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Thread: Microsoft Purchasing Activision-Blizzard

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004

    Microsoft Purchasing Activision-Blizzard

    Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard to bring the joy and community of gaming to everyone, across every device

    Well, that's huge. It's interesting because it's both entirely unexpected and yet not really very surprising. With all the controversy, ATVI's stock had kind of tanked, and MS is buying it at a relative discount to its peak about a year ago. ATVI was ripe for an acquisition and yet it wasn't widely expected because it's so big. MS, however, has the cash (and it's a cash buyout, which is unusual) and the motive (expand its game business, yes, but also moves it heavily into the mobile space since King is included).

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    If this ends up ousting Activision-Blizzards' upper managers, that's a very good thing, considering how awful they are. Normally I want Microsoft to have a light touch with its newly-acquired studios, but in this case I want the opposite.

    Does anyone have a full list of Microsoft's newly-acquired studios? I can think of this, Obsidian, Double Fine, and Mojang, but I think I'm missing some. Edit: I was forgetting InXile and Bethesda.
    Last edited by Anarchic Fox; 18th Jan 2022 at 20:09.

  3. #3
    From the XBox site version:

    As a company, Microsoft is committed to our journey for inclusion in every aspect of gaming, among both employees and players. We deeply value individual studio cultures. We also believe that creative success and autonomy go hand-in-hand with treating every person with dignity and respect. We hold all teams, and all leaders, to this commitment. We’re looking forward to extending our culture of proactive inclusion to the great teams across Activision Blizzard.
    This hopefully means there will be some outside scrutiny on the actions of the ABK leadership.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarchic Fox View Post
    Does anyone have a full list of Microsoft's newly-acquired studios? I can think of this, Obsidian, Double Fine, and Mojang, but I think I'm missing some. Edit: I was forgetting InXile and Bethesda.
    Arkane. Id. MachineGames.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    I miss the days when simply forcing users to install your web browser as part of an OS was seen by most as a blatant anti-competitive practice.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Moyer View Post
    Arkane. Id. MachineGames.
    Ninja Theory too. The scale is intimidating. Microsoft doesn't even need third-party developers anymore.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    https://www.pcgamer.com/every-game-a...soft-now-owns/

    I just realized this means Raven and Id are the same company now. So theoretically we could have a Hexen reboot using new IdTech or something.

  8. #8
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Well I was moving towards indie games already anyway.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Apparently this deal is an order of magnitude more expensive than other recent ones, at $69 billion versus Zenimax's $7.5 billion, Marvel's $4 billion, and Lucasfilm's $4.1 billion. And I'm wondering how that makes any sense. Was the mobile division (King) much bigger than I realized?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarchic Fox View Post
    Was the mobile division (King) much bigger than I realized?
    Mobile was about 1/3rd of ABK's net revenue in 2020. And that was in a year where the Activision part did a lot better than usual, which as far as I can tell from their annual investor report was mostly due to console releases.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Thanks for the info. It's easy to forget that mobile gaming dwarfs all other types.

  12. #12
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    Registered: Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarchic Fox View Post
    And I'm wondering how that makes any sense.
    At the end of the day, they're buying all the stock, and that's roughly what all the stock costs ("market capitalization").

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrian View Post
    At the end of the day, they're buying all the stock, and that's roughly what all the stock costs ("market capitalization").
    That isn't what I found nonsensical, but rather the relative valuation. Activision-Blizzard-King being worth ten times as much as Bethesda, Id and Arkane combined, or sixteen times as much as Lucasfilms.

    I think this is one of those situations where the financial value of something is completely different from other measures of value. On a cultural level, Arkane alone is more valuable than the entirety of ATVI. But ATVI really does make that much money: last year its revenue was some 8 billion.

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    That's being a bit harsh on all of Blizzard's classic games, isn't it? Starcraft, Warcraft and Diablo are hugely influential series.

  15. #15
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I think the point was more like what has Blizzard done for us lately? The last really culturally significant game was World of Warcraft originally from 2004. They shouldn't get away with rehashing Diablos forever, and Overwatch got way overshadowed by Fortnight; and if you look it up, there's a lot of talk if it's a dead game already, and it's not that old. (Putting aside the fact that its & Fortnight's core mechanic is twitch & scream.) And Activision has just been rehashing Calls of Duty, Tony Hawks, Guitar Heroes, and sad movie tie-ins since the early 2000s.

    Whereas Arkane has been maintaining its vision with new & innovative IP right up to the present.
    If that wasn't the main punchline, it should be anyway.

    That said, anybody with business sense could probably predict where the money is if they reflected on it, though.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    If we're talking about total contribution, then yeah, Blizzard has done more for gaming than Arkane. I was thinking more about current and (likely) future work. My measure here is, "How much of a loss would it be if the company went under completely?" Candy Crush would be replaced instantly with something of equivalent quality. There are ample counterparts to CoD, Overwatch and Guitar Hero, and additional ones would appear to fill the void. World of Warcraft would be a loss (only FFXIV really compares), but a smaller one nowadays than a decade ago. Starcraft would be swiftly hacked to run without Blizznet. On the other hand, Arkane not only puts out high-quality work, it's high-quality work that only they can do.

    That's the best I can do right now to make the notion of "cultural value" precise. It's not just the merit of a company's products (I'm sure Candy Crush has all sorts of nice features), but the distinctness of that merit. Of course there's all sorts of subjectivity in both areas, so I expect different people to judge them differently.
    Last edited by Anarchic Fox; 21st Jan 2022 at 22:24.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    The worst selling Call Of Doody title has probably sold more than Arkane's entire catalog combined. My surprise in regards to this deal being so much larger than Zenimax has more to do with how insanely huge every BethSoft game has been since Oblivion.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    This pandemic has really warped my perception of time. I really thought that happened a long time ago, rather than closing less than a year ago.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarchic Fox View Post
    Of course there's all sorts of subjectivity in both areas, so I expect different people to judge them differently.
    Investments like this don't even consider your approach, instead they look at cost vs future earnings. Call of Duty, Candy Crush, and Hearthstone (Blizzard's current biggest earner) are all set up to make a lot of money with future releases unless the casual gaming market has a massively radical shift.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    You know, now that Microsoft owns all of the Id and Activision IP stuff, it would be nice if they'd sort out the digital availability of Raven's back catalog. Or at least put Portal Of Praevus and Wolfenstein 2009 on Steam.

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    And Sony responded by purchasing Bungie. Which is kinda funny, given Bungie's history, but also more oligopolic consolidation.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Frankly, I think Nintendo should step up and purchase September Games for $2 billion next. I think it would be a very strategic investment and provide a lot of value to their portfolio.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    ...Well, why wouldn't a company named "Bungie" bounce around a lot...

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