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Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

Old 01-21-22, 07:03 AM
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Re: Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

Originally Posted by fujishig
If you're going to do timed exclusives for something like COD (assuming the actual game and not extras), you might as well just not go multiplatform, IMHO.
They'll go timed exclusive for the first year, and Xbox will outperform because its available sooner and on GP. That way the next year they can feed us the BS that it wasn't worth their investment to publish on PS because it didn't do as well the previous year where they gave it away for free a month early on xbox.
Old 01-21-22, 08:55 AM
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Re: Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

Again there are pre-existing deals in place with Sony. Those will be honored. Usually Sony has some slight exclusive deal with CoD, something minor "Only on Playstation". If that's still the case going forward maybe Sony agrees to drop that to extend the multi console window. We don't know how long the current deal runs, but for a while at least it's coming to both systems at the same time.
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Old 01-21-22, 08:59 AM
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Re: Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

Yeah, I think a better tact would be honor the contracts (which they have to do anyway), but bleed as many people as they can to the Xbox side because of Gamepass/features (if non parity is allowed in the contract) before they flip the switch. Cutting off all the PS users especially when consoles are in short supply on a big franchise like this seems really dumb to me.

I don't even know, is there cross-console multiplayer on these games yet? I'd think you'd also want the biggest playerbase for that, not to mention the microtransactions.
Old 01-21-22, 08:59 AM
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Re: Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

Originally Posted by Decker
Usually Sony has some slight exclusive deal with CoD, something minor "Only on Playstation".
Sony has also had marketing rights for the franchise since 2015 (which were held by MS for a long while prior to that).
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Old 01-21-22, 10:09 AM
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Re: Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

Have at it:

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Old 01-21-22, 10:31 AM
  #81  
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Re: Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

What are the dirty tactics here?

I don't see why this has to be a console war thing like it's politics or something. If Sony made this move I think people would have a similar reaction.
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Old 01-21-22, 10:36 AM
  #82  
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Re: Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

Here's the full text of that post quoted by Music above, in case anyone can't read the tiny text. Spoilerized for length
Spoiler:
It's hardly just a couple of moneyhats though. Sony have been signing exclusivity deals relentlessly all last generation, and they've done them largely unanswered as a result of both Xbox having a weaker market position making it cheaper for them to do, but also because the practice of signing them is widely accepted for them, but not for MS.

There's a reason why something like Final Fantasy sells so disproportionately on PlayStation... it's because these exclusivity deals reinforce (or in some cases disrupt) audiences on a given platform, and as time goes on that becomes more difficult to undo. Sony's had Final Fantasy in their corner for a long time now, going back to Final Fantasy 7, but the series DID eventually come to Xbox day and date beginning with Final Fantasy XIII, and was starting to cultivate an audience within that ecosystem that had a desire to play JRPGs. That Final Fantasy 7 Remake got moneyhatted (for what is still an uncertain length of time in regards to Xbox) isn't a random coincidence. This type of moneyhat is a precisely targeted one to cause an entire genre of game not be viable on the platform.

There are some IP that within their sphere carry so much weight that they cause ripple effects across the genre. Sony's Street Fighter V moneyhat effectively buried the entire fighter genre on Xbox, because nobody invested in that genre was going to opt for a console that lacked Street Fighter.. and as a result other titles that weren't (or at least I'm not aware of being) moneyhats would start to skip the console also, because if nobody that's invested in that genre is opting for that console, why should the smaller, more niche IP target that console either, right?

So yes... timed exclusives very much can be used to push a competing platform out of the market, and Sony was routinely targeting games that would be the most crippling across the spectrum. Whether that be Final Fantasy (and possibly Persona?) in the JRPG space, Street Fighter in the fighting game space, the year (or two) long exclusive content deals for Destiny, and the exclusive map content for COD in the FPS space, etc... the goal was to make it so Xbox as a platform wasn't a viable choice for the majority of the market. And quite frankly, it was working and working well... hence the situation in 2016 where MS bowing out of the market entirely was a very real possibility.

When that didn't occur, Sony looked to land killer blows right away at the start of this generation. Hence the announcement of Final Fantasy XVI's timed exclusivity ahead of the consoles being released, and the murmurs of a whole slew of others to be revealed in time. And the general response here was just that it was a foregone conclusion that PS5 would just continue to build on PS4's momentum largely unimpeded. And considering the shit MS took back in 2015 when they dared to land a single comparable exclusivity deal with Rise of the Tomb Raider, that avenue of retaliation was clearly not available to them. Look how quick the clarification of the duration of exclusivity of RoTR was forced out of MS and SquareEnix, and then contrast that with Crash N'Sane Trilogy, Nier Automata, Final Fantasy 7R, KOTOR remake... or any of countless other deals where their eventual Xbox release was happily left vague as hell. That's how we're here today, because MS were either gonna commit fully and land some true heavy blows that made a real difference to the current landscape, or they were inevitably going to see their platform marginalised to the point where they had to drop out.

If people didn't want to see the level of escalation we're seeing now today... well, they shouldn't have been so comfortable commending the ever increasing frequency and severity of deals Sony was making to cripple their primary competition. "Final Fantasy sells 80%+ on PlayStation anyways, so they may as well" and by extension "of course it makes sense for game X to skip Xbox, because the audience is all on PlayStation". Well, congrats... now they won't all be. The rampant desire for the glory days of PS2-era domination has led us here, and so cries about how unfair it is ring hollow.


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Old 01-21-22, 10:36 AM
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Re: Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

Title specific exclusivity and buying out entire publishers seem a little different to me.

Though the titles Sony did make exclusives are damaging in Japan (where Final Fantasy Online is huge).
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Old 01-21-22, 10:40 AM
  #84  
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Re: Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

It's competition between businesses.

Like always consumers are just stuck in the middle.
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Old 01-21-22, 10:49 AM
  #85  
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Re: Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

Also to be clear, there are lots of fair points in contrast to what that person is saying. But I think people really do downplay that although these companies tackle 'exclusivity' in different ways, they're both doing it to cut off each other in some way.

But the bigger point was that the Xbox CEO specifically said this latest deal was about blocking Amazon and Google, which is what I expected. Had Activision (or Bethesda) gone to either of them instead, I think it'd have been an even bigger blow to Sony (and MS).
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Old 01-21-22, 11:24 AM
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Re: Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

Originally Posted by Dan
Also to be clear, there are lots of fair points in contrast to what that person is saying. But I think people really do downplay that although these companies tackle 'exclusivity' in different ways, they're both doing it to cut off each other in some way.

But the bigger point was that the Xbox CEO specifically said this latest deal was about blocking Amazon and Google, which is what I expected. Had Activision (or Bethesda) gone to either of them instead, I think it'd have been an even bigger blow to Sony (and MS).
Can you expand on that? How would Amazon owning Blizzard or Bethesda been a bigger blow to any console company? CoD would still be coming to the consoles at that point, it seems to me it would have just made Amazon a much bigger player in the PC game business.
Old 01-21-22, 12:37 PM
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Re: Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

Originally Posted by Decker
Can you expand on that? How would Amazon owning Blizzard or Bethesda been a bigger blow to any console company?
(1) Because gaming companies understand gaming in a way that traditional tech companies don't (the processes, procedures, and workflows that've made them so successful fundamentally do not apply to game development), and (2) Amazon, Google, and Facebook couldn't give two fucks about the console space. Amazon wants you to stream (ideally with Amazon hardware on Amazon servers). Google wants you to stream (ideally with Google hardware on Google servers). Facebook just wants you in the Facebook ecosystem, removed from PSN, Xbox Live, Steam, and all that.

But Google, Amazon, and Meta (parent company of Facebook) have a mixed history with gaming. Amazon has canceled several games and even New World seems to be struggling after its initial success. Meta wants to fill the metaverse with ads, while Google doesn't seem to know what it wants out of gaming.
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Old 01-21-22, 12:41 PM
  #88  
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Re: Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

Originally Posted by Decker
Can you expand on that? How would Amazon owning Blizzard or Bethesda been a bigger blow to any console company? CoD would still be coming to the consoles at that point, it seems to me it would have just made Amazon a much bigger player in the PC game business.
I could be way off base (naturally!), but my own thought on this is that I think that Amazon (or Google, or Facebook) would not necessarily keep CoD on consoles. You and I are both making assumptions, and maybe both are fair or not, but I just don't see Amazon or Google in particular doing anything that keeps the console industry going when it has the potential to take away from their own growing services like Luna or Stadia respectively, in the long term. You don't make a $69B purchase just to turn around and play nice with everyone else. (side note: which is why I think the Xbox CEO saying he "intends" to keep CoD on Playstation should have a footnote saying "depending on how Sony continues with their own exclusivity practices of 3rd parties.")

In a scenario where either Amazon or Google buys Activision or Bethesda, I think it's far more likely that 2-5 years down the road, you'd see them doing everything they can to keep games off of the major console platforms, unless they're tied to Luna or Stadia somehow. These are (relative) newcomers, and their intention is to disrupt. That's been good business for both companies.

In contrast, while buying A/B was absolutely 'disruptive' to Sony's market (and to a much smaller extent, Nintendo's), I think they can and will have a pretty good game plan. Even just securing Bungie exclusivity for life would go a long way.
But, ultimately, it was A/B looking for a buyer. I asked before in this thread, and I'm still curious what people think; If Activision was 100% set on selling, who do y'all think should have bought them?



Old 01-21-22, 02:04 PM
  #89  
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Re: Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

Originally Posted by Dan
I could be way off base (naturally!), but my own thought on this is that I think that Amazon (or Google, or Facebook) would not necessarily keep CoD on consoles. You and I are both making assumptions, and maybe both are fair or not, but I just don't see Amazon or Google in particular doing anything that keeps the console industry going when it has the potential to take away from their own growing services like Luna or Stadia respectively, in the long term. You don't make a $69B purchase just to turn around and play nice with everyone else. (side note: which is why I think the Xbox CEO saying he "intends" to keep CoD on Playstation should have a footnote saying "depending on how Sony continues with their own exclusivity practices of 3rd parties.")

In a scenario where either Amazon or Google buys Activision or Bethesda, I think it's far more likely that 2-5 years down the road, you'd see them doing everything they can to keep games off of the major console platforms, unless they're tied to Luna or Stadia somehow. These are (relative) newcomers, and their intention is to disrupt. That's been good business for both companies.

In contrast, while buying A/B was absolutely 'disruptive' to Sony's market (and to a much smaller extent, Nintendo's), I think they can and will have a pretty good game plan. Even just securing Bungie exclusivity for life would go a long way.
But, ultimately, it was A/B looking for a buyer. I asked before in this thread, and I'm still curious what people think; If Activision was 100% set on selling, who do y'all think should have bought them?
In a perfect world? Steam. That would have been awesome. But honestly, I wouldn't have batted an eye if Amazon had purchased them. Or Google - the way things are integrated with Chromecast and Android makes me feel pretty comfortable Google wouldn't have messed anything up.
But if it were Meta, I would have certainly freaked out.
Old 01-21-22, 02:45 PM
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Re: Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

Originally Posted by Decker
In a perfect world? Steam. That would have been awesome.
I'm not sure what the appeal for Valve/Steam would be. They seem content to produce little-to-nothing and just keep raking in their 30% cut. It'd get Activision games back on Steam, sure, is that worth $70 billion? (Since Valve is private, their financials aren't public, but I can't imagine they're worth a fraction of that amount. Maybe $15 billion at most?) Valve has indulged in near-nothing in the way of acquisitions, especially in recent years. I think their last one was Campo Santo in 2018: a team of 12.

Originally Posted by Decker
But honestly, I wouldn't have batted an eye if Amazon had purchased them. Or Google - the way things are integrated with Chromecast and Android makes me feel pretty comfortable Google wouldn't have messed anything up.
Companies like Amazon and Google do not and cannot understand games. They're propelled by data-driven approaches and internal competition. That doesn't apply to game development which is constant iteration, throwing out whatever doesn't work, finding the fun, and things tending to come together at the eleventh hour. Google just shut down all of their internal studios and scuttled the idea of Stadia exclusives; I can't really picture them so quickly diving back in (especially at such staggering cost). The failures of Amazon in the gaming space are well-documented.
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Old 01-21-22, 03:03 PM
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Re: Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

Buying Twitch was the smartest thing Amazon did in the gaming industry. Everything else, well, history speaks for itself I guess, if that article Adam posted is any indication.
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Old 01-22-22, 06:43 PM
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Re: Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

It's just business. Sony had a lot of exclusives and even playstation fans laughed at MS for that.
Now MS has a chance to increase the amount of exclusives they have - and why shouldn't they?
Old 01-23-22, 10:15 AM
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Re: Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

Here's a nice explanation of the hypocrisy.

Old 01-23-22, 11:36 AM
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Re: Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

That's a garbage argument. Sony buying Bluepoint and Housemarque is just like Xbox buying Activision Blizzard and Bethesda? Sure those companies made Sony games year in and year out but they also made Angry Birds on the 360? Is that really his argument that those are the same things? He should have stuck with Sony paying for console exclusive games and it hurt MS. That is a somewhat better argument but not really the same either.
Yes both companies engage in guerrilla tactics to get a market edge, we all know that. And assuming it doesn't violate any Monopoly concerns, what MS did wasn't illegal. I think people were saying that MS acquiring these companies was bad for gaming, not that MS was empirically bad for doing it. But it's dishonest and disingenuous to compare buying studios like Bend Studios or Guerrilla Games with Blizzard or Bethesda. Anyone can see the difference.
Old 01-23-22, 11:41 AM
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Re: Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

Also his claim that if Sony had made this acquisition that Sony fans would be throwing it in MS face smacks of a lack of objectivity. MS has now done this sort of major buyout twice, Sony not at all. Deal with the reality of the industry not a hypothetical that hasn't come close to happening.
Old 01-23-22, 12:05 PM
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Re: Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

I wonder if this was lower (or remove) the monthly WoW cost.
Old 01-23-22, 02:09 PM
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Re: Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

The only franchise that might get me to buy another console for gaming would be if the next GTA were Xbox only. However, I don't see that happening. I just hope that MS puts an emphasis on improving those franchises for their userbase, and not just regurgitating new titles every year without a lot of advancement in each title. I think that clockwork development also breeds the toxic environments we are seeing in the bigger studios. We will see how all this plans out because that is a huge investment to keep adding titles to Game Pass.
Old 01-23-22, 05:02 PM
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Re: Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

Sony has gone out of their way to ensure games don't come to the XBOX. And because of that, Sony has had a huge advantage in the console wars and according to many - MS isn't even in the game.
Competition is what's needed and MS is providing that now.... otherwise Sony runs away with it and we wouldn't have the AMAZING Game Pass available to us. You'd have to continue to pay $70 for a fucking game and extra money just to get a next-gen upgrade to games.

I applaud MS for their commitment to XBOX. You don't like it - too fucking bad. Take your whining and bitching to Sony - they used their tactics, now MS is using theirs.
Sony would be doing the same thing if they didn't sit on their ass and let other companies eat their lunch all these years - putting them in financial trouble.
Old 01-23-22, 05:24 PM
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Re: Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

Making a game series that's hugely popular on both consoles an exclusive is a dick strategy regardless of whose doing it.

Hopefully MS starts getting some originals again though. I liked the latest entry for Halo but the franchise as a whole is pretty tired, as is Gears.
Old 01-23-22, 05:41 PM
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Re: Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard

This thread just needs to be closed. It's pretty much just nonsensical ranting at this point.
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