Game exclusivity fears following Microsoft/Activision deal wipe $20 billion off Sony's...

midian182

Posts: 7,786   +80
Staff member
In brief: The entire video games industry is feeling the shockwaves from Microsoft’s $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, including the Redmond firm’s console rival, Sony. The Japanese company's shares fell 13% following the announcement of yesterday’s deal, wiping $20 billion off its valuation in a single day.

Microsoft shocked the industry with what would be the Windows-maker’s largest deal to date, beating the $26.2 billion it paid for LinkedIn in 2016, the $19.7 billion Nuance Communications deal, and nearly ten times the $7.5 billion it paid for Bethesda parent company ZeniMax.

For consumers, the acquisition will see many of Activision’s current and future games come to the Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass subscription services, though not until the deal completes in 2023. Some of Activision Blizzard's best-known IPs include Diablo, Overwatch, and the incredibly popular Call of Duty series.

The move has led to fears among PlayStation owners that Call of Duty will become an Xbox/PC exclusive. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer tried to lay those concerns to rest by saying, “I’ll just say to players out there who are playing Activision Blizzard games on Sony’s platform: It’s not our intent to pull communities away from that platform and we remained committed to that.”

However, Spencer made a similar promise when Microsoft acquired Bethesda, and while the likes of Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo kept their PlayStation 5 timed exclusivity, Starfield is going to be an Xbox/PC exclusive, as is Elder Scrolls 6. Spencer did say Microsoft would continue to develop “some of Activision’s games” for PlayStation consoles; we’ll have to wait and see if Call of Duty is one of them.

Whatever happens with game exclusivity, the Microsoft deal has certainly worried Sony investors. Bloomberg reports that the company's shares fell 13% in Tokyo on Wednesday, wiping $20 billion off its value and marking their biggest drop since October 2008.

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 6,280   +7,213
Call of Duty is a cash magnet. There's no way they'd make it exclusive to Xbox.

"Video Game Wars" are over. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have the world divided like China, Russia and America. No reason everyone can't eat. Just get the people to buy all three systems and buy the games on as many systems as possible.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,342   +4,986
Is COD still a cash cow ? Activision should glad Microsoft buy it off
yeah, it is. 12 year olds will always think it's a good game. And, now that I think about it maybe that isn't such a bad thing. Games with complex gameplay mechanics and stories are really only entertaining to adults because we are(hopefully) smarter and more educated. I don't think I've met anyone on Eve that is under 20 years old. I also don't think many young people play Civilization or RTS games.

The point I'm trying to make here is that kids need games too. I'm not trying to make wide sweeping statements, there will always be smart kids and dumb adults.

But I also don't think this makes a huge difference. Activision blizzard hasn't actually made a good game in years. I know someone in Blizzard and they have an entire department dedicated to making addictive game mechanics for the sole purpose of encouraging micro transactions.

Addictive doesn't mean good. There are plenty of addictive shitty drugs out there and plenty of really good, non-addictive drugs. Try getting addicted to LSD, I dare you.
 

amghwk

Posts: 1,177   +1,098
Call of Duty is already milked to death. It's not worth holding to the franchise anymore. Time to move on in today's world of sequels of sequels and more of the same-y.
 

Farkinell

Posts: 207   +322
CoD has been an absolute turd of a game for some years now but as QP pointed out (minus geopolitics shoehorn) it's a massive cashcow for Activision.

Their business plan of reskinning the same game and launching with a 4 hour single player and flogging it for £60 to 12 year olds is their golden goose. Microsoft would be well aware they'd likely make more money keeping it cross platform than they would by trying to tempt people over to Xbox as an exclusive.
 

Ohnooze

Posts: 160   +370
Call of Duty is a cash magnet. There's no way they'd make it exclusive to Xbox.
No, I don't think so. You don't buy a powerhouse like Activision Blizzard and not make the games exclusive. COD is a monster and there are a ton of Sony fans who will now be interested in Xbox and the subscription service. They get the sales from xbox and PC and it brings even more people to their platforms. I don't see COD going to Sony anymore.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,096   +4,003
Is COD still a cash cow ? Activision should glad Microsoft buy it off

I think it's relatively popular because of the "Warzone" version which is their version of battle royale iirc.

So by going free-to-pay it has managed to make a tiny bit of a resurgence so there's at least some people still playing and streaming Warzone a lot but mostly for all the wrong reasons: it's potential to be a profitable, gambling and gacha mechanics machine for Microsoft to get money off little kids and young teens that honestly don't know better.

As for console exclusivity well, it'd be a terrible waste of money and really slow down the ROI of this ridiculously expensive purchase if they don't block Sony. They just can't really commit to it and might even let it a few PS5 ports go for 1 or 2 more years to avoid getting hit with an anti-trust action that blocks the sale but I guarantee they'll make all of Activision properties not an exclusive, but an "intentionally available everywhere *BUT* in PlayStation" kinda deal.
 

Pastuch

Posts: 139   +147
Is COD still a cash cow ? Activision should glad Microsoft buy it off

COD is a cash cow and it's terrible but Warzone is amazing and Activision deserves praise for making it. Warzone is the first FPS since BF4 that I genuinely love and about 500 million people agree with me on that sentiment.
 

Pastuch

Posts: 139   +147
I think it's relatively popular because of the "Warzone" version which is their version of battle royale iirc.

So by going free-to-pay it has managed to make a tiny bit of a resurgence so there's at least some people still playing and streaming Warzone a lot but mostly for all the wrong reasons: it's potential to be a profitable, gambling and gacha mechanics machine for Microsoft to get money off little kids and young teens that honestly don't know better.

As for console exclusivity well, it'd be a terrible waste of money and really slow down the ROI of this ridiculously expensive purchase if they don't block Sony. They just can't really commit to it and might even let it a few PS5 ports go for 1 or 2 more years to avoid getting hit with an anti-trust action that blocks the sale but I guarantee they'll make all of Activision properties not an exclusive, but an "intentionally available everywhere *BUT* in PlayStation" kinda deal.

Battle Royale games are still king, COD is bringing in 8 billion annually. For millions of people, if you're not sweating the games aren't fun. I get that people on techspot like single player games for some reason but the rest of us play BRs, Rocket League and anything else competitive like sports games.

Edit: And I'm 40 years old with a 3.5 KD this season.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,096   +4,003
Battle Royale games are still king, COD is bringing in 8 billion annually. For millions of people, if you're not sweating the games aren't fun. I get that people on techspot like single player games for some reason but the rest of us play BRs, Rocket League and anything else competitive like sports games.

Edit: And I'm 40 years old with a 3.5 KD this season.
The argument, to me at least or what I am trying to get across, isn't that competitive gaming isn't extremely popular and sought after.

The argument is that the monetization itself is far more predatory: we've had competitive games for decades but even just 5 or so years back, the expectation was to make a profit by

1) Selling the initial game
2) Selling subsequent content packs or DLCs

Warzone is a different beast not because people no longer want competitive gaming, that hasn't changed. It's a different beast because it's monetization depends entirely on far more insidious tactics like microtransactions of the game store and monthly subscription with the game pass, both features also commonly found on something like Fortnite as well.

Very competitive players like yourself might just be happy that these games are now "free" and let you skill level carry you the rest of the way. But these games are like you mention, extremely popular and we know in game items are very predatory in nature. I know for a fact for example that people that dismiss "Oh it's just cosmetic, it doesn't affects gameplay" like to think there's nothing wrong going on with the game but I know for a fact there's now kids applying peer pressure to purchase both monthly subscriptions and in-game cosmetic items.

Your competitive gaming experience isn't necessarily the problem, is the other 90% of more casual players that maintain the entire thing creating unprecedented profits because of this modern monetization tactics.
 

Pastuch

Posts: 139   +147
The argument, to me at least or what I am trying to get across, isn't that competitive gaming isn't extremely popular and sought after.

The argument is that the monetization itself is far more predatory: we've had competitive games for decades but even just 5 or so years back, the expectation was to make a profit by

1) Selling the initial game
2) Selling subsequent content packs or DLCs

Warzone is a different beast not because people no longer want competitive gaming, that hasn't changed. It's a different beast because it's monetization depends entirely on far more insidious tactics like microtransactions of the game store and monthly subscription with the game pass, both features also commonly found on something like Fortnite as well.

Very competitive players like yourself might just be happy that these games are now "free" and let you skill level carry you the rest of the way. But these games are like you mention, extremely popular and we know in game items are very predatory in nature. I know for a fact for example that people that dismiss "Oh it's just cosmetic, it doesn't affects gameplay" like to think there's nothing wrong going on with the game but I know for a fact there's now kids applying peer pressure to purchase both monthly subscriptions and in-game cosmetic items.

Your competitive gaming experience isn't necessarily the problem, is the other 90% of more casual players that maintain the entire thing creating unprecedented profits because of this modern monetization tactics.

You really don't understand Warzone monetization. There are ZERO pay to win elements in Warzone. With 1500 hours in game, I've spent $15 once two years ago, to buy the battle pass. Every battle pass since has been free because you get so much free in game currency. I've made so much free currency in the last two years that I frequently buy my friends the battle pass. Activision allows you to spend your in game currency on stuff for your friends, MOST devs don't.

I've spent 0$ since early 2020 for a game that I enjoy more than literally anything else I've tried and I try piles of games. Yes you can buy cosmetics and a lot of them are really cool. I want the Canadian pack but it hasn't been on sale in ages, it gives you a cool Canada Goose helicopter and the truck that pull my patriotic strings.

Honest question, is $15 for 1500 hours of the best FPS I've ever played worth it? Absolutely.

Would I rather Warzone was $60? Yes, because it creates a larger barrier to entry for hackers and it would hopefully separate the game from the rest of the COD franchise.

MOST Warzone players hate COD. The truth is that multiplayer FPS just isn't popular like Battle Royale is.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,096   +4,003
You really don't understand Warzone monetization. There are ZERO pay to win elements in Warzone.

I'm just going to quote myself since you apparently, can't read:

I know for a fact for example that people that dismiss "Oh it's just cosmetic, it doesn't affects gameplay" like to think there's nothing wrong going on with the game but I know for a fact there's now kids applying peer pressure to purchase both monthly subscriptions and in-game cosmetic items.

And mind you this is for the sake of other people reading, don't bother replying.
 

Pastuch

Posts: 139   +147
I'm just going to quote myself since you apparently, can't read:



And mind you this is for the sake of other people reading, don't bother replying.

There is no "monthly subscription", it doesn't exist. There are 4 battle passes per year and you can buy them with in-game currency. Even if you buy all 4 battle passes with real money that's still cheaper than any triple A game.
 

Aceseven

Posts: 285   +366
yeah, it is. 12 year olds will always think it's a good game. And, now that I think about it maybe that isn't such a bad thing. Games with complex gameplay mechanics and stories are really only entertaining to adults because we are(hopefully) smarter and more educated. I don't think I've met anyone on Eve that is under 20 years old. I also don't think many young people play Civilization or RTS games.

The point I'm trying to make here is that kids need games too. I'm not trying to make wide sweeping statements, there will always be smart kids and dumb adults.

But I also don't think this makes a huge difference. Activision blizzard hasn't actually made a good game in years. I know someone in Blizzard and they have an entire department dedicated to making addictive game mechanics for the sole purpose of encouraging micro transactions.

Addictive doesn't mean good. There are plenty of addictive shitty drugs out there and plenty of really good, non-addictive drugs. Try getting addicted to LSD, I dare you.
CoD isnt breaking records every year because of 12 yr olds,

gaming isnt getting big as it is because of kids, anyone who thinks that is a dope, children arent buying new consoles, cpu's and gpu's that require a down payment, its adults and has always been adults.

I'm a grown a** man who has bought every CoD except this last one since modern warfare, me and my group of friends, thats 8 copies, pretty much every year. I want to meet these 12yr olds who have the income to buy new releases on day1 at 60 to 100$ a pop and shake their hands because those finance skills of theirs are on point.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,342   +4,986
I'm a grown a** man who has bought every CoD except this last one since modern warfare, me and my group of friends, thats 8 copies, pretty much every year. I want to meet these 12yr olds who have the income to buy new releases on day1 at 60 to 100$ a pop and shake their hands because those finance skills of theirs are on point.
Activision thanks you for your service. Maybe the 12 year olds are smarter than the adults? 🤔
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 793   +1,385
yeah, it is. 12 year olds will always think it's a good game. And, now that I think about it maybe that isn't such a bad thing. Games with complex gameplay mechanics and stories are really only entertaining to adults because we are(hopefully) smarter and more educated. I don't think I've met anyone on Eve that is under 20 years old. I also don't think many young people play Civilization or RTS games.

The point I'm trying to make here is that kids need games too. I'm not trying to make wide sweeping statements, there will always be smart kids and dumb adults.

But I also don't think this makes a huge difference. Activision blizzard hasn't actually made a good game in years. I know someone in Blizzard and they have an entire department dedicated to making addictive game mechanics for the sole purpose of encouraging micro transactions.

Addictive doesn't mean good. There are plenty of addictive shitty drugs out there and plenty of really good, non-addictive drugs. Try getting addicted to LSD, I dare you.


I'd argue that games with more complex gameplay/mechanics and stories are lost to the younger generation because they've been conditioned to crave/need/want that immediate gratification.

My kids can have a fu¢king meltdown if they have to use brainpower and put forth effort to resolve an issue. Take my 13 year old daughter - she's horribly smart (in accelerated classes for her age), but if a task doesn't come to her with great ease she defeats herself and breaks down and starts crying. For example, the kids got an Xbox Series X for Christmas, got an extra controller and a headset with it. She wanted to use the headset the other night (hadn't used it yet) to chat with a friend and play a game with them. I was busy in the kitchen working on making dinner and she asked if I could setup the headset for her. I told her I was busy and wouldn't be able to help for a bit and that she's more than capable of doing it. Follow the instructions in the box....

Three (yes, 3) minutes later she's back in the kitchen in tears because she can't get audio to come through on the headphones and she's done everything she can to get them working. I tell her to keep working at it and try things, see if she can figure it out....she disappears downstairs. I go down there about 10 minutes later and see her just scrolling through crap on her phone. I asked if she got it working by following the instructions. She said it's not working and handed me the instructions. The instructions are 3 different pictures. Shows you to plug in the headphones into the controller and make sure the controller is active with the xbox and how to adjust the volume and mic.

I look at the wire for the headset and see it's plugged into the controller - it is, but doesn't appear to be plugged in all the way. I pull it out and plug it back in, but this time I pushed it in and it gave a soft click, but wasn't in all the way so I used a little more force and the headphone jack went all the way in, unlike how my daughter had it plugged in about 2/3 of the way. I then turned up the volume on the headset and BAM! They were working. 30 seconds of effort and they were working.

Gawd, how I f'ing hate Tiktoc and youtube and all those short "funny" videos kids make/stream/share/watch. The instant gratification of the kids these days, if they can't solve a problem at the drop of a pin, they freak out.

I grew up playing RPGs such as Dragon Warrior games on the NES and Phantasy Star games on the Genesis and so on. You had to be able to follow the story, understand instructions and learn to how to navigate the worlds to progress the game's storyline.

I tried having my kids play the original Doom on Xbox Game Pass - since there is no real direction in the game, they got bored and didn't want to try to figure out where to go or how to play it.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,342   +4,986
Might be a great time to buy Sony stock. I'd never count Sony out, not for a minute.
Sony has a lot more going on than just games. People forget that they make TVs, phones and countless other electronics. If Sony really wanted to play hardball they could pull the BluRay License from Microsoft to use in the xBox. Maybe Microsoft predicted this and that's why they're making an xBox without a disk drive.

Just remember, Sony makes money off of every xBox sold.
 

Pastuch

Posts: 139   +147
Sony has a lot more going on than just games. People forget that they make TVs, phones and countless other electronics. If Sony really wanted to play hardball they could pull the BluRay License from Microsoft to use in the xBox. Maybe Microsoft predicted this and that's why they're making an xBox without a disk drive.

Just remember, Sony makes money off of every xBox sold.

LOL who are these people that still use physical media?
 

psycros

Posts: 4,080   +5,617
I'd argue that games with more complex gameplay/mechanics and stories are lost to the younger generation because they've been conditioned to crave/need/want that immediate gratification.

My kids can have a fu¢king meltdown if they have to use brainpower and put forth effort to resolve an issue. Take my 13 year old daughter - she's horribly smart (in accelerated classes for her age), but if a task doesn't come to her with great ease she defeats herself and breaks down and starts crying. For example, the kids got an Xbox Series X for Christmas, got an extra controller and a headset with it. She wanted to use the headset the other night (hadn't used it yet) to chat with a friend and play a game with them. I was busy in the kitchen working on making dinner and she asked if I could setup the headset for her. I told her I was busy and wouldn't be able to help for a bit and that she's more than capable of doing it. Follow the instructions in the box....

Three (yes, 3) minutes later she's back in the kitchen in tears because she can't get audio to come through on the headphones and she's done everything she can to get them working. I tell her to keep working at it and try things, see if she can figure it out....she disappears downstairs. I go down there about 10 minutes later and see her just scrolling through crap on her phone. I asked if she got it working by following the instructions. She said it's not working and handed me the instructions. The instructions are 3 different pictures. Shows you to plug in the headphones into the controller and make sure the controller is active with the xbox and how to adjust the volume and mic.

I look at the wire for the headset and see it's plugged into the controller - it is, but doesn't appear to be plugged in all the way. I pull it out and plug it back in, but this time I pushed it in and it gave a soft click, but wasn't in all the way so I used a little more force and the headphone jack went all the way in, unlike how my daughter had it plugged in about 2/3 of the way. I then turned up the volume on the headset and BAM! They were working. 30 seconds of effort and they were working.

Gawd, how I f'ing hate Tiktoc and youtube and all those short "funny" videos kids make/stream/share/watch. The instant gratification of the kids these days, if they can't solve a problem at the drop of a pin, they freak out.

I grew up playing RPGs such as Dragon Warrior games on the NES and Phantasy Star games on the Genesis and so on. You had to be able to follow the story, understand instructions and learn to how to navigate the worlds to progress the game's storyline.

I tried having my kids play the original Doom on Xbox Game Pass - since there is no real direction in the game, they got bored and didn't want to try to figure out where to go or how to play it.

This describes literally everyone under 25 I know. The ones under 35 *will* put in the time to figure things out but cannot focus only on a game - they need at least three things belting out video and/or sound at all times. Its bizarre and disturbing.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,204   +2,595
TechSpot Elite
Sony lost US$20,000,000 just because of this? I swear, these investors are as panicky as a herd of wildebeest. If something as stupid as this can cause that kind of a loss, the only thing I can say is...

"Easy come, easy go."