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Phil Spencer: Activision Blizzard Acquisition is 'Not About Short-Term Results'

Phil Spencer: Activision Blizzard Acquisition is 'Not About Short-Term Results' - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 19 January 2022 / 1,924 Views

Microsoft made a huge splash this week with the announcement it is acquiring Activision Blizzard in a deal worth $68.7 billion. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer speaking in an investors call said the acquisition is not about short-term gains. 

"I’ll reinforce that this is not about short-term results," said Spencer. "We have seen Activision Blizzard’s product roadmap and are incredibly enthusiastic about what the teams are creating and the company’s pipeline over many years to come.

"We have seen strong recent performance from our existing ZeniMax and Xbox Games Studios and are well-positioned as the stewards of Activision Blizzard’s great franchises. I’m personally excited for the opportunity to work directly with the dedicated, passionate teams at Call of Duty, Blizzard, King, and each of the studios across the company as we reach new heights and even more players together.

"We’re all about putting players at the center of everything we do, and this transaction is going to be fantastic, not only for our existing players, but will also help us bring innovative experiences to vast, new audiences. That’s because adding the Activision Blizzard portfolio to our existing operations will also propel our new forms of distribution and monetization, like Cloud Gaming and our Game Pass subscription service."

Spencer has also responded to concerns on competition following the announcement of the acquisition. He said the gaming space is incredibly competitive and that the largest gaming platforms are mobile.

"This is an incredibly competitive marketplace in the gaming space," said Spencer at the time. "The truth is the largest gaming platforms on the planet are the mobile devices out there, distribution on those contents, control on those devices. It’s controlled by two companies.

"So you look at a company like Microsoft, and we’re bringing together content and intellectual property to offset the, the distribution capabilities we don’t have on mobile devices. This is our opportunity to fight to compete on the largest platform out there in gaming, which is mobile devices, that’s critically important to us and also as Bobby said, we have more creators on our platform than we’ve ever had."


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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46 Comments
thevideogameninja (on 20 January 2022)

-"Activision Blizzard Acquisition is 'Not About Short-Term Results"- Phil Spencer

No, it's about absolutely crushing any form of competition.

-VIDEOGAME MONOPOLY? NINJA APPROVED-

  • +5
2zosteven (on 20 January 2022)

no kidding, making money on a 70 billion purchase will take time.

  • +3
CaptainExplosion (on 20 January 2022)

Look at it this way: Microsoft's intentions aren't nearly as bad as Tencent's.

  • +3
VAMatt CaptainExplosion (on 20 January 2022)

AFAIK, both MS and Tencent intend to create shareholder value. That's the purpose of any big company.

  • 0
CaptainExplosion VAMatt (on 20 January 2022)

No, Tencent is a tool for the Chinese government to exert more of their control over others, and crack down on anyone, and I mean ANYONE, who criticizes their spineless disease-spreading tyrant.

  • -1
VAMatt CaptainExplosion (on 21 January 2022)

Do you have some evidence of that? There are many big, Chinese state-owned enterprises. Tencent is not one of them

  • +1
VAMatt CaptainExplosion (on 21 January 2022)

I see the same shit there that US companies do.

  • +1
CaptainExplosion VAMatt (on 22 January 2022)

US companies aren't a front for Chinese president Mike Oxmall.

  • 0
VAMatt CaptainExplosion (on 22 January 2022)

No, but they definitely work hand is hand with the US government to surveil the entire world, control the flow of information, and do all manner of other terrible things. Tencent does the same shit with the Chinese state.

  • 0
CaptainExplosion VAMatt (on 22 January 2022)

Because the rest of the world tends to be run by spineless despots who wanna nuke everyone.

  • 0
VAMatt CaptainExplosion (on 22 January 2022)

The US has been by far the most militaristic nation on earth in the last century.

  • 0
Qwark (on 20 January 2022)

Indeed it's about building a monopoly and dominating the market.

  • +3
Dulfite Qwark (on 20 January 2022)

You think Microsoft is dumb enough to get even close to a monopoly? They are too smart to approach that. They have boat loads of lawyers that advise their every move. Even with this, MS won't have 50% of the software revenue globally, let alone a super majority approaching a monopoly. They'd need to buy either Sony or Nintendo to get even close to that, and Japan won't allow that. They could buy EA, Ubisoft, and Take-Two and they still wouldn't be a monopoly.

  • +1
DonFerrari Dulfite (on 20 January 2022)

Microsoft have been sued more than once because of monopoly and monopolistic practices and even tried to sue google for the search monopoly.

  • -1
Dulfite DonFerrari (on 20 January 2022)

Sued doesn't mean they lose legally or financially. Have they ever been broken up after one of those lawsuits?

People sue McDonald's for burning their lips on coffee, anyone can sue. And there are plenty of troll lawyers just in it to make money.

Not to say Microsoft hasn't deserved to be broken up, but they have yet to lose a lawsuit that makes them break off apart of themselves that I can recall. If they have, please correct me.

  • +2
DonFerrari Dulfite (on 20 January 2022)

Yes they lost against Netscape, not before putting that company to the ground before.

  • -1
Dulfite DonFerrari (on 20 January 2022)

And what did that loss cost them? Did they have to spin off a part of their business or just pay some coin in a bucket?

  • +1
DonFerrari Dulfite (on 20 January 2022)

You are moving the goal post a lot.
You said they wouldn't go toward monopoly and that their lawyers would prevent it. Both were show to be wrong. Now you want to have an analysis of the cost and impact of those lawsuits?
https://www.seattletimes.com/business/microsoft/long-antitrust-saga-ends-for-microsoft/

  • -2
Dulfite DonFerrari (on 20 January 2022)

I didn't move it at all. If something is declared a monopoly, it HAS to be broken up. It has never been declared that I can recall, because I don't recall it breaking any pieces off. If they have to pay a billion dollar fee, they could care less. As long as they don't get broken up like Southwestern Bell did years ago, it isn't a monopoly. The goalpost has stayed there the whole time.

  • +5
DonFerrari Dulfite (on 21 January 2022)

Did you read the link? Did you saw they had to stay in probation for over a decade? That they avoided being broken because the silly judge talked to much? That Bill Gates had to step down and keeping the company as one was considered a miracle done by Balmer?
If you want to say all that wasn`t results of the lawsuit or that MS lawyers would never allow MS to enter a position to suffer a severe monopoly lawsuit sure you can pretend all you want.

  • 0
aTokenYeti (on 19 January 2022)

We already have the Bethesda acquisition to tell us how they will treat ABK, but for anyone still holding out Hope Call of Duty, Overwatch 2, Diablo 4, or any other future ABK property is going to appear on PlayStation, these statements should dissuade those notions.

They are not interested in short term revenue from PlayStation sales. The ultimate goal is to bolster gamepass and move past the need to rely on entities like PlayStation

  • +3
NobleTeam360 aTokenYeti (on 19 January 2022)

You may be right but aren't Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 both already announced for PlayStation? Seems like they would both stay on that "commitment" to current obligations thing MS seems to do when they buy anybody.

  • +1
EpicRandy NobleTeam360 (on 19 January 2022)

Yeah, its 50/50, I don't know if Microsoft will consider simple past announcement the same as past signed deal and I don't think there was any deal done between Activision and Sony regarding those 2 games.

  • 0
SecondWar EpicRandy (on 20 January 2022)

Psychonauts 2 was announced for PS4 and Microsoft honoured that.

  • +2
zakr1995 SecondWar (on 20 January 2022)

People paid money to the kickstarter for that game, big difference.

  • +7
EspadaGrim SecondWar (on 20 January 2022)

Because those platforms were promised on Kickstarter, there is nothing stoping MS from keeping Diablo 3, Overwatch 2 from going Exclusive.

  • 0
scrapking EspadaGrim (on 20 January 2022)

In the case of Overwatch, I think there is (Blizzard has promised free upgrades to Overwatch 2 for all owners of Overwatch, and that would be a hard one to go back on).

  • 0
ironmanDX NobleTeam360 (on 20 January 2022)

Yeah, if it's already announced... It's already announced.

If the contract is already signed, I think it will be honoured.

If not... Who knows.

They're still independent until at least the end of June. Something could be done in the meantime.

  • 0
shikamaru317 NobleTeam360 (on 20 January 2022)

Yep, based on the new statements made today, about existing commitments by Acti-Blizz being honored, it's a safe bet that Overwatch 2 will come to PS and Switch and Diablo 4 will come to PS, since both were already announced for those platforms. CoD 2023 from Treyarch will be the first possible console exclusive for Xbox.

  • 0
DonFerrari shikamaru317 (on 20 January 2022)

I think CoD will take even longer to go away from PS because there are possibly long term marketing deal signed.

  • -1
Azzanation DonFerrari (on 20 January 2022)

Marketing deals can be broken. MS can afford to pay out of the contract. However as you know, MS honor the contracts already in place which we have seen plenty of times.

  • +2
DonFerrari Azzanation (on 20 January 2022)

Sure they could, and would give them a lot of good will to break contracts right?

  • -1
Azzanation DonFerrari (on 20 January 2022)

Clearly they honor the contracts to not upset communities. Bad guy Phil huh.

  • 0
DonFerrari Azzanation (on 20 January 2022)

So you think Phil try to stay on the positive side of people for?

  • -1
Azzanation DonFerrari (on 20 January 2022)

Would you prefer him to cancel the contracts?

  • 0
shikamaru317 DonFerrari (on 20 January 2022)

It's possible. At one one point in the past CoD marketing contracts were signed for 3 years at a time, but we don't know if they are still made 3 years at a time, and we don't know when the last Sony CoD marketing contract was signed. If the deals are still 3 years, Sony could have signed the last one 2019 or 2020, in which case CoD 2021 and CoD 2022 respectively would be the final CoD's with Sony marketing, or it could have been 2021, in which case CoD 2023 would be the final one with CoD marketing. We just don't know.

  • +5
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Livewitharya shikamaru317 (on 20 January 2022)

I'm not highly optimistic about it. Starfield was also announced to be coming to all platforms.

  • 0
WoodenPints NobleTeam360 (on 20 January 2022)

It's not as clear cut as the likes of The Outer Worlds and Psychonauts 2 which had actual contractual obligations with other publishers and kickstarter OW2 and D4 are only announced for last gen currentlyand given the delays it wouldn't surprise me to see both X1/PS4 versions cancelled and then the question is do Microsoft announce a PS5 version or just go with PC/Series X.

  • +5
Otter aTokenYeti (on 20 January 2022)

You can read it either way. Gutting a portion of CODs existing audience to aggressively drive gamepass, potentially sabotaging the worth of the IP and giving rise to competitors on other platforms, seems like a very short sighted decision.

" adding the Activision Blizzard portfolio to our existing operations will also propel our new forms of distribution and monetization, like Cloud Gaming and our Game Pass subscription service."

Meanwhile capitalising on the scale of those franchises without harming them, making them day one on gamepass/making COD accessible on mobile through xcloud, and reconsidering exclusivity further down the line seems more of a longterm road map. I'm still not sure why everyone is ignoring the treatment of Minecraft? The only massive IP Xbox has acquired and already released subsequent games from.

I've realised people are heavily inclined to try and assign certainty where there is none. It will be years before we get the true picture with Activision, same with Bethesda. Literally none of their regular IPs have been announced as Xbox exclusive. Right now it can only serve as a benchmark for new IPs (Redfall/Starfield)

  • 0
scrapking aTokenYeti (on 20 January 2022)

Overwatch 2 is really Overwatch 2.0, as Blizzard has promised everyone who owns Overwatch will get upgraded to Overwatch 2 for free, so I strongly disagree with your take, at least as regards Overwatch 2.

  • 0
method114 (on 20 January 2022)

I've been saying this for a while. These purchases wont really start to pay off for MS for a long time. MS is still going to be dead last this gen. It won be until next gen that they have a real chance of entering the #1 or 2 spot. Once they have all the devs putting out steady content though.. well it could end up being a slaughter. Provided they are releasing quality content. You can release 50 exclusives but if 48 of them are garbage games no one will care.

  • 0
Azzanation (on 19 January 2022)

As mention previously. MS forecast ahead. All these decisions are based on the long term future. They spends tons on market research and this is them building a towards it.

  • -1
DonFerrari (on 20 January 2022)

That much is sure, MS is the type of company that have long term plan and growth instead of short term.

  • -2
aiwass (on 20 January 2022)

No shit. Nothing they’ve done since the launch of Xbox One has been for “short term”. It’s always for nebulous, vague long term kicking-the-can-down-the-road results. Don’t believe me? Okay, where are those killer apps you were promised for Xbox One? Or do we have to wait until next year when things will definitely pick up for real this time?

  • -3