It's crucial that Sony doesn't underestimate the damage all this M&A activity can cause them down the line. With their turnaround in the last decade, and how they repositioned and rebuilt themselves, I don't think they would be asleep at the wheel. Sony witnessed the movie industry consolidate first hand, and now they have another front seat to see it for the video game industry. The difference is, Sony Pictures was never the market leader, unlike PlayStation.
I do believe at a certain point Microsoft will stop with massive acquisitions. But that probably includes at least one more, mid size, publisher acquisition. I think at this point, Sony has to lock up their long time partners in Square and Capcom, consider the possibility of a small publisher like Sega or CDPR, and fill out the rest of their portfolio with independent studios like Deviation, Arrowhead, Ember Labs, etc. While none of these IP's have the same mindshare as Call of Duty, Sony will slowly become like Nintendo, where their first party strength is the driving factor for their ecosystem.
That's not considering Sony's true strength, their ability to create and cultivate new IP's, which end up being major tentpole franchises. This factor is the reason I think Sony can maintain their position as market leader even if they don't have as much financial heft as their competitors. I just don't think it would be enough to solely rely on in this climate. It's going to be interesting to see what comes out during their financial report.
I didn't realize how profitable Valve was. Based on estimates anyway. For that reason it would be a decent buy because it would cost quite a bit less than Take Two. Sort of another Bungie situation, kind if, just larger. Now would Gabe even consider selling? Would he even partner or merge? Could Jim work out a deal with him, because Gabes like a god. Then there's the positioning as to whether that would help PS out enough against MS directly with what they're doing, or would it just be a good useful efficient buy in general? I'd say agree to also make a full OS beyond Steam OS, and compete with Windows, if they were going to do this.
MS will stop, but not until they feel they've got Sony where they can't leap ahead again like last gen with PS4, or until regulators finally say enough, whenever that would be. Even then, MS can still (attempt to) buy medium and smaller studios, and if the regulators don't like it, then change the deals to be a lot like Sony and Bungie. As long as those borderline too much buys mean the studios can remain multi platform, it's going to be hard for the regulators to stop it, especially because that could screw over Sony real good too for their potential future buys. Either way, MS needs more yet, or they can just 180 again and make way more games exclusive than they implied they would. That would save them from buying too much more.
I'd say Sony needs more Western games. The brand has kept westernizing for a long time now. They've got plenty of everything else, and those Japanese devs will want to stick with Sony as long as they keep treating them right. I think ABK would be a cake walk for MS compared to trying to buy up Japanese studio's. If Sony let's MS buy up or partner with all the big western studios, their going to lose some of what they've gained. I dunno how much exactly, but it's not something to dismiss.
Sony's first party is stellar, but it depends on how much MS is allowed to keep buying. Every time Sony get's a bit ahead, I see MS making another purchase to counter it if they feel behind or even threatened. Imagine if Sony pulled what MS is doing right now, but back during PS1 or PS2. Have Sony bet the farm and just go on publisher and developer buying spree's, instead of go crazy with PS3 hardware. Can you imagine how much trouble MS would be in? Unless MS followed suit shortly after in which case, either way, things today would not only be way different, but not so great I'd argue.
Sony can't just rely on trying to make new games or similar better games as good as they are at it. There's too much to that for it to work out long term against MS when they can just buy like they can. Acquisitions or even just money hatting once PS is running on cash fumes would eventually become a major problem.
The XB nice guy, we love old games, we want cross play and sharing, we believe Sony's way is the wrong way, BS was clear to some before but should be crystal clear now. Sony's way is mostly right, just Sony doesn't have near enough money, where as MS does.
Time for Sony to stop playing nice back.