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HomeScience/TechnologyWhy Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition is not living up to expectations

Why Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition is not living up to expectations

When Microsoft announced its ambitions to acquire Activision Blizzard, it sent a shockwave through the gaming community. Since then, things have become uncertain as several approvals are needed to complete the deal. As the situation now stands, much of the initial hype and shine that was created seems to be lost.

Deals and acquisitions in the gaming industry are not uncommon and have been happening for a while. However, the sheer size of the franchises involved and the appreciation caused the community to react like never before. That said, the earlier euphoria is somewhat lost and there are plenty of reasons to guess.

A deal worth about $70 billion is sure to take time, and Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been no different. The loss of gloss is much more than that and has also caused fans to lose interest. While there is little doubt about the deal’s potential success, the impact could be much deeper than expected.

Microsoft’s efforts to get its Activision Blizzard deal green-lit seem forced and naive

In a recent development, Microsoft released a dedicated website where the company highlights its vision for the future and discusses how it will benefit various stakeholders. While the attempt could be in order, what has happened so far has raised questions about its expected impact.

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The biggest threat to Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is its valuation. A figure of $70 billion is staggering in every sector except the gaming industry. Still, the valuation is not unnatural, given the franchises involved. A series like Call of Duty made more than $5 billion in revenue last fiscal year.

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One area where the deal has lost some steam is with the future of Call of Duty. The military shooter has not only made money for Activision, but also for Sony PlayStation.

Once the acquisition is complete, the franchise could eventually become an Xbox exclusive. Based on the information available, Sony may keep the franchise for another three years after the deal closes.

Phil Spencer says the goal is to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation and expand it where people can play and that’s the goal for any game. 20 seconds later…Says Exclusives the backbone of the industry and Xbox will continue to have exclusives….Exclusive against gaming🙃🥴

Again, this contradicts what Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer has reiterated about gaming and exclusives. He has talked regularly about how exclusivity can hurt consumers who are deprived of the opportunity to play a title simply because they don’t have the right platform.

Still, it will seem a bit hypocritical to make Call of Duty exclusive after Microsoft’s acquisition, even after three years.

Franchises like Call of Duty aren’t the only big ones under Activision Blizzard’s house. Making them exclusive to Xbox consoles and as part of the Xbox Game Pass could be hugely profitable for the company. It could help establish the same ecosystem that Phil Spencer has talked about in the past.

Now let’s see if the UK regulator agrees that it’s not their job to protect Sony’s revenues, as that’s ultimately the only real impact this deal has here. Nintendo will get Call of Duty as a result of this deal, gamers will also get it in XGP/cloud, Steam Deck will also get more Acti games…

Xbox has dragged the line of exclusivity into the current generation, with Starfield being an example. What makes the deal lose its charm are the uncertainties surrounding it. Closing the deal is the most certain outcome at the moment. Still, there’s no certainty at this point that this will happen, despite Phil Spencer and Microsoft Satya Nadella being quite optimistic about their chances.

The website’s release has sent mixed signals to players who had hoped the deal would close. Details are predicted to be finalized around mid-2023, so there doesn’t appear to be any delay as of now. Given the parties involved, it seems highly unlikely that the deal will be cancelled.

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That said, fans will want to see some closure on the finer details at play. If Call of Duty goes the exclusive route in the future, an enthusiast will likely invest in an Xbox Series XLS. While delays in the legal process are expected, the lack of clarity about the future of the franchises has left many consumers questioning the deal between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard.

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