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Microsoft Acquisition of Activision Blizzard 'Will Change the Industry Forever,' Says Analyst

Microsoft Acquisition of Activision Blizzard 'Will Change the Industry Forever,' Says Analyst - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 02 February 2022 / 2,141 Views

Microsoft this week made the biggest acquisition in gaming history with the announcement it is acquiring Activision Blizzard in a deal worth $68.7 billion. 

Kantan Games' Dr. Serkan Toto and many other industry analysts speaking with GamesIndustry discussed the impact the acquisition will have on the gaming industry.

"The deal is almost out of this world and will change the industry forever," said Toto. 

Microsoft's first-party studios have been, at least in my mind, behind Sony's for the longest time. It needed a big solution to catch up to Sony, and Bethesda was not enough: this deal can be a game changer for them."

Parker Consulting's Nick Parker said the deal is about Microsoft's "obsessions to right the wrongs of the Xbox One era" and to set a goal of pushing Sony to third place behind Xbox and Nintendo. He said Activision Blizzard's franchises could make Xbox tempting for people who have never owned an Xbox console. 

DFC Intelligence owner David Cole was surprised by the deal even if he knew something was going to happen with Activision Blizzard given the current situation. 

"It was known that something was likely to happen with Activision Blizzard," said Cole. "However, we did not expect a company like Microsoft to come in and acquire it all. Activision, Blizzard and King were really three unique companies and the speculation was they could be split up. "For shareholders this is probably a best case scenario as the valuation is really solid. Microsoft was one of the only companies willing to swallow the whole pill so it was a surprise."

Niko's Cosmas Hanson added, "Importantly, this deal includes the acquisition of King and several other Activision-owned mobile game studios. Mobile gaming is critical for Microsoft to reach the three billion gamers worldwide. The combination of HD console games for Xbox being available via cloud for mobile and other devices plus Activision's dedicated mobile games development will support Microsoft's goal of platform, IP and geographic expansion.

"Both entities have a strong footprint in Asia, which is the largest region in the world for the games industry -- we estimate it represents more than 60% of the global market revenue of PC and mobile gaming. Activision Blizzard has a stronger presence in Asia than Microsoft, perhaps because the latter has focused on console and most of Asia favors PC and mobile. In addition, the Japanese console brands dominate console gaming in Asia. The acquisition allows for several pieces of the video game industry puzzle to fit together nicely, on a global scale."

Once the deal closes the number of first-party Xbox studios will grow from 23 to 32. The list of subsidiaries and divisions under Activision Blizzard include Activision Publishing, Blizzard Entertainment, Beenox, Demonware, Digital Legends, High Moon Studios, Infinity Ward, King, Major League Gaming, Radical Entertainment, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, Toys for Bob and Treyarch.

The most well known IPs that are owned by Activision Blizzard include Call of Duty, Warcraft, Candy Crush, Tony Hawk, Diablo, Overwatch, Spyro, Hearthstone, Guitar Hero, Crash Bandicoot, and StarCraft. In total there are well over 30 IPs owned by Activision Blizzard.


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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19 Comments
thevideogameninja (on 20 January 2022)

-"Microsoft's first-party studios have been, at least in my mind, behind Sony's for the longest time."- Toto

This is the big pink elephant in the room.

Despite Microsoft's best efforts their stable of first party titles (while still really good.) haven't quite managed to reach the heights set by Sony over the years.

Games like Halo, Gears, and Forza are great but the kind of new innovation that the Sony 1st party studios have been churning out since honestly back in the PS3 days have really made them stand apart from their competition.

Titles like Uncharted, TLOU, GOW, Infamous, Horizon, Killzone, LBP, Ratchet & Clank, GT, and a whole host of others are system sellers and have gone on to become big franchises despite some of their humble beginnings.

It's hard not to think Microsoft was just fed up and decided to throw money at studios that had already built that following through their franchises but it kind of is looking more and more like that's the case.

I know to many it may come off as a "cheap move" but at the end of the day gamers are just going to care about what titles they can play on whatever system they have and as of right now Microsoft is positioning themselves in a way that may suggest to gamers that in the near future X box might be the main place to play their favorite franchises.

-ELEPHANT IN THE VIDEOGAME ROOM NINJA APPROVED-

  • +5
Azzanation thevideogameninja (on 20 January 2022)

Keep in mind Xbox had far fewer developing studios under their belt for quite some time until MS started their buying spree mid way through last gen. The 360 era, MS had to outsource a lot of their 1st party games like Gears of War and Alan wake etc. X1 was the same deal except they had a few closures which led to even less 1st party games output. They are turning that around of course. However lets not forget Xbox's top 1st party games have and can compete with the very best in the industry as proof with the 360 era.

  • +4
mjk45 Azzanation (on 20 January 2022)

Gears was never outsourced it was Epic's till they sold it to MS. and the Alan Wake IP
was always owned by Remedy but MS had the publishing rights, but now Remedy owns those publishing rights.

  • +2
Azzanation mjk45 (on 20 January 2022)

Thats what i meant by outsourced. They didn't have the studios so alot of thier 1st party games came from 3rd party developers. That has of course changed now.

  • 0
SecondWar Azzanation (on 22 January 2022)

By definition then, Gears and Alan Wake weren’t first party games during the 360 era - they were second party games.

  • 0
Azzanation SecondWar (on 22 January 2022)

2nd party, 1st party, whatever the definition is. Gears of War was treated like a 1st party game even through MS didnt own the IP.

  • 0
rykdrewbr thevideogameninja (on 25 January 2022)

Sony first party IPs = single player games only. Microsoft = multiplayer games.
We are on multiplayer era. At least I don't have the patience for single player games. You look at the Steam database today and the 40 most played games today are all multiplayer games. I hardly see people playing single player anymore. At least the gamers I know. I, for example, don't have the slightest patience to play a game because of the plot. I like competition games. That's why Sony IPs don't mean much to me.

  • 0
Imaginedvl (on 20 January 2022)

No shit, Sherlock :) Those analysts are good!

  • +5
thevideogameninja Imaginedvl (on 20 January 2022)

🤣

-CAPTAIN OBVIOUS NINJA APPROVED-

  • +9
Darwinianevolution (on 20 January 2022)

In other news, water is wet, and will continue to be wet until further notice. More at 11.

  • 0
aTokenYeti (on 20 January 2022)

The analyst that said Microsoft’s long term goal is to push Sony into 3rd place behind Nintendo and Microsoft in the console business is 100% correct

  • 0
Jumpinbeans (on 20 January 2022)

Difference between Sony and MSFT is Sony buys developers working on PS games and incorporates them. MSFT buys multiplatform developers and is starting to limit the platforms on which they release games.

I can see this being blocked.....or if not then sony forced to go down the acquisition route. 1st on their list should be Take2 interactive to get GTA, then EA.

On the subject of EA, having EA and Activision in the same pass group will be awkward.

  • -1
zero129 Jumpinbeans (on 20 January 2022)

Final Fantasy, forspoken, Spiderman, Wolverine, deathloop, tokyo gostwire and many more all say hi.

  • 0
scrapking zero129 (on 20 January 2022)

Deathloop is owned by Microsoft now and is almost certain to come out on Xbox once the exclusivity period ends, FWIW.

  • 0
zero129 scrapking (on 20 January 2022)

I know that. But my point being Sony still payed to keep it away from Xbox gamers.

  • +1
Jumpinbeans zero129 (on 22 January 2022)

They are hardy the same thing. Sonys is either a timed exclusive or an agreement with the 3rd party on a game so the 3rd party decides. MSFT is buying a company with franchises which it’ll most likely block future releases for from other platforms in future.

I can’t see in anyway this is positive for the game console community as a a whole. Sure if you’re a gamepass subscriber you’re getting more for your money. Anyone else is worse off as your favourite content may no longer on future come out for you.

  • +1
scrapking Jumpinbeans (on 23 January 2022)

If you're a Game Pass subscriber (console, PC, and streaming), then this is good for you.

If you're a PC player, then this may mean Blizzard's games finally all migrate from Battle.net exclusivity to Steam, so that may be good for you.

If Microsoft moves Call of Duty to less than a strictly annual affair, and frees up developers to explore long-dormant Activision IP, that's good for the whole industry no matter what platforms they do (or do not) come out on. Even if PS doesn't always make the cut, there might be some franchises that Microsoft lets come out on Switch for example (Crash? Spyro?) in addition to on Xbox/PC/cloud.

If you work at Activision, and Microsoft's HR teams come in and start paying people more and making sure they're abused less (sexual harassment, crunch), then that's undeniably good.

  • 0
scrapking Jumpinbeans (on 20 January 2022)

I can't see this being blocked. Horizontal integration (such as buying Sony or Nintendo) would be frowned upon and would face greater scrutiny because it would reduce the number of "channels" of competition.

This is vertical integration (a distribution channel increasing the amount of content it owns). Since there's so much competing content that Microsoft doesn't own (Square Enix, EA, Ubisoft, Sega, 2K, Capcom, and too many more to list) it won't be seen as monopolistic by regulators I predict.

You make an interesting point about how EA may feel about this.

  • 0
VAMatt (on 20 January 2022)

Wow! Way to to out on a limb with a bold take.

  • -1