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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
TruckOSaurus said:

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.

Again, I don't see how bring culture change is sound reasoning for cultural change at Activision.

  • Fixing a problem by allowing another problem is not progress. 

Starting new studios with big budgets backed by the biggest wallet in the world (MS) and poaching those developers from the clutch of Activision sounds like a better plan for everyone, and this is just a quick example of how you solve a problem for workers. Many better examples out there for sure. 



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I usually say I'm against the purchase, just based on the size of Activision Blizzard. I'm not a huge fan of any third party getting gobbled up and the games taken away from another gamer. I don't personally buy or like Activision games, I've never played a Call of Duty game and never will. I think the last Activision game I actually spent money on was Diablo 3 shortly after it released on the ps4. If Microsoft wanted these games so badly, I'd rather they just make a 10 year exclusive gamepass deal for the games. I do have an Xbox One S, and may one day buy an Xbox Series S, and I really doubt getting Activision games on Gamepass is going to magically make me like Activision games and play them on gamepass. I'd rather Microsoft if they are going to buy a third party, go after something they don't do well, they already have some of the best 1st persons shooter series exclusive to Xbox as it is.



I'm for it, I'm yet to see a compelling fact-based argument as to why it should be blocked.

The resulting entity would be 3rd by revenue behind Tencent Game and Playstation.
As for the number of employees I believe they would be 2nd behind Tencent games but found limited data on this, let me know if you have better info.

CMA issues with the deals only revolve around CoD. Still, Minecraft has already shown MS was not going to take away CoD from the competition and they have more than enough shown their flexibility in regards to that franchise. Steam and Nintendo user stand also benefits from the deal in regards to Cod.

As gtotheunit91 pointed out the issue regarding unions the FTC used is blatantly false.

The prevailing argument I see against this deal from other users is that you never saw Sony doing it on this level so Microsoft should not either. But here is the thing, Microsoft's possibilities are not limited and should not be limited by what Sony has or has not done.



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2023 so much great game to play, somehow I know I must walk that alley, but don't you feel in disarray, I'll always come back to you Stardew Valley.

shikamaru317 said:

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. 

I agree that big scandalous mergers have been allowed in the past. For example, I think it's crazy that a company like Meta bought out Instagram, Whatsapp and promised regulators to not use WhatsApp user information to further progress their dirty data mining schemes just to do so years later. The examples are countless, I will not pretend that MS is NOT being singled out here, but I also don't think it's right to argue that a broken system should stay broken just to even the score. Especially that Microsoft is already one of the biggest companies in the world and will not go anywhere no matter how badly they butch Windows releases or whatever mistakes they make, they will not be harmed if this buyout is blocked (it's not just a thing I say, I believe it 100%, money where my mouth is, I own a lot of MS stock, I believe blindly in their financial stability). 

I think if we agree that the system has been broken, we can agree that 3 regulators approval doesn't mean much and doesn't support the argument for the acquisition. Tech companies are an open book about how much money they spend annually to influence policy makers and lobby to get favourable decisions, it's not a conspiracy, they openly admit they do this. 

Last edited by LurkerJ - on 15 December 2022

LurkerJ said:
TruckOSaurus said:

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.

Again, I don't see how bring culture change is sound reasoning for cultural change at Activision.

  • Fixing a problem by allowing another problem is not progress. 

Starting new studios with big budgets backed by the biggest wallet in the world (MS) and poaching those developers from the clutch of Activision sounds like a better plan for everyone, and this is just a quick example of how you solve a problem for workers. Many better examples out there for sure. 

Well if they did that they wouldn't have all the IPs that come with Activision-Blizzard. That's a big part of why they went for this transaction.



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EpicRandy said:

I'm for it, I'm yet to see a compelling fact-based argument as to why it should be blocked.

The resulting entity would be 3rd by revenue behind Tencent Game and Playstation.
As for the number of employees I believe they would be 2nd behind Tencent games but found limited data on this, let me know if you have better info.

CMA issues with the deals only revolve around CoD. Still, Minecraft has already shown MS was not going to take away CoD from the competition and they have more than enough shown their flexibility in regards to that franchise. Steam and Nintendo user stand also benefits from the deal in regards to Cod.

As gtotheunit91 pointed out the issue regarding unions the FTC used is blatantly false.

The prevailing argument I see against this deal from other users is that you never saw Sony doing it on this level so Microsoft should not either. But here is the thing, Microsoft's possibilities are not limited and should not be limited by what Sony has or has not done.

Let's not forget that Nintendo and steam only benefited from this deal AFTER the backlash MS got and after they became less confident about their previous vulgar approach to the merger. The mere scrutiny ALONE of this deal got MS to make legally binding promises that were not on the table weeks ago. I do believe MS will make games Multiplatform when it suits them, and withhold games when it doesn't. To suggest that MS will selfishly abstain from taking full advantage of the power that these acquisitions provide them with is not realistic in my opinion. They have already said in the past it will not be the case, and they will contemplate the matter on "case-by-case" basis. Make of that what you will.  

Using the number of employees each company has to argue for the acquisition is looking away from the bigger picture and using a single metric in isolation to get a favourable outcome. Just like portraying CoD as the only issue with this merger. These acquisitions come with legacy ever-green IPs, you can do a lot more damage to the competition with much less number of employees by simply relying on this legacy. 

As for the prevailing argument you see from the other side, I have not made this argument myself, and I have already stated SONY has indulged in objectionable practices repeatedly and continue to do so. Microsoft possibilities shouldn't be limited by what SONY has or hasn't done, but it 100% should be limited by regulation that seek to prevent monopoly over the industry. 

Last edited by LurkerJ - on 15 December 2022

rapsuperstar31 said:

I usually say I'm against the purchase, just based on the size of Activision Blizzard. I'm not a huge fan of any third party getting gobbled up and the games taken away from another gamer. I don't personally buy or like Activision games, I've never played a Call of Duty game and never will. I think the last Activision game I actually spent money on was Diablo 3 shortly after it released on the ps4. If Microsoft wanted these games so badly, I'd rather they just make a 10 year exclusive gamepass deal for the games. I do have an Xbox One S, and may one day buy an Xbox Series S, and I really doubt getting Activision games on Gamepass is going to magically make me like Activision games and play them on gamepass. I'd rather Microsoft if they are going to buy a third party, go after something they don't do well, they already have some of the best 1st persons shooter series exclusive to Xbox as it is.

To me, the arguments for "gamepass becoming better" are derived from the lines of thinking behind arguments like "it's good for activision workers". 

In both scenarios, the conclusion is that gamepass and workers conditions can ONLY be better if this merger takes place, completely ignoring the problems that this merger creates.

I don't believe it is a good way of looking at the matter at hand, instead, we can say that gamepass will continue to improve without MS buying the biggest publishers left and right, and worker conditions can and should be better without advocating for corporate consolidation. 

Last edited by LurkerJ - on 15 December 2022

I'm against the acquisition of a major publisher on a personal level: all their mulitplatform titles will become exclusive, and permanently so.

But I'm for it on a business level, because it's just a really good get business wise for Microsoft. And I think it's going to prop up their gaming devision quite a lot,



Against. Time to put the brakes on this kind of consolidation.



LurkerJ said:

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. 

He's not wrong though, while you can build a new studio from the ground up and MS have done so many times in the past, the investment MS is now willing to make, makes it impossible to grow only organically or else it would be decades before they can profits from their efforts. Acquisitions are the only way for such investment. Also MS is growing internally, it's not like The initiative, for instance, was all done the moment they announced it's creation, they are still growing as are all Xbox studios whether build or acquired. 

LurkerJ said:

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.  

 Unions' support does not auto = good. However the FTC and political argument that try to argue the deal should be block in a bid for unions is disingenuous. 

But adding to that I will argue that Unions' support does = good for unions.

and Unions' support does = good for workers in the vast majority of case and don't think it serve a real purpose to highlight the extremely few of it not being the case in the context of this deal. Unions being good for workers are their purpose after all, if it's not the case anymore it's an argument against unionization not an argument against a deal that unions support.

LurkerJ said:

"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.

Yes and no logics tell me they won't try a deal on that scale anymore unless this one does not pass. The thing is Microsoft's renewed faith in the Xbox division is caused by it's strong beliefs that GamePass could be humongous and that it needs more content to provide enough growth to reach it's potential. But there's a limit to this. There's a point where pumping new content faster won't do anything anymore as you'll be far in the diminishing return territory (the point were user don't need any more reason to subscribe). 1 AAA release/quarter, like MS previously mentioned as their goal, fine, 1 AAA/2 month yeah maybe I'll be missing on many of those, 1 AAA / month clearly Gamepass does not need this. Of course, some lesser acquisition might still occur but if MS wants to stay efficient uncontrolled growth is not the way to go.

But if I'm wrong, well Microsoft may try I guess, but this deal cannot be blocked because MS may do another in the future, that's not a valid argument. As bad as the FTC arguments are, even them ain't arguing as such.

LurkerJ said:

"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. 

Sure but still acquisition by a renowned company in the field of great working conditions is sure a way to achieve this goal and a fast way a that. There's alternatives sure, but it does not remove the merits of this deal it that regard.



Ode to a masterpiece

2023 so much great game to play, somehow I know I must walk that alley, but don't you feel in disarray, I'll always come back to you Stardew Valley.