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Microsoft Buys Blizzard For $68.7 Billion


About a year and a half ago there was a comment here about “Microsoft is buying…” and at the time we wrote that the Bethesda acquisition was a deal that would change everything. Oh, how naive we were: Because the Activision Blizzard deal puts everything in the shade.

$68.7 Billion Deal

There are days in the life of a news journalist when topics trickle down, lots of interesting stuff, but nothing special. Then suddenly a chat message from a colleague: “Did you see? Activision Blizzard!” First shock, first doubts. It can’t be, it must be a duck. But the source is this Wall Street Journal, there are confirmations from Bloomberg reporters. And indeed, a few minutes later, the announcement rattled through on Twitter and Co.: Yes, it’s true. Shock. Silence. And then terms like Holy Shit, WTF, old Swede. It’s rare to see a deal of this magnitude in a business that’s not exactly shy about making acquisitions. For comparison: Bethesda cost Microsoft the proverbial peanuts, namely a good seven billion dollars. Activision Blizzard is currently putting almost ten times as much on the table, namely $ 68.7 billion.

According to Microsoft, this will make it the world’s third largest gaming company behind Tencent and Sony – if you only counted software (i.e. in the sense of publishing), then Microsoft Gaming would be by far the largest games company in the world. It’s still unbelievable hours later.

Xbox Game Pass customers

A crucial question is: Is it worth it? This question can probably only be answered in the long term, but we say cautiously: hell yes. Because the Redmond company already has an almost unbeatable range of games in the Xbox Game Pass, the “almost” can probably be deleted in the near future. It’s quite simple: Most gamers will only need a Game Pass subscription in the future, the Redmond company will probably be able to easily double the current 25 million customers in the next few years – and maybe even more.

No wonder: in all likelihood, subscribers will receive titles such as Call of Duty, Diablo, World of Warcraft, Overwatch and many more in the future in the bundle, and that from the day of publication. No other games company can come close – and it will stay that way for a long time to come. Infographic LinkedIn, Nuance & Co.: Microsoft’s billion-dollar businesses

Antitrust issues

The second crucial question is: are they allowed to do that at all? Because the Bethesda takeover already had many question marks in terms of antitrust law, this time they should shine in meter-high neon colors. We would not accept bets at this point, but it is probably no accident that Microsoft refers to Tencent and Sony and the fact that they are “only” number 3 in the business. In Redmond, this has certainly been well thought out, but it will still be exciting to see whether the major antitrust authorities in the USA, Europe and China will actually wave it through.

There will certainly be a lot of movement behind the scenes, too, as Sony should have enormous interest in preventing the deal. In any case, the Japanese are likely to be in sheer panic right now. Because it is doubtful whether their own exclusive titles can absorb the probable departure of Call of Duty, Overwatch and Co. Accordingly, Sony’s share price on Wall Street is beginning to nosedive.

What are the players saying?

Gaming communities will also ask themselves what this means for them. Because recently there was enormous dissatisfaction in the player communities of mega hits like WoW and CoD. Microsoft could well thrive on this dissatisfaction, as many Activision Blizzard players yearn for change. Of course, there are also voices that are very skeptical. Nevertheless, it could work to convince them, the Bethesda takeover went more than smoothly in this regard.

Bye bye Bobby

There are of course many other questions, above all how to deal with sexual discrimination and harassment. Microsoft will also have to be measured against this. But the same applies here: It can’t really get any worse than under the still CEO Bobby Kotick. So it remains exciting and as a Game Pass player you can look forward to many, many new titles – for which you don’t have time because you haven’t even gone through the ones from the Bethesda takeover.


Lucia Coleman

I’m a communication enthusiast and junior editor-reporter at Research Snipers, I have completed a degree in Mass Communication but am very enthusiastic about new technology, games, and mobile devices. I have the main interest in Technology and games.