Hacker News Re-Imagined

Microsoft to Acquire Activision Blizzard

  • 2051 points
  • 5 months ago

  • @totablebanjo
  • Created a post

Microsoft to Acquire Activision Blizzard


@haunter 5 months

Replying to @totablebanjo 🎙

Honest question, how much longer until they try and buy Valve to get Steam? I mean at this point that's the next logical step

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@zelos 5 months

Here's hoping the Battle.net client doesn't get merged into the abomination that is the XBox gaming app.

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@kar1181 5 months

Bobby Kotick really wanted to retire.

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@mandis 5 months

I wonder how much of this was driven by Nadella. MS has made some brilliant purchases recently.

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@giantg2 5 months

I wish I owned that stock...

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@atlgator 5 months

I hope they don't ruin cross-platform COD. It's not without it's quirks but getting friends on PS, PC, and Xbox in the same game has been incredible.

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@mperham 5 months

And now you know why they fired dozens for harassment yesterday. Cleaning house for the new owners.

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@rvz 5 months

Well if you can't buy Nintendo, then go and buy out everyone else.

After all, this is all how the metaverse is going to become a reality and that is how Microsoft is going to create it.

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@Tiktaalik 5 months

Feels like we're getting to the point where this could be anti-competitive.

Even if CoD remains cross platform, if it's free on GamePass well that's a pretty severe competitive edge to the Xbox platform.

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@sergiotapia 5 months

This just solidified my position as a hardcore Sony fan. How can I support a gigantic megacorp merger like this?

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@everyone 5 months

They deserve each other

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@awill 5 months

Microsoft is not building the future of gaming, they're buying it. Seeing a bunch of excellent third-party cross-platform games become xbox-exclusive is really sad for gamers.

Microsoft has not been making money on xbox. They're not investing money made with xbox. They're using Office/Windows/Azure funds to boost Xbox, and it's not a fair fight. Sony and Nintendo don't have that kind of money.

I get Sony has acquired studios too, but by comparison they seem carefully planned. They're usually studios already making (mostly) playstation exclusives (e.g. devs of Returnal, Spider-Man and Dark Souls).

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@cutenewt 5 months

Microsoft also got Kotick to leave.

The cultural integration will be a lot easier than other M&A integrations; everyone at Activision is probably ready to move on from their current culture.

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@salamandersauce 5 months

Wow. No wonder Microsoft wasn't willing to shame Activision like Sony and others, they were in talks to buy it. Ridiculous.

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@benlumen 5 months

I'm just glad I didn't buy a PS5. I'd be worried if I were Sony. Unsurprisingly, their stock is off by 6%...

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@blooalien 5 months

Gotta love that headline including the phrase "to bring the joy and community of gaming to everyone, across every device"… I'ma have to cry "bullshit" on that "every device" part. They mean "every device Microsoft can control" or "every device Microsoft approves of".

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@EtienneK 5 months

Can you imagine Call of Duty becoming an Xbox exclusive? Big hit to Sony!

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@freeflight 5 months

Wow, has MS gotten that profitable or has Acti/Blizz been doing that badly to be considered a „good deal“?

Tho, it certainly fits what MS has been going for with its gaming division; Game pass ultimate has a weird lack of „third party aaa” titles in certain genres.

For example EA Play is included in game pass ultimate, but by now all the new EA stuff is locked behind “EA Play pro”.

Having the whole Acti/Blizz lineup in there would be quite the offering. Particularly all the Call of Duties were never really sold in a “get all of them!” way. Now all of them might end up for “free” on game pass.

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@s3r3nity 5 months

Congratulations to Phil Spencer, who started out leading an upstart team at Microsoft for a new game console called "Xbox" and is now "CEO of Microsoft Gaming" - a Microsoft Senior Leadership position.

Oh, and he now leads the third biggest gaming company on the planet:

> When the transaction closes, Microsoft will become the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.

It will be interesting to see in the medium-term if Satya and the Board spin off gaming into an independent company at some point. But for now it's wild to think about the fact that Microsoft owns the Call of Duty franchise.

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@BiteCode_dev 5 months

Suddenly, the reason for the recent employee purge seems more clear. They never fired anybody for bad behavior before, and now, just soon to be aquired, they do.

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@officeplant 5 months

One of those Rare (rip Rare) moments where I want the old Microsoft back that killed off studios left and right. Blizzard needs to be put out of their misery.

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@giorgioz 5 months

How will the company/person receiving the 68.7billions dollars protect them from INFLATION? Will they use the capital immediately to buy assets like ETFs?

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@Asmod4n 5 months

I’m awaiting the inclusion of Diablo and StarCraft as Easter eggs in Excel and the like. Or Warcraft Minesweepers.

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@datavirtue 5 months

Bye bye Bobby!!

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@brobdingnagians 5 months

Activision Blizzard has been seriously mismanaged. They have very nice IP and a fanbase that is still somewhat loyal because of the glories of the past, but Microsoft would need to revitalize the management and the creativity.

- Overwatch hit the ground running to massive success, but hasn't materialized Overwatch 2 and has stagnated.

- Warcraft III Reforged is a total disaster and abandoned.

- WoW has a wide following of people in its vanilla form (i.e. taking things awy from what it has become), and the extensions aren't bringing a lot of value. There is speculation on whether it has hit its peak and is in decline.

- The Starcraft Remaster is basically the same game but with a bit nicer graphics.

- Diablo 3 seems to have done well.

I do hope it gets revitalized and the IP gets new life with better management, but Blizzard has been struggling.

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@albertopv 5 months

Am I the only one thinking they paid really too much?

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@yalogin 5 months

Will the DoJ jump in? Only two gaming consoles in the world and one of it is buying one of the biggest game developer for both platforms. Very good reason for DoJ to jump in

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@nottorp 5 months

I'd shed a tear for Blizzard, but Blizzard died years ago. First it started dying slowly when they figured out they can print money with world of warcraft, then they ruined that like 3 expansions in.

So no loss for the gamers here, move along...

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@karaterobot 5 months

> Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard.

Not for long, I bet!

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@ChrisArchitect 5 months

aside: what's with the shared URL on this post? dated 1/14 something "_trashed" and redirects to today's release

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@nixass 5 months

Microsoft continues brute force drive into gaming industry, with zero creativity but outright buying whole gaming companies, and probably locking out competitor out of IPs

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@somehnacct3757 5 months

So now I'm boycotting Microsoft products? What a weird purchase to make. Did they not know this company is the current star of the gaming industry's long-standing workplace harassment issues?

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@acheron 5 months

Everyone talking about Blizzard, meanwhile, Activision is one of the original game publishers (1979). (Supposedly picked their name so that it would come alphabetically before "Atari".) That's older than EA.

When's Microsoft going to bring back Pitfall?

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@seattle_spring 5 months

Is this going to mean huge pay bumps for ATVI employees more in line with what Microsoft pays tech employees?

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@ThalesX 5 months

Microsoft has all the pieces in place to make the great next gen MMORPG.

They now have the IP to do whatever they want with our mind, they have the distribution channels, they have the capacity to run servers and also the technology to create truly immersive worlds; their planetary rendering engine, GPT-3 for NPCs, Minecraft, for example.

There is a market for it, the latest awesome release in the space has been World of Warcraft, Amazon's New World is turning out to be a major flop and there's also free publicity in terms of Meta's metaverse.. I'm rooting for Microsoft to create the next gen gaming entertainment experience, however that might look.

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@rytill 5 months

I’m excited for what this could mean for undervalued IP like StarCraft and Diablo.

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@ramoz 5 months

If anyone has a chance at a legit “metaverse experience” it’s a tech giant who develops video games.

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@smaryjerry 5 months

On one hand I feel that consolidation is bad for gaming when a platform is buying IP for exclusivity but on the other hand this was a great decision by Microsoft. Activation Blizzard has been is a slump and has been stuck in releasing or should I say re-releasing the same games for a while now but they could have done it much better. Any half decent version of World of Warcraft 2 will be worth more than 70 billion by itself. Seems to me Activision Blizzard did not realize just how much value in IP they had in their games and are selling based on their current cash flow only.

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@hmate9 5 months

Sounds like an amazing deal for Microsoft. Activision shares had it rough recently so the price isn’t that bad and ITS AN ALL CASH DEAL.

With inflation probably coming in a big way it sounds like a great idea to spend all that money now.

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@pingsl 5 months

Activision Blizzard is finally being acquired?! Yeah, no wonder, they are not doing well these years.

Wait, it's an all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 billion?! So at least Microsoft believes they are doing well...

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@rockbruno 5 months

Curious if WoW's business model will change after this. The whole monthly game time thing is really outdated.

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@ouid 5 months

I feel like this buries the lede a little, Microsoft is acquiring Blizzard for 70 billion dollars.

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@faisal_ksa 5 months

I hate to see a monopoly in the gaming industry. Controlling the content will prevent any competition both in gaming consoles and in PC gaming. Forget about gaming on Linux or any new platform. Forget about sony's PlayStation and Nintendo. We are going to see the real face of Microsoft. What do you think Microsoft will do next? Buy unreal engine and unity and have control over the content and the tools to make them? We NEED open source game engines (Godot, Bevy) more than ever.

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@sunnyque 5 months

I hope incoming reorganization will not kill D4

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@lysecret 5 months

I mean it can only get better right?

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@ChildOfChaos 5 months

There is something that amuses me about 'Call of duty, World of Warcraft, overwatch, Diablo, Candy crush'

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@javajosh 5 months

Purely from the perspective of the job market, this move sucks. Before you could get Activision to bid against Blizzard to bid against Microsoft.

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@xbar 5 months

I think Natella's execution for Microsoft has been scary smart. This one feels shocking and obvious at the same time, similar to Github.

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@bstar77 5 months

Another development that's pushing me to indy-only pc gaming. The AAA gaming space has been such a bore for the past 5-10 years.

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@TheAceOfHearts 5 months

Excited to see what this will mean for some of the gaming franchises.

Overwatch has been on shaky grounds due to uncertainty surrounding the league and the release of the sequel.

Heroes of the Storm is still my favorite MOBA even though it's clearly on life support. I'd love to see Microsoft try reviving it once more by doing a big Heroes 3.0 push.

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@Vixel 5 months

Wow, this is great for Blizzard games. Bliz has had the hardest time getting out of their own way for the last decade or so. The industry has moved from the "pay for the game + subscription" model but bliz has never been able to come to terms with that as a company. Hopefully Microsoft reverses this on day one and makes their games and content available with either Game pass or retail + Gold for multiplayer.

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@natural20s 5 months

I hope they bring back Battlezone - Activision rebooted it in 1998 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battlezone_(1998_video_game)) A great single player and co-op "real time strategy" game that ran on a simple protocol called ANET (http://www.kegel.com/anet/) (http://www.strickleton.com/anet/) Most servers are dark now but there's still a great community keeping this game alive. It had very robust tools for building and sharing your own maps for deathmatch and strategy campaigns. One of the first games I ever fell in love with.

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@coding123 5 months

Damn, Zenimax and Blizzard under the same roof.

Might as well try to sell your PS(whatever) now before there are no games.

However with the DOJ taking more shots at large companies, MS should be worried about this one.

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@Tempest1981 5 months

> This acquisition will accelerate the growth in Microsoft’s gaming business across mobile, PC, console and cloud and will provide building blocks for the metaverse.

Just like that -- they're in the metaverse!

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@mushufasa 5 months

> Microsoft will acquire Activision Blizzard for $95.00 per share, in an all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 billion, inclusive of Activision Blizzard’s net cash

Dayum. Such cash.

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@Dave3of5 5 months

Oh dear more consolidation in the gaming space. Not good for the consumer.

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@wly_cdgr 5 months

Another big boy move. Satya Nadella is a proper CEO. Warms my heart to see someone competent up top at Microsoft again

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@jprd 5 months

== MS acquires formerly preeminent corporation for 30% discount ==

MS announced today that it was acquiring Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI). This news comes on the heels of a year filled with government lawsuits, internal leaks, low morale and poor performance. Many analysts have commented that years of failing to invest in their IP and a string of poorly-received sequels have diluted customer and stockholder faith.

The past year has seen ATVI stock plummet after it was made public that the company was not being managed or governed in any meaningful way, down approx. 30% prior to today's announcement.

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@Jyaif 5 months

> Microsoft will acquire Activision Blizzard for $95.00

And yet the stock stabilized at $83, meaning a lot of people are not sure the purchase will actually go through.

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@flashgordon 5 months

As I just finish my binging of HBO's Succession, I do wonder what the inside conversations leading upto this (+ Blizzards "/cultural issues) would have really liked looked like!

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@Kelteseth 5 months

Can somebody please explain to me, why is it allowed for a company like MS to buy all of their (indirect) competitors?

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@stephc_int13 5 months

Blizzard has been on a downward slope for years, I don't know if they can rebound.

In the grand scheme of things I prefer seeing them absorbed by Microsoft than by Tencent.

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@joedoejr 5 months

You can now waste your time and money in Windows, Office, Azure and xbox games all with single Live account! Waiting for microsoft to buy junkfood chain and pfizer to complete the experience.

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@shp0ngle 5 months

Finally, Candy Crush can be fully integrated into Windows.

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@andrewstuart 5 months

>> "to bring the joy and community of gaming to everyone, across every device"

Should say "to bring the joy and community of gaming to XBOX AND WINDOWS USERS, across every MICROSOFT device".

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@United857 5 months

Will Activision drop support for Sony and Nintendo platforms eventually?

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@atlasunshrugged 5 months

I wonder if this will trigger any antitrust lawsuits. I know Microsoft isn't that of the 90's but it seems like the political situation is ripe for politicians to go after "big tech" and this is a pretty major acquisition that will help Xbox be the dominant player in terms of content.

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@jgon 5 months

It really feels like Microsoft is trying to basically create the "Netflix" of gaming here, and I think that just like Netflix they're going to see a lot of success as basically being the first to market to do so, and other companies are going to be left scrambling. The acquisition email mentioned that activision has 400 million "monthly active players", mimicing the language of MAU that is the current trend right now. The goal is to get 1/2 a billion people giving them $10 a month on gamepass, not to get 1 time purchases for $60 every 5 years when a new Elder Scrolls title ships.

I think that this should really put some fear in Valve and I'm not sure what their play is from here. I know that Steam has a lot of goodwill built up but it feels like they've just coasted on Steam for so long, and it was inevitable that the larger players would look at their fat 30% cut for so little work and decide that wasn't going to last. A lot of people thought that Bethesda games would keep coming out for Playstation when the acquisition was first announced, and after it closed MS confirmed that going forward future title would be exclusive to them. I can't see any reason to this this will different, and especially just making these titles available through gamepass alone, not in a launcher or as a separate purchase. Do people think that Microsoft is spending tens of billions just to make sure that Valve can get a 30% cut on sales of COD and Fallout? It's like saying that Netflix is going to let Disney+ carry Stranger Things, because hey, Disney would pay them money to do so. Valve is like the cable company right now, someone else makes the content and they provide the delivery of it and skim off the top. Now that you have competing and more convenient delivery services, its going to be a lot harder to exist. Where do they go from here?

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@p0wn 5 months

We gotta break up the monopolies again. These companies are getting tooooo big.

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@cronix 5 months

I anticipate some curious bugs for playstation versions.

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@shmerl 5 months

Being DRM-free and Linux gamer, this has no impact on me, but MS still gobbled companies like inXile and Obsidian in the past. So I don't see it as a good trend. MS feels like a black hole in this sense. It swallows everything. Nothing comes out.

At least they didn't mess up Minecraft on Linux so far.

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@curiousllama 5 months

It's wild how Microsoft has been able to vertically integrate gaming.

They now own the distribution (Xbox Cloud Gaming, Xbox Game Pass), the games (Call of Duty, WoW, Starcraft + what they owned before), the OS (Windows, Xbox), the hardware (Xbox, many PCs), and the back end compute (Azure). The only thing they're missing, the network bandwidth, is mostly a commodity anyway.

That's a heck of a moat.

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@justicezyx 5 months

A bit interesting to see that not much mentioned about blizzard's declining and Activision being a low grade money grabbing game studio, which collectively Activision Blizzard is heading to irrelevancy. Or I might get the wrong impression. Or its just blizzard is going into oblivion.

Most comments are about monopoly. But is A & B really that good? Or its just more of a optimization of financial strength between A &B and MSFT?

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@belinder 5 months

I wonder if this means XBox game pass will at some point include a WOW subscription

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@seanalltogether 5 months

Blizzard was the one game company that I bought all of their games no questions asked. Part of me is sad that this day has come, but the other part of me is kinda hopeful that this will allow for more dedicated focus on traditional Blizzard IP.

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@baud147258 5 months

Now I'm seeing (elsewhere) people bandying around the idea that Microsoft engineered the harassment reports and subsequent lawsuits to drop Activision-Blizzard's share price and push the shareholders to sell.

I'm not saying that the harassment reports were false, just that Microsoft could have helped people talking to the press/organize the lawsuits, pushing up the stories in the medias and so on.

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@phgn 5 months

Now, that's curious. Microsoft can't allow itself [0] the kinds of culture scandals Blizzard still seems like it doesn't care about.

[0] At least if they want to maintain all the government work they do.

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@obmelvin 5 months

I hope they clean up Blizzard. It's been sad to hear everything - my best friend growing up got a dream job there a few years ago, and it's sad to hear how his childhood dream got crushed by a toxic management team (he loved just about everyone he directly worked with, including his boss).

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@monkeydust 5 months

What's the general view on the medium to long term value of Unreal 5 vs Unity? We have exposure in our team to Unity (for VR apps) but equally very impressed with Unreal 5.

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@999900000999 5 months

As someone who spent a good time in gaming, I'm perplexed and sad.

Consolidation always leads to job loss, the industry is very very small. At the same time, legacy publishers have a very different role now.

If I'm an indie dev, I don't need you to print the discs or box things up. The only 2 things publishers really do are QA and Marketing.

QA, for projects with a good community, can be free or very cheap.

Marketing, with again a good community,can be free or cheap. I think about the hikikomori game Pull Stay.

Nothing stops that game from selling millions.

The big publishers are much weaker now.

One could argue that Apple's actually the world's biggest game publisher.

They have the final say as to if your game reaches the masses

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@JosephHatfield 5 months

I've played World of Warcraft since the first Beta and it's been a great ride, at least up until the last expansion. The news of Microsoft's acquisition has me hopeful for great new MMORPG.

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@pjerem 5 months

Hey, at least, all planets are aligned for the Banjo-Kazooie remake by Toys For Bob.

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@akmarinov 5 months

Overwatch 2 PC/Xbox exclusive in 2030??

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@revel 5 months

This makes a lot of sense for both companies. Activision need to clear out large swaths of their board and executive suite. Microsoft has consistently lost console market share to Sony with each console generation. They are also ceding ground in the computer gaming sector.

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@Bayart 5 months

Like many here I'm a former Blizzard enthusiast, and frankly I can't see how MSFT can fuck Blizzard any worse than Activision did. It's a net positive.

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@015a 5 months

Everyone here is talking about how this is great for gaming, or bad, or how they're becoming a monopoly...

The only emotion I can feel is disgust. Disgust that Microsoft would tacitly approve of Kotick's decades of harboring, encouraging, and protecting sexual assault within his companies. The man allegedly, and settled out of court, for telling his secretary he was "going to have her killed". He hid internal sexual assault allegations from the board. They threw parties with strippers & DJs telling the women to drink more so their male coworkers could have more fun. They passed around a nude picture of a female coworker, leading to her suicide. An awesome person was promoted to be head of Blizzard, before leaving just months later, telling the board that she had experienced years of sexual misconduct working there, and there was no hope for them to ever change their frat-boy culture.

This isn't old information. It came to light just weeks before Halo Infinite was released. Phil Spencer & Microsoft had to be well into discussions at this point; and it didn't phase them. They didn't stipulate that he would have to leave; they instead leave him in charge of the company post-acquisition. They fire, what, a couple dozen people? In a company of tens of thousands?

Just... disgust. Maybe a little hope that Microsoft can improve their culture, but without signaling a fundamental change in leadership, that hope is dim. But at least they'll make some money.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/activision-videogames-bobby-kot...

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@coldpie 5 months

These acquisitions are ridiculous. How long till Disney buys Microsoft? Why even bother having more than one company in the US?

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@AlexandrB 5 months

My read on this: a lot of the key talent at Blizzard has left or been let go - if Activision stuck it out another year you would see their stock dip lower on bad news around Overwatch 2/Diablo 4/WoW. This is a great way for the shareholders to cash out before that happens and leave Microsoft to deal with it.

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@no_time 5 months

They are long overdue for a break-up. I guess the US elite thinks otherwise.

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@nathias 5 months

Too bad two evils don't cancel each other out.

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@pixel_tracing 5 months

I think it’s a good thing with all the recent crap happening at Blizzard, this is a shake up. Management that’s incompetent will be shuffled out, and replaced with management focused on building great games. Phil Spencer is like the Kevin Feige of the gaming world at this point.

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@mrkramer 5 months

All cash deal. Yup. Inflation is going to eat all of your cash pile Microsoft so you better spend it fast.

But my thinking is that they should've acquired Valve which controls digital PC gaming distribution not big gaming studios like Zenimax and Activision Blizzard.

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@goldcd 5 months

I'm not sure how good a deal this really is.

I can definitely see why MS bought up publishers and developers to add to their stable - they can now, like Netflix, sell a monthly recurrent service that will keep their customers entertained with 'free' releases available on day#1, plus a leased library.

But (to me at least), they were already there. I'm there on PC and think the sell is even easier on Xbox. Buying Activision seems a bit pointless. Sure they can now fold in wavering CoD lovers, but the franchise is already looking a little wobbly - but they're paying for a company that's valued as selling a game every year for $50 to lure in the subset of customers who now think game pass is now worth it with CoD. (That's a shitload of new subs they need, or the price is going up)

My larger concern is that when they bought Zenimax or even minecraft, they'd paid well for 'good bones' they could build on. Activision is really just a pile of slightly rusty franchises (https://www.denofgeek.com/games/activision-blizzard-microsof...)

Now maybe they can revive some of those - Doublefine knocking out episodic Gabriel Knight makes me moist, or simply Guitar Hero with new weekly tunes - but MS could have done similar for a lot cheaper.

If I'd had the money in my bank account, I'd have maybe just had a slush fund to pick up and promote new talent/IP.

If they really wanted infra, Steam is still out there. If they wanted IP, Sega.

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@gfd 5 months

Blizzard defined my childhood with diablo 2, starcraft, and warcraft 3, wow. But even the sequels (SC2, D3) and remakes (D2:R) never recaptured that magic.

Is the blizzard IP actually worth that much these days?

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@jaimex2 5 months

It's basically an IP sell off. None of the good game designers are left which the only thing that matters.

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@aetch 5 months

Love the article header image. One of these games is not like the others.

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@ur-whale 5 months

But is it a good deal?

Wrt Blizzard specifically, where is the amazing company that designed Warcraft, Starcraft, WoW, ...

I find their recent offering ... bland.

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@RandomBK 5 months

We see here another example of why Valve is investing so heavily into Linux and Steam Deck.

* Sony is focused on their PlayStation walled garden. * Microsoft is consolidating more resources around Game Pass and the Xbox store. * Mobile is a large and rapidly growing segment, which Steam isn't able to capture. * Epic is pouring money into its own store.

Valve needs a backup plan to stay relevant in the 5-10yr time horizon. If the Steam Deck can take off, that might serve as enough incentive to keep games available on Steam and away from Windows exclusivity where MS might start building a walled garden.

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@parkingrift 5 months

No acquisition of this size should ever be allowed. This is way too much consolidation. Microsoft is buying their way to becoming the #2 or #3 gaming company in the world. They should have to innovate and compete their way to the #2 or #3 gaming company in the world.

Who is going to be able to compete with Xbox Game Pass?

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@franzwong 5 months

I wish Apple can also acquire some game studios to produce games on MacOS...

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@taurath 5 months

It’s interesting to me how indie gaming has started to really pop off at the same time there’s massive consolidation throughout the gaming industry. The ecosystem is really turning into blade runner, with these giant zaibatsu corps and a big wave of individuals.

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@LinuxBender 5 months

There is some discussion on the Blizzard forums as well by the gamers. [1] Likely on EU forums as well.

[1] - https://us.forums.blizzard.com/en/wow/t/microsoft-buying-act...

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@saladuh 5 months

1. MS buys many game studios (especially those with popular IPs) 2. Puts these titles on Game Pass. Now in the long run, they don't need to sign deals for these IPs to be on Game Pass because they own them, they get their return on investment. 3. More and more games on Game Pass, MS is able to keep its ridiculously good value because they aren't forking out as much to put games on there (because they own the titles). Game Pass subs increase at an even higher rate. 4. Game Pass exclusives, even on PC. More people subbing just for exclusives. At this stage Game Pass is so popular fewer people care that this happens. 5. Other studios feel pressured that their games aren't on the most popular platform, which is no longer Steam on PC, and no longer the digital stores on consoles, it's Game Pass everywhere. They sign deals with MS to get their games on Game Pass. 6. Indie games are losing their ability to be seen on traditional stores due to loss of marketshare. At this point, MS makes it even easier to publish games to Game Pass and indie games take advantage of this.

Simple timeline of what will happen. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish. Microsoft embraced gaming, including the openness of the PC platform, and now are in the process of extending it with Game Pass and its value. They will eventually turn to the final E.

They probably won't be a pure monopoly, competitors will pop up, but it'll be an all subscription world and Game Pass will be the Steam of this world, except not just for PC and Xbox but for most platforms they can get their service to work on.

We will no longer own our games. Eventually Game Pass will be cloud only and the files won't even sit on our devices. And the worst part is no one cares, not now or in the future. Everyone just wants access to the latest games at the cheapest cost. And clearly the US government (I'm not a US citizen nor do I live there fyi) does not care to lift a finger against something in this sector.

I hate to suck up to another company, who itself does many bad things, but I hope Valve is able to keep the PC platform open for at least as long as I care to play video games. It's out of their own self interest, but they've done wonders for the Linux community and contract some great people to improve linux gaming for everyone, not just them. And they're releasing hardware that isn't locked down. Honestly, I hate to feel good about what a big company like Valve is doing, but I'm greatful.

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@drannex 5 months

My god I hate monopolies, MS has been on a buying spree and someone needs to stop them, but it will likely never happen.

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@crecker 5 months

Lol look at the URL funny :) "__trashed"

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@poetril 5 months

It's an absolute shame Bobby Kotick will continue to function as CEO.

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@agd 5 months

With these kind of acquisitions, other companies are going to find it very hard to compete with Game Pass.

I think we'll look back in 10 years and wonder why antitrust regulators did nothing, but it may be too late by then.

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@alexshendi 5 months

Does that mean that MSFT now owns Infocom IP?

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@xhrpost 5 months

I have to wonder how much investing in some of today's tech behemoths comes down to viewing them more as a holding company / investment firm and less about their original core products. Microsoft has lost tons of desktop share over the last decade, this should have been a death signal for them but instead amazing acquisitions like Mojang, GitHub, ActBliz have pushed them to an amazing market cap. Similar with FB loosing use as a social media platform but staying in business with Instagram/WeChat etc.

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@xyst 5 months

Say goodbye to originality in games

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@etempleton 5 months

I think Game Pass is a great service at a great price and I think Microsoft's overall direction for gaming has been really positive and forward looking; however, I do worry about the consolidation of gaming. Activision Blizzard was fairly user hostile in their business practices, so I don't think this will be a net loss for consumers.

What I am starting to worry about is Microsoft squeezing Sony out of gaming entirely. For a lot of casual gamers Call of Duty was the game or one of a few games they play and have played for years. A lot of those casual gamers own a Playstation. While Microsoft hasn't announced if Call of Duty will be exclusive or not, making the game PC/XBOX exclusive would be doctrine. The only example I can think of where they don't do that is Minecraft, so it is possible.

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@1_player 5 months

The most important question I have is: will they replace Bobby Kotick?

EDIT: "Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard. [...] he and his team will maintain their focus on driving efforts to further strengthen the company’s culture."

Shame on you, Microsoft.

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@sidcool 5 months

Would there be a anti-competitive angle?

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@throwawaysea 5 months

Cool. Now let’s update anti trust laws so they can be applied much more readily and start enforcing it. A healthy, competitive market that encourages entrepreneurial innovation has no room for these trillion dollar anti-competitive conglomerates.

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@marcus_holmes 5 months

Still not going to buy anything from the dumpster fire that used to be Blizzard

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@throw_m239339 5 months

This is... unexpected. Wow and COD on Gamepass?

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@ddtaylor 5 months


@nemacol 5 months

I dread the day they switch the Blizzard app launcher to a MS account. You just know it is going to be a nightmare to sort out.

Beyond petty nonsense - Sure wish we had some antitrust laws in this country. The consolidation of every industry gross.

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@duckmysick 5 months

I always wondered, what are the exact steps between announcing to acquire and actually acquiring.

Especially this:

> Microsoft will acquire Activision Blizzard for $95.00 per share, in an all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 billion, inclusive of Activision Blizzard’s net cash. When the transaction closes, Microsoft will become the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.

What exactly happens between now and "when the transaction closes"? How long does it take? Is there anything that would make it not close?

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@jhoelzel 5 months

oh boy. I am happy and crying at the same time. I have an idea where this is going and "vendor lock in" is going to be a hashtag for a long time now.

I am Team X-Box because I just like it much more than the Playstation, buuut at some point we will all pay our MS-Fees like the powerbill.

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@blondie9x 5 months

Dude. Antitrust please stop this.

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@alexshendi 5 months

Does this mean that Microsoft now owns Infocom IP?

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@miiiiiike 5 months

Can't wait for an Overwatch 2 Developer Update that starts with "Hi, I'm Jeff from the Microsoft team."

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@h2odragon 5 months

So was all the bad press Activision got recently in spite of, or driven by, acquisition plans? What better way to put pressure on a company to give up its independence than public shame and infamy?

Prolly knocked a few bucks off the price at least.

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@michaelbuckbee 5 months

I think that Microsoft's Game Pass has really changed the gaming ecosystem.

If you're not familiar it's basically "Netflix of Videogames" where for a low monthly price (compared to buying a game at full retail) you get access to whole downloadable/streamable library of games.

It's such an outsized value that it's a big reason to choose an Xbox console over a PlayStation and it's pretty clearly the driving force behind these acquisitions. More games in the library -> More Game Pass subscribers -> More Profit.

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@obayesshelton 5 months

All we need now is a Microsoft VR / Metaverse platform and FB/Meta can finally sink into oblivion.

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@KaoruAoiShiho 5 months

How does the exclusive game work now? It's okay to have exclusives to compete with the big boys but surely the rules are different once you get to this scale. When you get close to a monopolistic position using exclusives to lock out competitors is abusive. Though MS is still not quite in a monopolistic position yet... they're getting close.

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@joshstrange 5 months

After the initial promo Game Pass price (and using the Xbox Gold -> Game Pass "hack") I got my first bill for $45 for the quarter. I started to go cancel it as I play my xbox in fits and spurts but I've got to say $15/mo for the massive catalogue available (and this was before Bethesda or today's news obviously) is a really good deal for me. I easily get at least 1 game a quarter of play out of it and that would normally cost $60 and require a lot of though/research before purchasing, instead I can try games with reckless abandon and only play the ones I like. That said, I couldn't care less about cloud gaming, the controls feel "soft" and/or laggy to me still (I'm on fiber symmetrical and I've tried on Mac, Xbox One/Series X, iPhone, and iPad, all with an official Xbox controller and wired for all but the iPhone/iPad).

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@alsaaro 5 months

This move is a hedge against Apple and is not about gaming as much as it is about maintaining Windows client side hegemony.

Apple is almost certainly planning to release AR/VR headset in the near future, this raises the question; what hardware is going to be used to power this headset; I'd bet Apple is working on a console like iDevice, or probably more likely an external GPU, that can be used with any Apple device.

Now imagine if Apple decides, admittingly in a very un-Apple like fashion, to allow anyone to run MacOS on their iPads, and iPhones; what that would do to consumer Windows market share.

This primarily establishes a moat against Apple, not Sony, and protects consumer Windows, not Xbox.

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@_ph_ 5 months

I wonder what this means for the classic IPs of Blizzard, like WarCraft, StarCraft and Diablo. Especially StarCraft could use an update - I would immediately buy a SC III for the Mac. Unfortunately, there was no update since SC II was ported to Metal some years ago.

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@pcdoodle 5 months

My name is Grom Hellscream, He/Him.

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@MangoCoffee 5 months

a lot of comments seem to be concern about the antitrust.

Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard just put them in number 3 slot. Tencent and Sony are far bigger in gaming. if Apple lawsuit didn't take down Apple store just forced Apple to allows third party payment option. i don't think Microsoft will get slap with a antitrust. Microsoft isn't even number 1 in gaming.

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@bobberkarl 5 months

Can't wait for cloud gaming.

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@mouzogu 5 months

would have preferred if m$ invested that money into new IP's instead of purchasing bloated franchises so that it can sandbox them behind it's paywall.

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@lemoncookiechip 5 months

This is great for XBOX (Microsoft), but terrible for the industry and us consumers. Less competition isn't good for us. First Bethesda, now Activision Blizzard... One has to wonder what they'll acquire next, and they have the money to throw around comparatively to the other big players in the market (Take 2, EA, Ubisoft, Warner, and more importantly, SONY).

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@sabertoothed 5 months

The name Blizzard is still magical to me. As the maybe 15-year old playing Warcraft II and drawing strategies on a piece of paper. I don't play computer games anymore. But it was magical.

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@beders 5 months

Can't wait for the SC2 servers to run on a single slow VM in the MS cloud...

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@usrbinbash 5 months

This makes me even more glad I quit Blizzard Games long ago.

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@prophesi 5 months

What upsets me is that this news totally overshadows the news that Activision literally just fired 30+ more people for sexual misconduct.

And now the metaverse is solidified as a new buzzword for venture capitalists to pour money into despite collaborative VR being a thing for almost a decade already. Won't be long until they combine it with NFTs and use an inefficient & expensive blockchain to handle the marketplace of avatars and the like.

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@MrJagil 5 months

The old Blizzard always seemed much closer to Apple than Microsoft in culture. An incredible attention to detail and the onboarding experience, clean, fun and friendly design and a slightly rebellious attitude expressed through their willingness to enter new markets.

The "new" Microsoft though, really is different than the old and might actually do quite well in stewarding this supposedly sinking ship into fairer waters.

But as a die hard Apple user with an active WoW subscription I can't help but feel slightly dismayed that the Apple x Blizzard deal never will (or probably could have) happen(ed).

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@telxosser 5 months

Power law going to power law.

I am sure this will result in better games than if not, lol.

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@gigel82 5 months

C'mon Microsoft, do a Starcraft 3. Pretty please!

Starcraft 2 is one of the last game I still play with my ("old timer") friends for social interaction in the Covid era.

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@boringg 5 months

The more I think about this - the more I hope that Microsoft does another starcraft and gets it in the works. That way my young children will get to play starcraft in their teens (10 year dev cycle imho). That would be a small win for me :)

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@jrockway 5 months

Does this mean that Blizzard engineers get a FAANG salary now?

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@krelian 5 months

Apparently the price tag is $68.7 billion. How long until they recoup the investment?

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/microsoft-buy-activision-bliz...

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@dagaci 5 months

I guess this is what you call Microsoft buying the dip, Activision's price fell by half since Feb 2021 until today!

https://www.tradingview.com/symbols/NASDAQ-ATVI/

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@ho_schi 5 months

Competition oversight?

Probably dead since Regan? After they stopped controlling AT&T the UNIX-Wars happened, impcompatiblity, lawsuits, closed-source has become a normal thing and proprietary software locked users in and competitors out.

What platform will Microsoft support? Likely not:

  * Linux
  * BSD
  * MacOS
  * Nintendo
  * Sony
Does anyone miss id Software? Native ports on Linux, incredible source-code and impressive games? I use this opportunity to thank Gabe Newell and Valve and the people there for their work :)

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@tempestn 5 months

I'd love if they might breathe some life back into Starcraft 2, or even start working on 3. Normally I'd be worried when the company that owns my favorite game gets acquired, but it'd hardly be possible to do less with it than they already were.

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@KiDD 5 months

Should have bought EA

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@advael 5 months

I continue to be very uncomfortable with gigantic companies becoming more gigantic for any reason, even though all involved players are already ones I've been carefully avoiding even accidentally giving money to for several years

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@phgn 5 months

> Mobile is the largest segment in gaming, with nearly 95% of all players globally enjoying games on mobile. Through great teams and great technology, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard will empower players to enjoy the most-immersive franchises, like “Halo” and “Warcraft,” virtually anywhere they want.

So long for immersive PC and console games.

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@Aissen 5 months

> Upon close, we will offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard’s incredible catalog. [Xbox PR]

> The acquisition also bolsters Microsoft’s Game Pass portfolio with plans to launch Activision Blizzard games into Game Pass [MS PR]

In case anyone still doubts that Microsoft is all-in on Game Pass.

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@cuham_1754 5 months

My very first thought after seeing the headline: There is NO WAY antitrust regulators would approve such a deal, considering this is the biggest game acquisition ever.

But hey, at least better than being acquired by Tencent, eh?

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@diogenescynic 5 months

I hope they invest more in the Diablo franchise. It's been a lot of fun on the new Xbox.

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@major505 5 months

Well after all the shit Blizzard have done in the last years, I can imagine it was a bargain.

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@zkid18 5 months

Excellent job, MSFT M&A team.

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@agar 5 months

Even if blockbusters like CoD aren't Microsoft (PC+Xbox) exclusive, the power of "play it first on GamePass" or "Plays best on Series X" is extremely compelling.

Streamers, influencers, and competitive players whose livelihoods are based on some of these games will almost be forced into playing on the platform that gives them an advantage, whether that's an extra couple weeks of access or slight optimizations.

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@unobatbayar 5 months

Deeply regretful news.

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@megumax 5 months

I don't really understand these acquisitions made by Microsoft, first Mojang, then Bethesda and now Activision. Is Microsoft trying to revive these companies or it's just trying to leech of the market? At this moment, Activision is living out of in-game purchases, not making good games. Bethesda was almost dead when they bought it.

>Legendary games, immersive interactive entertainment and publishing expertise accelerate growth in Microsoft’s Gaming business across mobile, PC, console and cloud.

I wonder what this "cloud" means. Is Microsoft planing an alternative to Google Stadia?

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@kybernetyk 5 months

Good. Maybe they can fix WoW.

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@peakaboo 5 months

I just deleted my blizzard accounts last week. Looks like perfect timing!

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@tosh 5 months

Microsoft now runs two of the apps I spend a lot of time in: Visual Studio Code and StarCraft II :)

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@gigatexal 5 months

holy smokes!

now maybe the personnel and HR and abuse can be handled since this is going to be run by a company with adults in the room and we can focus on not abusing people and instead focus on games! Here's to Diablo 4 and maybe a Starcraft 3?!

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@beebeepka 5 months

Not happy about this but Blizzard is pretty much done for the foreseeable future. I sure MS money would help revitalise the company on half a decade or so. All I want is StarCraft 3

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@glanzwulf 5 months

This is a megaton deal for Microsoft. Some of the biggest franchises, exclusive to their console/gamepass.

I wonder what will Sony do now?

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@kizer 5 months

Wait… WHAT?! Wow. Incredible to follow up the Zenimax acquisition with this. Was just playing a game via cloud gaming yesterday and thinking about how smooth it was and how MS was set for the future with GamePass. Congratulations to the Xbox org and MS in general. Hope to move back out to Redmond soon… ;)

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