It is absolutely natural for company giants like Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony to acquire developers and publishers to create content exclusive to their platform; we have Nintendo with Mario, Microsoft with Halo and Sony with God of War – so it’s not totally out of the norm when Microsoft, a company with their total asset of $2.5 Trillion, to buy Activision|Blizzard for nearly $70 Billion….ok, that’s totally not normal.
That was the biggest news this morning as reported by nearly every outlet on the internet. The issue with this acquisition is that the aforementioned games were created at a time where developers were small in comparison and created games that represented their unique branding. An acquisition this large can, ultimately, prevent a wider audience from experiencing future games – despite Phil Spencer’s statement that it wouldn’t be an issue based on a discussion with Bloomberg. Here’s what he said:
“I’ll just say to players out there who are playing Activision Blizzard games on Sony’s platform: It’s not our intent to pull communities away from that platform and we remained committed to that.”
Deals change, business plans expand, and nothing is ever set in stone. Everything has a price.
This level of acquisition has the ability to eliminate competition in the gaming industry, an extremely healthy element necessary for all parties to create absolute wonders of experience and technology. If everything is bought by one mega corporation, what else is there for gamers? It’ll be a stalemate of redundancy.
Points are being made that Sony has an exclusive deal with Square Enix regarding future Final Fantasy games coming to PlayStation. While that is a fair comparison, you first must know that Square Enix has monumental history with Sony dating back to 1996. Plus, Sony’s foothold on the Japanese gaming market with PlayStation makes this a practical business decision for both parties, whereas Microsoft has no real history with Activision | Blizzard regarding original IPs or exclusivity; having the potential to eliminate 3rd party titles that’s been invested by millions of players, in and outside of Microsoft, is just plain selfish and petty.
I’m no business analyst, nor do I have any insight on the gaming industry but at face value and with perspective, this sort of acquisition can have negative repercussions for gamers.