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Microsoft’s $ 75bn bet on Activision sparked game wars

As a way to metaverse runs modern gaming companies, then Microsoft approved $ 75bn earning of Activision Blizzard could be one of the most recognizable features of the next generation of consumer technology.

The full-fledged stock market, which was announced Tuesday, has crashed into a world of video games. By bringing the 30-stage stadiums under one roof, “the outcome of the alliance will create chaos across the industry,” said Piers Harding-Rolls, a sports analyst at Ampere Analysis.

The return was heard in the stock market, when Sony opened almost 10 percent lower in Tokyo Wednesday with other athletes rising in anticipation of other tours.

Instead, the big deal promises to transform Microsoft into one of the world’s largest game developers, shake up existing networks and competitions that make up the global $ 200bn global market, and help lay the foundations for everything – including real world futures.

“This is a new war, a version of Web 3.0,” said Neil Campling, an expert on Mirabaud Securities. But it is also possible to cause a great deal of light from antitrust control globally, for which every move of major US technology companies to buy their way to the top of important new markets has been a concern.

Everything is far from what most investors expect when Satya Nadella took over a major Microsoft role in 2014. At that point, it met with mobile phones to dissuade the company’s Xbox gaming console from overseeing all of its features in creating lost space in cloud computing.

Instead, Nadella insisted on the idea of ​​creating a new Microsoft audience from the groups that formed around the game, and bought the game. manufacturer of Minecraft his first job as an elder.

More to try and get more people online – including a Chinese video program TikTok and the work of visiting Discord – to no avail, which made Nadella look more like a game as a great way to make a larger audience.

By expanding Microsoft’s integration into the game, expanding its design to support its Xbox and PC distribution platform, Nadella has highlighted the big differences with the entire Big Tech.

The main competitors are focused on building the world’s most important platforms, networks and tollbooths.

It includes the real Oculus Facebook business and the Google Stadia cloud gaming division, each representing a new game distribution system; Apple stores and Google smartphone; and Amazon Shopping on the online promotional site Twitch.

In a short period of time, once it finishes and combines its acquisitions, Microsoft stands to reach the multi-game market, making it a strong competitor to comfort Sony’s partner and Tencent mobile gaming giant. In particular, add games like Candy Crush could offer the opportunity to stabilize the mobile market, which is now as important as console and PC games integrated.

Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision, said with powerful technology companies like Apple and Google with a strong interest in gaming, buying should not provoke criticism from regulators.

“There has never been more competition than today,” he told FT. “It’s a great incentive to do this.”

The division of the game is played between multiple publishers and platforms, and the fact that Microsoft’s revenue from the games is still limited. Tencent, Sony and Apple, which also reduced the risk of redundancy, added Campling.

“Microsoft has probably just discovered a single component of the digital environment that can escape being carefully monitored by the opposing military,” he said.

However, while Microsoft’s role in the game may not be large enough to cause concern on its own, some experts have warned that its attempts at deep integration could cause concern. The company has not yet said whether it will reduce the distribution of other Activision games to Microsoft platforms, and create a kind of accessory that plays a major role in running today’s game business.

Ensuring that more potential audiences at Activision games can provide strong incentives for Microsoft to continue marketing through platforms like the PlayStation, some experts have said. But as it reaches more and more audiences through consoles, PCs and mobile phones, reading can change.

Nadella herself spoke of such a future, saying that Microsoft wants to create a “Netflix game” – a single, online subscription service that offers access to a wide range of unique features.

Microsoft already has a start, with its Game Pass performance growing at almost 30 percent last year to reach 25m paid subscribers. Activision brings more online audiences for Microsoft to sell as it tries to feed these subscriptions, with 400m people a month earning one of the Activision games online.

Viewers like Harding-Rolls, however, warn against simple comparisons between video game companies and rushing to war who are also changing the fun. Even by 2025, subscriptions will be only $ 11bn in gaming revenue, according to Juniper Research estimates – a seaside for industries whose total sales are above $ 200bn.

However, distributing games over the cloud can make Microsoft more stable in new markets. Moving through Game Pass to anyone with a mobile phone, for example, could help Microsoft access “global markets where traditional video games have become more complex”, said Nadella.

Furthermore, he added, the game could be a very important factor in creating a metaverse. In that sense, the deep future of the world is seen as “a group of people with the knowledge of the people with powerful weapons, available on any device”, the Microsoft chief said.

Such talk has become quite commonplace around the world, with companies such as Meta Platforms (Old Facebook) and Microsoft are trying to establish themselves as leaders of the next generation of online communications.

But the gaming world does not have to wait for vague visions like these to judge Activision’s purchases: if Microsoft removes its game-changing agreement, the risks it creates will come back sharply here and there.

Additional reports by Patrick McGee and Christopher Grimes in Los Angeles


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