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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Where do you stand on Microsoft buying Activision/Blizzard?

 

For or against the acquisition?

For 57 43.85%
 
Against 46 35.38%
 
Neutral 27 20.77%
 
Total:130

If you're not following the news, it seems the FTC is suing MS to block the acquisition. Naturally, opinions on this have been divided, and some are coming up with theories to explain why this happened; when in reality, the FTC is just doing their job for once and not letting the biggest merger in tech history to take place without proper examination. I think we all should be unsettled if this takes place without a deeper investigation. 

The fact is, we got used to regulatory bodies failing us and allowing corporate consolidation to take place without scrutiny, but this doesn't make this particular buyout acceptable even WHEN it's approved. 

Some are refusing to see how buying the biggest publishers in the world and owning the biggest IPs in gaming (from Bethesda and Activision) can be problematic. When even Microsoft themselves have admitted that it can be anti-competitive, they haven't said it in words, but they showed it with their actions, this is evident by the "concessions" they offered and continue to offer, if MS totally believed what they're doing is NOT anti-competitive, we wouldn't have seen concessions at all. 

Some tend to ignore that we didn't even think that COD would make it into PS consoles and PSN online services for 10 years and on day one of the release date until literally yesterday. This is a big concession and can be viewed as an admission that the buyout can be weaponised. Not to mention, it's only too convenient for MS to pretend this is just about COD. What about Candy crush? Diablo? WoW? The elder scrolls? and other huge IPs that will be under their belt just because they could afford it. 

As a leftist, I am against corporate consolidation. I think most level-headed gamers think it's bad until MS decided to buy studios left and right and console wars entered the equation.  

Obviously, the usual counter points since the acquisition has been announced are still being used to justify this have been the same. SONY money hatted timed exclusive, SONY paid third parties to prevent games from making it to the xbox platforms. SONY is doing this and that..... yeah, and I see your point on how this is wrong and shouldn't continue to happen, however, the question becomes; 

  • how is the solution to objectionable practices is an even bigger objectionable practice?

and it doesn't stop at this acquisition, we all know this, this is not some conspiracy theory, Microsoft has been vocal with their unhinged intents to buy even more publishers and that they would stop at nothing. How many studios they need to own before we go, erm, wait a second... 

... let's discuss this (now that regulatory bodies have made the matter discussable, even though, I still think the merger is inevitable). 

Last edited by LurkerJ - on 15 December 2022

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I'm for the expansion of gamepass. I'm fine with all these acquisitions.



I don't like the purchase of ActiBlizz personally. I would have rather MS invest the $70 billion into all the studios they currently have. Which, since many tech companies are in the middle of a hiring freeze, most of their studios aren't hiring right now. Which sucks because I want to see games like Fable, Avowed, Compulsion Games Project Midnight and inXile's Project Cobalt get released sooner rather than later, but a hiring freeze will not help speed up development. Not to mention 2 of the 4 years since the studios have been purchased were under work from home conditions.

With how much scrutiny MS is getting from this acquisition, I don't think they'll ever get away with acquiring another publisher. At least one anywhere near this size. Idk how Japan's regulations are, so I doubt MS will be able to buy a Japanese publisher, so who knows who else MS is referring to. 

But, we all know ActiBlizz is an absolute dumpster fire of a company. Now that the two largest workers unions in the US are backing the deal, there may be hope yet that the culture of ActiBlizz may actually turn around. And, as with all additional excuses for third-party exclusivity deals, as long as the games turn out for the better because of it. 

Last edited by gtotheunit91 - on 15 December 2022

I say let them, why not. It doesn't impact me in any way.



All of what u said is facts. I chose neutral bcuz there are definite good things to be had here if done right, especially on helping the workers of ActiBlizz, but consolidation isn’t good, and even if intentions seem good right now, doesnt mean they will be in 10 years. Honestly idgaf about sony losing cod or other shit, but this kinda thing is very rarely good overall for things outside of just useless console wars, hope this is handled well



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For it objectively speaking. Looking at other acquisitions the regulators have allowed, and comparing it to the Xbox-Activision deal, there is just no sound reason to block it. It gives Xbox a much smaller gaming marketshare than some of these other acquisitions that have gone through, such as Disney-Fox and Penguin-Random House. On top of that, the majority of employees at both companies support it from what I've heard, and the largest union in the US, AFL-CIO, supports it. Has been approved by 3 regulators so far with no concessions required. FTC's case seems to largely be built on false premise. Xbox seems to plan to keep their largest franchises multiplat the remainder of this generation and probably at least part of next gen, like CoD, Overwatch, and Diablo, so at least for the foreseeable future the only exclusives they may get out of it are going to be in smaller franchises like Crash, Spyro, and Tony Hawk, series which won't have a significant impact on Xbox hardware sales most likely.

Subjectively though, I'm more neutral. I don't personally care that much about ABK's games, there are other publishers I would have much rather seen them acquire, such as Sega. A part of me hopes it gets blocked so that Xbox can focus on other, smaller publishers that will be easier to get past regulators and more independent studio acquisitions. I also fear that if the ABK deal does go through, regulators will greatly limit how much else they can acquire afterward, so if it's a choice between only ABK, or no ABK but a smaller publisher like Sega and several more lone studios getting acquired, I will take the latter scenario for sure, as it will put more games I personally play onto Xbox and Gamepass. 

Last edited by shikamaru317 - on 15 December 2022

Game Pass = great, more Game Pass Games = even greater so in the very unlikely scenario that ActiBliz create a game im interested in then not having to buy that = absolutely fantastic. But in reality I don't play PvP games like COD & Overwatch, I avoid grind fest games like Diablo, I don't go near MMOs like WoW and every other franchise they have is dead so this deal would benefit me exactly 0%. The conversation around it is both hilarious and boring af so whatever happens, I wish it was over with already. 

Last edited by VersusEvil - on 15 December 2022

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If Bobby Kotick gets the boot, I'm all for it. I do hope it will bring a culture change at Activision-Blizzard but I'm not holding my breath.



Signature goes here!

I don't care much

But it's sad Microsoft is buying big studios



gtotheunit91 said:

I don't like the purchase of ActiBlizz personally. I would have rather MS invest the $70 billion into all the studios they currently have. Which, since many tech companies are in the middle of a hiring freeze, most of their studios aren't hiring right now. Which sucks because I want to see games like Fable, Avowed, Compulsion Games Project Midnight and inXile's Project Cobalt get released sooner rather than later, but a hiring freeze will not help speed up development. Not to mention 2 of the 4 years since the studios have been purchased were under work from home conditions.

With how much scrutiny MS is getting from this acquisition, I don't think they'll ever get away with acquiring another publisher. At least one anywhere near this size. Idk how Japan's regulations are, so I doubt MS will be able to buy a Japanese publisher, so who knows who else MS is referring to. 

But, we all know ActiBlizz is an absolute dumpster fire of a company. Now that the two largest workers unions in the US are backing the deal, there may be hope yet that the culture of ActiBlizz may actually turn around. And, as with all additional excuses for third-party exclusivity deals, as long as the games turn out for the better because of it. 

Few good points raised here. Happy to discuss. 

"Why doesn't MS invest in their own studios?"

Nadella has answered this question before, here is a direct quote: 

  • “You can’t wake up one day and say, ‘Let me build a game studio,'” Nadella told Cnet, later advising that the company will consider buying more studios beyond those within Bethesda.

Risk taking and re-inventing the wheel is just not in Microsoft DNA or corporate culture. and because I am doing my best to avoid inflammatory commentary, I am going to concede that this naturally happens any giant company that benefit from the current status quo. 

As for union supporting the deals, I don't have enough information to comment on the matter beyond what I see in the headlines. Nor I believe support from the unions = good. This couldn't be more relevant especially how American rail workers got screwed over literally days ago by the union bosses no less. You can watch this video to understand what I am talking about. I know unions support has become a recurring talking point, but unions are not infallible. 

"With how much scrutiny MS is getting from this acquisition, so who knows who else MS is referring to."

Ubisoft? EA? any studio that gives them a stronger hold over Europe? we've seen countless statements from Microsoft about their intents to buy more studios, literally the next day Bethesda was bought, Nadella said he'd do it again. Similarly after the Acti/Blizzard announced, we heard similar statements from Microsoft. I can see why we may not witness that vulgar display of power these days, but I think it's dangerous to assume that "once Acti/Blizzard is approved, MS won't do it again" because, A, MS said otherwise, B, approving the biggest tech merger in history will embolden MS even more. 

TheWalrusCaesar said:

All of what u said is facts. I chose neutral bcuz there are definite good things to be had here if done right, especially on helping the workers of ActiBlizz, but consolidation isn’t good, and even if intentions seem good right now, doesnt mean they will be in 10 years. Honestly idgaf about sony losing cod or other shit, but this kinda thing is very rarely good overall for things outside of just useless console wars, hope this is handled well

"there may be hope yet that the culture of ActiBlizz may actually turn around"

It's good that we're pointing out problems that need solving, but I believe many people have jumped to the wrong solution. Will this acquisition help the workers of a specific company? It well may do! But corporate consolidation is far the only solution out there to improve labour conditions nor it should be. There are better things that can be to ensure game developers are treated fairly in Activision and across the globe.