With the purchase offer of Activision-Blizzard for about 69,000 million dollars, Microsoft puts pressure on its rival Sony and all the suitors in the video game business, such as Google, Amazon and Tencent.
The year 2022 began with important business operations in this juicy sector, which is undergoing great transformations with the progressive implementation of the virtual world.
Last week Take-Two, creator of games such as Grand Theft Auto, bought the Zynga brand, a specialist in entertainment for mobile phones and tablets, for 12.7 billion dollars.
Microsoft markets the Xbox console and owns several video game creation studios.
If the operation with Activision materializes, it will become the third player in the sector in terms of turnover, behind the Chinese Tencent and the Japanese Sony, manufacturer of the PlayStation.
The consequences for gamers around the world are significant: Call of Duty, Diablo, Overwatch have been hugely popular games for years.
Microsoft could turn them into exclusive games for their Xbox, which would put Sony’s Playstation 5 out of business.
– Exclusivity –
“Microsoft didn’t hesitate to exclusively port Bethesda games to Xbox platforms, so gamers can expect the same to happen for Activision-Blizzard games,” industry insider Charles-Louis Planade told AFP. firm Midcap Partners.
“If ‘Call of Duty’ and all the Activision-Blizzard games become Microsoft exclusivities, that will put enormous pressure on Sony and everyone else who wants to get into cloud gaming. internet cloud) like Google, Amazon and Tencent,” he explains.
The ‘cloud gaming’ (or continuous game) allows access to game platforms installed remote servers, without having to use machines like the XBox.
It is the strategy that Microsoft already applies with its subscriptions for fans, such as Game Pass Ultimate and Xbox Cloud Gaming.
Microsoft had already bought in September 2020 Bethesda, creator of series such as “The Elder Scrolls” or “Fallout”, for 7,500 million dollars.
“It’s like if you subscribe to Netflix or Amazon Prime because there is the series you want to see. Tomorrow the same thing will happen: you will go to the platform where your favorite game will be,” Planade highlights.
– The objectives of the sector –
With this purchase, Microsoft will also achieve “a dominant position in sports, a sector in full expansion, where it had difficulties in the past,” said this expert.
And it will also “strengthen Microsoft’s position in the mobile gaming market, which will represent $272 billion by 2030,” explains Rupantar Guha, an analyst at GlobalData.
Google or Amazon are just starting out in the online gaming business, and their portfolio “is very light” compared to Tencent, Sony or Microsoft, explains this expert.
For this reason, offers could arrive shortly: Electronic Arts (Fifa, Les Sims, Apex,…), based in California, could be the subject of an offer, explains Laurent Michaud, an analyst specializing in the online entertainment industry.
“Sony could be interested in Asian publishers like Bandai Namco, Capcom, Square Enix, Konami or Nexon,” he adds.
Or the French Ubisoft, in which the Chinese giant Tencent has already taken a minority stake, of the order of 6,000 million euros (about 6,600 million dollars).