Microsoft plus Activision Blizzard: What it means for gamers
7:03

Microsoft plus Activision Blizzard: What it means for gamers

Tech Industry
Speaker 1: If you woke up this morning with Microsoft buys, avision blizzard on your bingo card. Well, good for you. It's an almost 70 billion deal. That's found to have a huge impact on the industry, but I'm more interested in what it means for gamers like you and me. I think the first big question people are asking is, does this mean active vision blizzard games are gonna be locked into, uh, just the Xbox or Xbox and PC? I say the smart money is on. Probably not. There are a lot [00:00:30] of franchises, college duty overwatched, they're just too big to be locked into just one console and PC. We're gonna continue to see those on other platforms on PlayStation, on switch cloud streaming on mobile. I think that's gonna continue Speaker 1: Remember active vision blizzard controls a lot of other big brands like Diablo and yes, like candy crush, because it has that king subsidiary that makes mobile games. This also gives Microsoft a much bigger foothold in eSports, which is an area [00:01:00] that really has not been driving force in, but taking over some of the big eSports brands, whether it's Overwatch, whether it's StarCraft. I think that means that we're gonna see a lot more Microsoft influence in eSports. This is another big potential step for game pass, and it further differentiates the possibilities of game pass from what Sony offers with the PlayStation, which is this weird combination of lay station plus and PlayStation. Now, neither of which are even close to being as comprehensive as Xbox game passes. And of [00:01:30] course it's two separate services you have to subscribe to. That said, Sony said to be working on a revamp version of its subscription offerings, maybe something that combines those two into something that's a little more game pass like, but now that Microsoft is, is adding the active vision catalog and probably bringing at least some of those games to game Fest. I think it's gonna be an even tougher hill for Sony to climb. Remember that Microsoft already has a deal to offer access to some EA games through EA play that you can get by being an Xbox game pass ultimate subscriber. [00:02:00] So maybe if you take a future version of game Fest that has Microsoft games and EA games and division blizzard games, well, that's really a lot of stuff under one subscription. It really takes a lot of chips off the table when it comes to asking gamers to purchase individual standalone games. Speaker 1: Another big question people are asking is, does this mean exclusive games? So for just one console, they're gonna be much more of the norm than even they are now. And also what happens to other top tier AAA [00:02:30] publishers? Are they gonna be able to exist in the future as independent companies? Are they inevitably going to get snatched up by one of the other big players? Remember Microsoft already owns Bethesda and is taking at least some future Bethesda games X by only, or Xbox and PC only. Uh, this also reminds me of how Disney snapped up Marvel and star wars and ended up paying about $4 billion each for those, which really seems like a bargain in hindsight, especially because we're talking about 67 billion [00:03:00] for activat blizzard. Speaker 1: So who's next. If somebody's going on a shopping screen, electronic arts, their market cap is about 39 billion. Take two. They're about $18 billion that these become an acquisition target for Microsoft, probably it for Sony, but what about apple or Google who are always trying to bolster their gaming bonafides and build out things like apple arcade, which is a thing, but it's kind of very limited in its box and that's where it is [00:03:30] or Google stadia, which had a big splash, but hasn't moved the needle a lot lately, even as cloud gaming becomes more and more important and Microsoft is already eating up a lot of the oxygen in the room when it comes to cloud gaming. And what about Invidia? That is a huge market cap company, very influential in gaming. It's building its own platform via a G force now, but that's also a very different animal I've said going back 10 plus years, that cloud gaming is the future basically server side gaming, where you don't have any hardware locally. Speaker 1: Everything has played [00:04:00] on a remote server and beaned back to you that said it's taken a lot longer to take off than I ever thought it would. There are still a lot of implementations and technology hurdles there. Uh, Microsoft is doing a really interesting job with what they used to call X cloud. Now it's Microsoft cloud gaming and you've also of course, got in video GForce now and Google stadia and Amazon's version of it that is called I've already forgotten, uh, Luna. So there's definitely a lot of potential players in that cloud gaming space. And they could all be interested in buying some of these, uh, [00:04:30] developers and publishers to try to get some exclusive titles that will bring you into those services. What can we take away from Microsoft buying division blizzard? I think it used to teach us that scale is really everything these days and interest rates are low, so there's less cost to growing through acquisition. Speaker 1: And of course, we're gonna continue to see that. I think the gaming industry in particular is very fertile ground for increased consolidation. I'm also thinking about what happens to the companies like valve and epic. Although these [00:05:00] companies are really more about their underlying technology, like the unreal engine, uh, and about distribution platforms than just being, you know, game publishers or game creators. When you think about what this all means for gamers, whether you're an Xbox game or a PC gamer, a PlayStation gamer, a sweats gamer, maybe a cloud gamer, a mobile gamer. I think there's a lot of unknowns in the future. Some of the I am thinking about already is what happens to battle.net. That's the old school blizzard game platform and storefront, [00:05:30] uh, PC gamers, I think already have too many platforms in storefronts to deal with. Maybe it's time to clean up that landscape a little bit. Maybe they fold that in with the, uh, Xbox app that, uh, runs the PC gaming side of Microsoft's Xbox game pass gaming. I'm also somewhat surprised that avision CEO, Bobby Kotick. Who's been under fire for many months about his company's toxic culture is number one, staying on. And number two, there wasn't really a mention of any of that in Microsoft's press announcement. That means all [00:06:00] that negative connotation now is on Microsoft shoulders and it's gonna be their responsibility to deal with it going forward. Speaker 1: And then of course there's the most important question for any tech news in 2022? What does it mean for the metaverse? I'm kidding, but only slide there's a throwaway line in Microsoft's press materials about how this is going to provide building blocks for the metaverse, which is about as clear as pretty much every other metaverse mentioned these days. So Microsoft buying avision [00:06:30] blizzard, obviously it's a big deal and means a lot for the games industry for the technology industry and frankly for these subscription service industry, because so much of it is built around game pass on the gaming side. What does it mean for gamers like me and you? I think it means that we're going to see more merging of activism and EA play and Microsoft andthe games all under these single subscriptions, which is gonna drive a lot of pressure to add new content, to keep you subscribed and be paying month after month. Because if everybody from apple [00:07:00] to Adobe has shown subscriptions are the future.

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