was my takeaway.

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I've got a to do on my fridge to sign my daughter up for a battle.net account, which just reminded me - will things like Battle.net go away, I wonder? Transfer all that identity management to your Microsoft account, as they did with Minecraft? Same for Bethesda too, assuming they had their own thing.

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Some people, well us bloody old nerds are going on about Call of Duty and still thinking about the console under the TV and what that could mean if it is only on Xbox in the future; whilst someone at Microsoft is also looking at the likes of massive revenue of the likes of Candy Crush and thinking I wanna get me some of that, as people also game on their smartphone / tablet too and there's big bucks to hoover up there too.

 

https://www.businessofapps.com/data/candy-crush-statistics/

 

To think that is just one of the freemium titles they now own!

 

Candy Crush revenue
Year    Revenue
2012    $77 million
2013    $230 million
2014    $1130 million
2015    $1293 million
2016    $784 million
2017    $695 million
2018    $930 million
2019    $1117 million
2020    $1190 million

 

Candy Crush profit
Year    Profit
2012    $7.8 million
2013    $111 million
2014    $574 million
2015    $516 million
2016    $537 million
2017    $700 million
2018    $750 million
2019    $740 million
2020    $857 million

 

Not sure that a Returnal sequel is going to be causing Microsoft any sleepless nights (which I've nowhere near finished!)

 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Graham S said:

Wiki lists GT Sport as having sales of 8 million. MS say that FH4 had been played by 24 million by Nov 2020.

Yeah but a guy in the playground who has a PlayStation told me my mum had been played by 24 million so I am not sure that helps the cause

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Nate's newsletter reluctantly pointed to some Kotick interviews. I held my nose and read it regardless, and this was an interesting point.

 

Quote

Bobby Kotick: The most important is — it’s funny, you and I were talking about AI last time — as you look at the increased competition between Tencent, and NetEase, and Sony, and now you have Google and Amazon, and Apple, and Facebook, and Microsoft and Netflix. We were looking at over the course of the next couple of years, and starting to realize that we need thousands of people to be able to execute against our production plans. We need them in disciplines like AI and machine learning, or in data analytics, or in purpose-built cloud and cybersecurity — and that we just don’t have. And that competition for that talent is expensive, and really hard to come by.

And so, as we’re starting to think about all these skills that we need, that we don’t have and that were really necessary, we realized that we should be thinking about ways to get that talent. This was an acknowledgement and recognition. And then Satya [Nadella, CEO of Microsoft] and Phil [Spencer, head of gaming at Microsoft] and I have had conversations over many, many years of bigger things that we could do together.

And so when Phil called, it happened to be at a time where we were getting ready to start our long range planning process, and realizing that these were going to be issues and challenges. We had the discussion. Phil and I know each other well, and we have a great relationship, and the company has a great relationship. And when you start to think about all the skills we need, all the resources we need, and what they have, it made a lot of sense.

 

I think the thing that is obvious to me is that when you look at the competition, whether it’s Tencent and NetEase, and Alibaba or Sony, or Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, Netflix, then you start looking at like, the second part of competition and content, and you realize whether it’s Roblox or Minecraft, or the variety of other sort of platforms that are becoming available for content creators, I think there’s more competition than we’ve ever seen for games.

It’s a reality that started to factor into our thinking. There is more competition from bigger companies with more resources. Facebook is spending [billions] a year on the metaverse. I’ve never seen as much competition, and we’re seeing it even in the wage inflation. Whether its Riot, Tencent, Epic, Sony, or Microsoft, EA, there are just so many different places that people are recruiting talent.

And then you look at the specialized skills, like AI and machine learning or computer graphics. You’ve got Nvidia and all of those big companies recruiting the best AI and computer graphics talent. And so we realized the pipeline for talent — we just didn’t have it. And we needed to have access to somebody’s pipeline of talent. And that was a big consideration.

 

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It seems that a lot of people trying to spin this are saying about sales. Like I said before, sales are irrelevant on Xbox/PC as MS GIVE IT TO YOU FOR FREE!!!

 

And for those who say "it's not free you still have to pay for it"

If, for example, you buy a soft drink in Nandos then every refill after the first one is free. The price you pay is still the same if you have one drink or a dozen.

You don't pay 70 quid for one drink then get exactly the same drink brought back to you a little while later, but in a nicer glass, and get asked to pay another 70 quid.

 

Then when you complain you didn't enjoy the drink get told you're not supposed to enjoy it, you're supposed to experience it... Cough Last of Us 2...

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27 minutes ago, Stanley said:

Microsoft have always leaned towards more western centric genres such as RPGS,  FPS’s and racing sims, as such those games are a good fit for them, as are the likes that Bethesda publish. 


Well my first Microsoft gaming experience was with the og Xbox and Halo which was immense, plus as I’ve already mentioned the Japanese exclusives form Sega, Tecmo, From etc which are more my kind of games. I guess then with the 360, they had all the 3rd party stuff running the best, games like Bayo were quality! That’s more along the lines of what I keep hoping to see from these big announcements. You hear £68billion and you think “wtf, they’ve bought Nintendo”!?!? And then it’s like “What??? Activision”? But then it does tie in with how I suspect they’ll move forwards this gen.

 

22 minutes ago, Strafe said:


- Overwatch and the Overwatch League

- Hearthstone and the hearthstone esports

- Diablo

- Warcraft

- Candy Crush*

- Starcraft

 

Plus you can safely presume that those teams are working on some new stuff that would have the aim of becoming a big league IP.

 

 

*it’s something that I doubt anyone on here has any interest in but I shareholders would describe it as “decent and relevant”


Yeah, just not seeing $68 Billion, it seems proper crackers! The games definitely aren’t for me that’s for sure! It’s starting to look like they are just moving away from what I want in a console more and more, which is a shame as I loved the 360.

 

11 minutes ago, Darren said:

 


Yeah but Crichy doesn’t like any of them so they don’t count.

 

Well yeah, they don’t count to me! That’s my valid opinion as they’re not my cup of tea! Which is why I haven’t bought a Series X or S yet. Be a bit daft buying something that has no games you find relevant or to your tastes!
 

However, I have posted numerous times that the games will have value to other people and will attract them to the Xbox brand, which is obviously why Microsoft have splashed the cash. Hopefully Microsoft will have some other announcements and deals focusing on some hardcore, more classic Japanese style, out and out console gamers games in future.

 

7 minutes ago, kensei said:

This is some beautiful work by @CrichStand. Just believable enough shitposting to have everyone biting in response.


Or to put it another way “I can’t accept that someone doesn’t agree with me, so I have to claim they’re shitposting and a troll”.

 

To summarise - Microsoft have spent $68billion for Activision. I personally don’t think the games mentioned are worth that amount of money in terms of generating quality AAA content, especially compared to the competition. However I can see how they’ll be used to generate big bucks from a casual gaming audience. I’m personally not bothered about how many copies a game shifts or how much revenue it generates, or if X console is better than Y console.

 

I’m interested in whether a game is fun to play, challenging and is a quality game. I’m interested in the kind of games I love still being made in the future and shit not getting watered down for mass market consumption. Not sure what’s so out there about that? 

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1 minute ago, CrichStand said:

 

 

To summarise - Microsoft have spent $68billion for Activision. I personally don’t think the games mentioned are worth that amount of money in terms of generating quality AAA content, especially compared to the competition. However I can see how they’ll be used to generate big bucks from a casual gaming audience. I’m personally not bothered about how many copies a game shifts or how much revenue it generates, or if X console is better than Y console.

 

 

 


To summarise:

 

I can’t see how it’s worth $68 billion as it doesn’t make content I like but I can see how it’s worth $68 billion making content I don’t.

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1 minute ago, CrichStand said:


Well my first Microsoft gaming experience was with the og Xbox and Halo which was immense, plus as I’ve already mentioned the Japanese exclusives form Sega, Tecmo, From etc which are more my kind of games. I guess then with the 360, they had all the 3rd party stuff running the best, games like Bayo were quality! That’s more along the lines of what I keep hoping to see from these big announcements. You hear £68billion and you think “wtf, they’ve bought Nintendo”!?!? And then it’s like “What??? Activision”? But then it does tie in with how I suspect they’ll move forwards this gen.

 


Yeah, just not seeing $68 Billion, it seems proper crackers! The games definitely aren’t for me that’s for sure! It’s starting to look like they are just moving away from what I want in a console more and more, which is a shame as I loved the 360.

 

 

Well yeah, they don’t count to me! That’s my valid opinion as they’re not my cup of tea! Which is why I haven’t bought a Series X or S yet. Be a bit daft buying something that has no games you find relevant or to your tastes!
 

However, I have posted numerous times that the games will have value to other people and will attract them to the Xbox brand, which is obviously why Microsoft have splashed the cash. Hopefully Microsoft will have some other announcements and deals focusing on some hardcore, more classic Japanese style, out and out console gamers games in future.

 


Or to put it another way “I can’t accept that someone doesn’t agree with me, so I have to claim they’re shitposting and a troll”.

 

To summarise - Microsoft have spent $68billion for Activision. I personally don’t think the games mentioned are worth that amount of money in terms of generating quality AAA content, especially compared to the competition. However I can see how they’ll be used to generate big bucks from a casual gaming audience. I’m personally not bothered about how many copies a game shifts or how much revenue it generates, or if X console is better than Y console.

 

I’m interested in whether a game is fun to play, challenging and is a quality game. I’m interested in the kind of games I love still being made in the future and shit not getting watered down for mass market consumption. Not sure what’s so out there about that? 

 

I think some of it is you saying they have bought no AAA titles and then giving Returnal as an example of a AAA title but 99% of people wouldn't have a clue what it is.

AAA to most people is FIFA, GTA and COD.

 

Hell I reckon Joe Public would name Crash Bandicoot and Tony Hawk before Returnal

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26 minutes ago, Graham S said:

Wiki lists GT Sport as having sales of 8 million. MS say that FH4 had been played by 24 million by Nov 2020.

It’s difficult to gauge isn’t it, it’s like albums sold versus number of times streamed - I suppose it’s how things are going now though. 
 

 

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7 minutes ago, CrichStand said:


Well my first Microsoft gaming experience was with the og Xbox and Halo which was immense, plus as I’ve already mentioned the Japanese exclusives form Sega, Tecmo, From etc which are more my kind of games. I guess then with the 360, they had all the 3rd party stuff running the best, games like Bayo were quality! That’s more along the lines of what I keep hoping to see from these big announcements. You hear £68billion and you think “wtf, they’ve bought Nintendo”!?!? And then it’s like “What??? Activision”? But then it does tie in with how I suspect they’ll move forwards this gen.

 


Yeah, just not seeing $68 Billion, it seems proper crackers! The games definitely aren’t for me that’s for sure! It’s starting to look like they are just moving away from what I want in a console more and more, which is a shame as I loved the 360.

 

 

Well yeah, they don’t count to me! That’s my valid opinion as they’re not my cup of tea! Which is why I haven’t bought a Series X or S yet. Be a bit daft buying something that has no games you find relevant or to your tastes!
 

However, I have posted numerous times that the games will have value to other people and will attract them to the Xbox brand, which is obviously why Microsoft have splashed the cash. Hopefully Microsoft will have some other announcements and deals focusing on some hardcore, more classic Japanese style, out and out console gamers games in future.

 


Or to put it another way “I can’t accept that someone doesn’t agree with me, so I have to claim they’re shitposting and a troll”.

 

To summarise - Microsoft have spent $68billion for Activision. I personally don’t think the games mentioned are worth that amount of money in terms of generating quality AAA content, especially compared to the competition. However I can see how they’ll be used to generate big bucks from a casual gaming audience. I’m personally not bothered about how many copies a game shifts or how much revenue it generates, or if X console is better than Y console.

 

I’m interested in whether a game is fun to play, challenging and is a quality game. I’m interested in the kind of games I love still being made in the future and shit not getting watered down for mass market consumption. Not sure what’s so out there about that? 

I mean there are loads of points here, but what about Doom Eternal? IMO that’s the best FPS since, well, Doom 2016, and it’s actually a lot more arcade like than you might imagine in the sense that it’s just a pure adrenaline rush that relies on skill and quick reflexes. It’s actually quite a bit like Returnal in fact. 
 

So you know, they’ve got them making exclusives for them now (id) so that’s pretty great if you have an Xbox. 

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After months of damaging headlines, Activision's stock price, which peaked at $103.81 in February, had fallen to just $65.39 as of last Friday. That may have played a part in what Bloomberg describes as "Microsoft look[ing] at Activision’s situation, given all the negative attention and pressure on Kotick, and wonder[ing] if the beleaguered CEO would be willing to do a deal."

Activision sought out other offers after Microsoft's initial approach, according to Bloomberg's report, including talks with Facebook parent company Meta. But when "no other serious interest materialized," as Bloomberg put it, Microsoft and Activision reportedly "worked through the holidays" to get the deal done, with Kotick and Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer doing the bulk of the high-level negotiating.

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2022/01/reports-graceful-exit-for-kotick-helped-convince-ceo-to-sell-activision/

 

 

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Apologies if this has been mulled upon above, but I wonder how long Activision as an MS company will actually last, and whether MS will slowly and silently just drop the name entirely? Were it not for all the awful stuff going on in Blizzard, I'd imagine that that name has/had a certain amount of cache, but Activision? 

 

Activision are fucking useless. You could burn that name into the ground and no-one would give a pot to piss in. As long as you have your Call of Duty and...um...whatever else is a big name for the company (I have literally no idea), then I'll be more than happy for the Activision to fade into complete and utter obscurity.

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14 minutes ago, AstroBot said:


And?  

 

And? 

34 minutes ago, CrichStand said:

Microsoft have spent $68billion for Activision. I personally don’t think the games mentioned are worth that amount of money in terms of generating quality AAA content, especially compared to the competition

 

According to Metacritic they have bought quality AAA content, and MS were already producing quality AAA content anyway.

 

But they have no good exclusives

 

Not many "quality" games are gonna be a cash cow nowadays unless they have a licence on them (not gonna deny that Spiderman is a good game and sold loads) but as has been said many times they will make the money from CoD and Candy Crush

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Interesting article discussing the legal side of this acquisition. The bottom line is we can expect it to pass but it may not be unconditional:

 

Quote

 

Antitrust experts say the deal’s vertical, rather than horizontal, structure puts it in a category that tends to raise fewer concerns for regulators and makes challenges more difficult. Generally, horizontal deals combine companies in the same industry; vertical deals involve two more distinct industries.

 

However, experts caution that aspects of the $68.7 billion all-cash tie up, which Microsoft says will make it the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, could still pose sticking points. 

 

It used to be controversial to say vertical mergers can be anti-competitive because you're not eliminating any head to head competition,” Vanderbilt University Law School professor Rebecca Haw Allensworth tells Yahoo Finance. ”But now we're starting to realize just how much you can unfairly disadvantage horizontal competitors, if you get access to an input that they need.

 

Quote

 

Already, you’re seeing questions about whether Microsoft would take the Activision Blizzard content and make it exclusive to Xbox,” Septa says. 

That move would increase the likelihood that regulators would sue to block the deal or else ask Microsoft to limit the extent of content exclusivity, Septa said.

 

Quote

 

“There is nothing wrong with exclusivity by itself," Wrigley says of the scenario where Microsoft makes certain games exclusive to Xbox. "The question is whether gaining that control over Activision’s games would give Microsoft the ability to raise prices or otherwise harm consumers, because gamers would be unwilling or unable to switch away."

 

If regulators do identify antitrust issues with the deal, they could propose that certain assets be spun off, or that certain content remain non-exclusive, rather than filing a lawsuit.

 

Still, Wrigley said, “I think neither Microsoft nor the antitrust agencies would find that kind of outcome palatable, which is why I think it could end up in court."

 

 

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/microsofts-activision-blizzard-comes-with-2-big-legal-hurdles-190828372.html

 

Be interesting to see if allowing Call Of Duty to continue to be released on PlayStation will be a condition of the deal going through? Genuinely no idea how likely or unlikely that is but it does sound as though this deal will require more elbow work from the lawyers and may come with more strings attached than the Bethesda buyout.

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Yep i'm sure the US government will stop an American company getting bigger so as to stop them competing with two Japanese and one Chinese rival.

 

These are "luxury" items that no.one is forced to buy. It's not like Nvidia buying Arm and having the stranglehold on the chips in everything from phones to washing machines.

CoD Warzone will be multi platform anyway as it's F2P so no incentive to put it on Gamepass and it's a revenue stream.

 

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6 minutes ago, dfq23 said:

Yep i'm sure the US government will stop an American company getting bigger so as to stop them competing with two Japanese and one Chinese rival.

 

These are "luxury" items that no.one is forced to buy. It's not like Nvidia buying Arm and having the stranglehold on the chips in everything from phones to washing machines.

CoD Warzone will be multi platform anyway as it's F2P so no incentive to put it on Gamepass and it's a revenue stream.

 

 

Perfectly possible, I certainly have no insight into the world of mergers and acquisitions, just thought the analysis itself was interesting, no idea what the outcome will be.

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6 minutes ago, TehStu said:

Right, but it's not just the US regulators, presumably. Facebook have been told to sell Giphy by the UK's CMA.

 

Isn't Giphy a near monopoly for that sort of stuff anyway for people who don't know how to hold a gif down on Google image search and save it?

 

If you can't have CoD, you can still have Battlefield. If you can't have Crash you can still have Ratchet and Clank so not sure how they'd be told to share IPs yet Sony won't be made to share Spiderman for example

 

 

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