Game pass

What Activision’s purchase means for ‘CoD’, Game Pass, Sony

Microsoft is set to add Activision Blizzard to its growing list of companies under the Xbox umbrella. On Tuesday, Microsoft announced it was buying Activision Blizzard for a record $68.7 billion. Not only is it a jaw-dropping amount of money, but it’s a decision that’s going to impact the entire games industry.

Microsft and Activision Blizzard are two industry giants. There was no scenario where these two combined forces wouldn’t have ripple effects, as many of the IPs, services, and competitors involved are juggernauts themselves. We’ll see the impact of this deal for years to come, but until that happens, all we can do at the moment is speculate on what we think will happen.

With all of that in mind, these are three areas of the industry we wanted to focus on.

Call of Duty

Arguably the biggest annual gaming franchise, Call of Duty is a monster. Millions of people play it every year, it is often among the best selling games of the year and has one of the most popular battle royales in war zone. It’s been Activision’s flagship title for over a decade and suddenly it’s going to be owned by Microsoft and Xbox. It’s not the same as when Microsoft bought Bethesda and started selling its games exclusively on Xbox. Call of Duty is the kind of franchise that extends beyond the console and it would be a monumental change – and really, really harmful – if it suddenly became exclusive to Xbox and PC.

Call of Duty fans not only buy and play the game, but pay for the skins, loot boxes, and all the other extra bells and whistles that so many companies make money from these days. Cutting that revenue stream out for a chance at exclusivity these days would just be bad business, and of course Microsoft would understand that and not do Cod an exclusive console. There is simply too much money available for all players.

That said, over the past decade we’ve seen many Activision subsidiaries coalesce into the giant brand that is Call of Duty as support studios. Instead of allowing them to develop games, they ended up becoming more fuel to finance a giant. Although we do not expect this support for Call of Duty finally, ideally some of these subsidiaries were allowed to develop and create their own games, maybe even spin-offs of Call of Duty. The Xbox umbrella allows for more creativity and hopefully we can see it.

Game pass

We’ve talked at length about how Game Pass is the best gaming deal right now. No service gives gamers a bigger catalog of games to play at no extra cost than Game Pass. The vast library of current and past games makes it a must-have for anyone even remotely interested in gaming outside of their comfort zone, and to top it all off, every game released by Microsoft releases on day one of Game Pass. .

That last tidbit is where buying Activision Blizzard gets really interesting. Yes, there is now a huge library of games that could come to Game Pass from franchises like Warcraft and Devil, but did we consider that every game under the Activision Blizzard name could be a Game Pass version? Monitor 2all Call of Dutyand brand new Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater the games could all potentially be available at launch through the service.

We’ve known for a long time that Game Pass was Microsoft’s plan to push the Xbox brand into the future, but as it continues to take steps to bring gigantic IPs to the service, it’s never been clearer that Microsoft did not plan to disappear. towards the sale of the console as the main brand strategy. Obviously consoles are still hugely important, but getting people into this Game Pass ecosystem is the obvious goal and Microsoft is willing to keep spending to make it happen.

sony

Materials to meet the high demand for the PlayStation 5 became such an issue that Sony extended the life of the PlayStation 4. There was some excitement over a rumored service upgrade to PlayStation Now intended to compete with Game Pass, but Tuesday’s news made that an arduous task for something it’s already overdue, and to top it all off, one of the console’s best-selling games is now under the aegis of its greatest rival.

We can always expect Sony to behave with the same level of confidence that it always has. Part of the reason Microsoft had to seek out these deals is that its first-party exclusives have, for a long time, been weaker than what Sony has traditionally released. With Forbidden Horizon West and God of War: Ragnarok Set to debut in 2022, a big year is in store for Sony despite Tuesday’s news.

Unfortunately for Sony, many of the things it’s been putting off for so long are starting to become the norm. Crossplay, PC gaming, and cloud gaming are all services that Microsoft has embraced. Their services beyond a great console and great games need improvement and we wouldn’t be surprised to see that become a priority.


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