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.
You know what would be great? If every time Sony got ahead Microsoft....created something to counter them. As opposed to just buying companies.
That's really my only problem here. I think it shows a lack of skill, talent, and creativity on MS's part to just buy companies (Many of which have no association with the company and some even had closer ties to Sony in the past) rather than doing what the competition did in the past to gain their market dominance. Nintendo dominated the console market because of innovation in design and technology paired with many of the most iconic and successful IP/Franchises/characters in the history of the medium. Sony dominated the market by appealing to a broad audience by making their first two consoles easy to develop for and embracing media in all its forms while also cultivating an incredible first party lineup. Microsoft has repeatedly only gotten success because they have infinitely deep pockets and can afford to drop billions on a mistake and just keep rolling.
The first Xbox was fine, and the only reason the 360 did well was because of Sony's hubris. Even with the red ring of death - which to this day STILL baffles me it was allowed to go out like that - they still sold a bunch. the One had a disastrous launch and basically flopped its second half while the Series has not really had much in terms of identity, yet in spite of them never being the market leader they still have infinite money to buy companies. bought Rare and basically did nothing with them for 20 years. Bought 23 studios since 2016 and the only one that's actually producing material consistently is Obsidian. 7 years since the acquisition blitzkrieg and we're still seeing almost no fruits of that.
I have a problem with the idea that they can basically strong-arm the industry due to their ability to just buy everything instead of actually learning from mistakes or giving people what they want. I don't like the idea of them having so much power if they genuinely aren't that good at using it. That's my problem with the whole thing. I don't think Microsoft buying Activision-Blizzard is going to hurt Sony or Nintendo, I just don't like the idea of them being able to hold such a large market share despite not really doing anything within the gaming sphere to deserve it. All their money comes from computer software. GamePass is a money pit. The RRoD and the backlash from Kinect and the terrible launch and subsequent whimpering end of the One should have sunk the company, but they can just shrug it off and keep influencing the market.
They Just aren't good at it. and I wish they were. but history is not on their side and I feel they need to earn their place in the hearts of the medium before they should be allowed to do this sort of thing. Ethically, not legally. If they have 68 billion dollars to burn through, then use that money to support the 23 studios they already have. Invest in potentially risky games or indies or quality titles like they did with the 360's early years. Make their own VR. Spend money and find a way to stream Xbox games to your phone. Make a better controller. give Xbox an identity other than raw american power. I wanna see them make something risky and unique like Returnal. Or something pure fun like Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart. I want to see them making games with impact on the medium like God of War or Horizon. I want to see people talking about Xbox games beyond just 'man, the latest update for Halo Infinite sucks'. I want them to have recognizable characters like Link or Mario or Kirby or Samus or Pikachu. Right now they have Master Chief and his games haven't been iconic since 2011 or something (Whenever Reach came out). 4, 5, and Infinite were fine, but they lack the impact the Bungie-made games had.
I can't over-emphasize this enough. Microsoft buying Activision is bad for the industry. Not because of a monopoly or for lack of competition, not because of some weird false balance or what-have-you, but because it means that Xbox can 'win' through sheer brute force instead of actually offering us what we want.
Disney is similar. They bought Lucasfilm and Marvel and Pixar and tonnes of other companies for their banner....and while you certainly see people complaining about it I don't personally have an issue with it because, at the very least, they're at least making something out of it. Star Wars movies continue to be mega popular, Pixar and Disney Animated movies continue to be outstanding, Marvel is the most successful film franchise in history with most of their movies not only being insanely popular but successful and well reviewed. I don't like Disney as a corporation either, but when they buy up something they actually do something with it (most of the time). They show that even though they're a mega popular super corp, they still make good products.
The last decade or so (2013-now) Shows that Microsoft just ain't good at this, and rather than actually proving their worth or having something of value to offer they're just buying things up so they can control the medium.
If they were good at this I wouldn't care and would be cheering them on. I think competition is good, and the heavily western-based style of Activision games is a great fit for Xbox, but that's just not the reality of the situation.
My Console Library:
PS5, Switch, XSX
PS4, PS3, PS2, PS1, WiiU, Wii, GCN, N64 SNES, XBO, 360
3DS, DS, GBA, Vita, PSP, Android