In letter : The entire video game industry is feeling the shock waves of Microsoft’s $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, including Sony, the Redmond firm’s rival. Shares of the Japanese company fell 13% after yesterday’s deal announcement, wiping $20 billion off its valuation in a single day.
Microsoft has shocked the industry with what would be the Windows maker’s biggest deal to date, beating the $26.2 billion it paid for LinkedIn in 2016, the $19.7 billion deal with Nuance Communications and nearly ten times the $7.5 billion it paid for Bethesda’s parent company, ZeniMax.
For consumers, the acquisition will see many of Activision’s current and future games come to the Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass subscription services, but not until the deal closes in 2023. Activision Blizzard’s favorites include Diablo, Overwatch, and the insanely popular Call of Duty series.
The move caused PlayStation owners to fear that Call of Duty would become an Xbox/PC exclusive. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer tried to allay those concerns saying, “I will just say to gamers who play Activision Blizzard games on Sony’s platform: it is not our intention to drive communities away. of this platform and we remained engaged. so that.”
However, Spencer made a similar promise when Microsoft acquired Bethesda, and while Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo retained their timed exclusivity on PlayStation 5, Starfield will be an Xbox/PC exclusive, as will Elder Scrolls 6. Spencer said that Microsoft would continue to develop “some of Activision’s games” for PlayStation consoles; we’ll have to wait and see if Call of Duty is one of them.
Whatever happens with the game’s exclusivity, the deal with Microsoft certainly has Sony investors worried. Bloomberg reports that the company’s shares fell 13% in Tokyo on Wednesday, wiping $20 billion off its value and marking their biggest drop since October 2008.