Microsoft buys Activision/Blizzard

dlerious

Golden Member
Mar 4, 2004
1,138
318
136
Not sure how I feel about this one. I don't really want more consolidation.
 

sao123

Lifer
May 27, 2002
12,638
197
106
Maybe we will see World of Warcraft become subscription free after all?
Though COD PS5 will now be screwed.
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
81,411
14,534
126
Maybe we'll see if they ever make that ****** Starcraft MMO??

Profanity redacted. You know better and have been warned more than once about using profanity outside of the social forums. Your active point total generates 2 weeks off.

admin allisolm
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
53,191
7,653
126
Whoa. R.I.P. classic Blizzard gaming.

What does this mean for D4? Win11 / XSX exclusive?
 

JTsyo

Lifer
Nov 18, 2007
11,132
329
126
I'm not a fan of Activision. I prefer MS to have their IP. I'm OK with this merge if it means changes to Activision corporate.
 

Saylick

Golden Member
Sep 10, 2012
1,570
1,916
136
I hope that a regulator turns around and says no to this.
I'm not a fan of Activision. I prefer MS to have their IP. I'm OK with this merge if it means changes to Activision corporate.
As someone who does not want to see gaming go in the direction of gaming as a service (because that's what MS will do once they acquire all of this IP), I too would like this to be shot down. However, I also dislike Bobby Kotick and know that the game developers who work for Activision-Blizzard will likely have a better quality of life under Microsoft... I kind of wish some neutral party could step in and buyout Activision-Blizzard, not attempt to change the competitive landscape, but simply just root out the corruption of the current upper management. I was bummed out when Bethesda got acquired because Skyrim and Starfield would be in a walled garden, and now a bunch of Blizzard's beloved franchises would be too.

I'm not angry at Microsoft per se, I just dislike how they want to be the Disney of gaming. I don't want to deal with having to manage 2 or 3 gaming subscriptions just to enjoy the games I play, and while Microsoft can totally offer these games at standalone pricing, their goal would be to set the standalone price somewhere high enough where it effectively discourages anyone with sound financial reasoning from doing so.
 

Fenixgoon

Lifer
Jun 30, 2003
29,260
5,437
126
I hope that a regulator turns around and says no to this.
same. $68B is a hell of a lot of game studios microsoft could prop up. and conversely, this gives microsoft a huge amount of access to properties it could exclude from competitors, where those properties are currently cross-platform. there's no reason to allow acquisitions this large.
 

DeathReborn

Platinum Member
Oct 11, 2005
2,456
374
126
As someone who does not want to see gaming go in the direction of gaming as a service (because that's what MS will do once they acquire all of this IP), I too would like this to be shot down. However, I also dislike Bobby Kotick and know that the game developers who work for Activision-Blizzard will likely have a better quality of life under Microsoft... I kind of wish some neutral party could step in and buyout Activision-Blizzard, not attempt to change the competitive landscape, but simply just root out the corruption of the current upper management. I was bummed out when Bethesda got acquired because Skyrim and Starfield would be in a walled garden, and now a bunch of Blizzard's beloved franchises would be too.

I'm not angry at Microsoft per se, I just dislike how they want to be the Disney of gaming. I don't want to deal with having to manage 2 or 3 gaming subscriptions just to enjoy the games I play, and while Microsoft can totally offer these games at standalone pricing, their goal would be to set the standalone price somewhere high enough where it effectively discourages anyone with sound financial reasoning from doing so.
It is the fact that MS has already shown they will cut off a competitor with their Zenimax, this is a much bigger slap in the face of gamers. I come at this as a PC gamer, I have a PS4 but that's the last console from either MS or Sony I will be buying. I can see the gaming as a service, along with windows as a service & maybe even splitting it into tiers so you have to buy the most expensive package to get say CoD, Elder Scrolls & Fallout.

While this will only make Microsoft the 2nd biggest gaming company by revenue (after Sony) it puts a significantly huge proportion of PC gaming under just one roof, complete with Toxic Kotick. The exorbitant pricing is a problem with Sony too, my brother has just bought Horizon Forbidden West for the PS5, £69.99 for the base version, PS4 is just £10 cheaper. Game pricing is already insane, further increases would be brutal.
 

Saylick

Golden Member
Sep 10, 2012
1,570
1,916
136
It is the fact that MS has already shown they will cut off a competitor with their Zenimax, this is a much bigger slap in the face of gamers. I come at this as a PC gamer, I have a PS4 but that's the last console from either MS or Sony I will be buying. I can see the gaming as a service, along with windows as a service & maybe even splitting it into tiers so you have to buy the most expensive package to get say CoD, Elder Scrolls & Fallout.

While this will only make Microsoft the 2nd biggest gaming company by revenue (after Sony) it puts a significantly huge proportion of PC gaming under just one roof, complete with Toxic Kotick. The exorbitant pricing is a problem with Sony too, my brother has just bought Horizon Forbidden West for the PS5, £69.99 for the base version, PS4 is just £10 cheaper. Game pricing is already insane, further increases would be brutal.
I know this will sound hypocritical, but I actually bought HFW the other day too (and for $79.99 for the Deluxe Version, mind you) and was totally cool with it because I knew that I was getting a worthwhile game where a good chunk of the proceeds went back to the studio (in theory). Maybe the economics will work out in the future with more subscribers, but Game Pass at its current pricing does not seem like it incentivizes game studios to spend the time and money to make AAA games if their games will just be bundled in with Game Pass for a flat rate. How much money is allocated to each of the Game Pass studios if all of the money is pooled together? Does Microsoft divide it up based on play time? I don't know. At least with a direct sales approach, it's readily obvious which games made the most money. I feel like the Game Pass system does not properly reward game developers when their game is a smashing success. It's like wait staff and tips. Ideally, if you give your waiter a $20 tip, they are the ones that get the whole tip. If the tips for the entire wait staff are pooled together and it's to the whim of the restaurant owner to choose how it gets divided, it disincentives the wait staff from trying harder since they aren't responsible for their own gains.

I'd like to bring up Halo Infinite because it is supposed to be THAT title that beckons gamers to get Game Pass, but it is a shoddy mess from what my friends tell me. On launch it was missing a bunch of features, didn't have a full campaign, etc. That's what I fear from this acquisition. I fear that if Microsoft offer the option to buy a game as a standalone, they'd ask a price that is higher than your typical MSRP because it only makes Game Pass that much more enticing. At least with Sony's model, the game studios have every incentive to make a blockbuster because they themselves see a portion of the full MSRP for each copy sold. I'd like to reward individual game studios with how I spend my money. That's why I am okay with buying HFW at full price.

So perhaps like you mentioned, the solution is to have different tiers of Game Pass: one for older games, and a higher tier that gives you first day access to AAA titles. Maybe that will work for most gamers. I am the type of gamer that plays one game at a time (typically some AAA title) so my annual gaming expenses amount to 2-3 full priced games (~$200). If the higher tier subscription model is like $10 more per month, it likely isn't worth it for me.
 

Zenoth

Diamond Member
Jan 29, 2005
5,132
125
106
Weird move to do this now. Although maybe Microsoft did try or have been planning for this many years ago by now.

Because back in 2016 to 2017 would have made more sense to me due to the extreme popularity of Overwatch (especially the first year, it was a honeymoon story with the public). However, by now, World of WarCraft keeps losing players (and its expansions aren't good at all from what I hear, plus have a bunch of 'pay to win' issues in them where you can buy services and shortcut your way through content or something along the lines), Overwatch 1 in essentially is survival mode since 2 years (barely any new significant content, only surviving from Seasonal events skins and emotes and minor updates), StarCraft as a franchise at this point is all bug forgotten (maybe except in South Korea, even then maybe there too it's been slowing down a lot for a few years), Diablo II Resurrected did well but as of now the dust fell and the initial rush of players to check it out is over. Then we have Diablo 3 which never really got any significant new content either, only relying on every 3 to 4 months with Seasons that are within the 25+ in number of occurrences as of this typing. And I suppose I could add Heroes of the Storm in there just for the laughs (a game that's been literally abandoned, is only updated once every 3 to 4 months, and is supported only by a skeleton crew that takes care of the 'Legacy' games such as the original D2 and StarCraft 1).

I mean... yeah, I just find the timing weird. It just so happens that their 'interest' (Microsoft's) in buying them coincidences with basically the Titanic sinking process, rather than when it left the port.

If anything, Microsoft's priority will be to rejuvenate (and in some cases pretty much revive) those games before doing anything with them.
 

igor_kavinski

Platinum Member
Jul 27, 2020
2,443
1,252
96
The exorbitant pricing is a problem with Sony too, my brother has just bought Horizon Forbidden West for the PS5, £69.99 for the base version, PS4 is just £10 cheaper. Game pricing is already insane, further increases would be brutal.
I've gotten used to waiting a year for the prices to drop. That's the new norm if you want to game on a budget.
 

AdamK47

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
13,947
1,296
126
I hope this is what the employees wanted because this is what the employees got. The push to lower the valuation of ATVI allowed this to happen.
 

NTMBK

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
9,674
3,492
136
Weird move to do this now. Although maybe Microsoft did try or have been planning for this many years ago by now.

Because back in 2016 to 2017 would have made more sense to me due to the extreme popularity of Overwatch (especially the first year, it was a honeymoon story with the public). However, by now, World of WarCraft keeps losing players (and its expansions aren't good at all from what I hear, plus have a bunch of 'pay to win' issues in them where you can buy services and shortcut your way through content or something along the lines), Overwatch 1 in essentially is survival mode since 2 years (barely any new significant content, only surviving from Seasonal events skins and emotes and minor updates), StarCraft as a franchise at this point is all bug forgotten (maybe except in South Korea, even then maybe there too it's been slowing down a lot for a few years), Diablo II Resurrected did well but as of now the dust fell and the initial rush of players to check it out is over. Then we have Diablo 3 which never really got any significant new content either, only relying on every 3 to 4 months with Seasons that are within the 25+ in number of occurrences as of this typing. And I suppose I could add Heroes of the Storm in there just for the laughs (a game that's been literally abandoned, is only updated once every 3 to 4 months, and is supported only by a skeleton crew that takes care of the 'Legacy' games such as the original D2 and StarCraft 1).

I mean... yeah, I just find the timing weird. It just so happens that their 'interest' (Microsoft's) in buying them coincidences with basically the Titanic sinking process, rather than when it left the port.

If anything, Microsoft's priority will be to rejuvenate (and in some cases pretty much revive) those games before doing anything with them.
CoD is consistently the highest selling game on Playstation, so there's a big motivation right there- put it in Gamepass, and get people to buy an XBox and Gamepass instead of a PS5
Overwatch 2, Diablo 4 are coming soon, and will presumably be big.
CoD: Warzone is doing gangbusters.
Mobile games (Diablo for phones, all of King's games, CoD for phones), which is a big blind spot for Microsoft right now.
Big back catalogue of interesting IP like Crash, Spyro, Tony Hawks, etc. Now Microsoft can use that back catalogue to fill out Gamepass library, as well as developing mid-budget new games in the series to act as Gamepass filler between big releases.
 
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CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
5,052
303
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I'm not angry at Microsoft per se, I just dislike how they want to be the Disney of gaming. I don't want to deal with having to manage 2 or 3 gaming subscriptions just to enjoy the games I play, and while Microsoft can totally offer these games at standalone pricing, their goal would be to set the standalone price somewhere high enough where it effectively discourages anyone with sound financial reasoning from doing so.
Unforunately I think games are headed in this direction in the future, just like TV and movies. You will have a bunch of these subscription services with monthly fees, and at some point games will be exclusively available through that service and won't be sold independently at all.
 

igor_kavinski

Platinum Member
Jul 27, 2020
2,443
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Unforunately I think games are headed in this direction in the future, just like TV and movies. You will have a bunch of these subscription services with monthly fees, and at some point games will be exclusively available through that service and won't be sold independently at all.
Hopefully, none of us who care will be alive by then.
 
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CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
5,052
303
126
I might just stick to classic games and mods/indie stuff at that point. There are enough good ones out there to last a lifetime.
 

Saylick

Golden Member
Sep 10, 2012
1,570
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Unforunately I think games are headed in this direction in the future, just like TV and movies. You will have a bunch of these subscription services with monthly fees, and at some point games will be exclusively available through that service and won't be sold independently at all.
Yeah, I think it is heading that way, unfortunately. Everything that is software-based is heading towards reoccurring revenue or X-as-a-service. Software licensing used to be like gaming today: you could buy a standalone license and it would be good for perpetuity, and the reoccurring expense was simply buying the next year's version the following year, but you owned any copies you bought. Now, pretty much every piece of software is going the route of subscription based licensing; the moment you stop paying for your annual license, you lose all access to the software. In my profession, pretty much all commerical software we use has gone this route and the cost of maintaining software licenses goes up every year. What can we do? Not pay for commercial software? Hell no. They got us by the balls. Nvidia, Google, and MS all are trying to get into reoccurring revenue through hardware-as-a-service too, via Stadia, GeForce Now, and xCloud. If this keeps up, we'll all never own anything we pay for anymore. We'd be paying for rentals, effectively.

Long story short, I can't say I'm a fan.
 

quikah

Diamond Member
Apr 7, 2003
3,639
383
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I'd like to bring up Halo Infinite because it is supposed to be THAT title that beckons gamers to get Game Pass, but it is a shoddy mess from what my friends tell me. On launch it was missing a bunch of features, didn't have a full campaign, etc. That's what I fear from this acquisition. I fear that if Microsoft offer the option to buy a game as a standalone, they'd ask a price that is higher than your typical MSRP because it only makes Game Pass that much more enticing. At least with Sony's model, the game studios have every incentive to make a blockbuster because they themselves see a portion of the full MSRP for each copy sold. I'd like to reward individual game studios with how I spend my money. That's why I am okay with buying HFW at full price.
Halo has a full campaign. It is quite good. the issue with Halo is that the monetization on the multiplayer is pretty crappy and it is missing campaign coop and forge. This has nothing to do with gamepass as 343 has always had issues going way back. Master Chief collection was a garbage fire on release (it is great now). Halo 5 monetization was terrible (loot boxes essentially). etc.

Buying games before release is dumb regardless. Wait for reviews from sources that reflect your tastes and buy accordingly. Cyberpunk is the poster child for this.

Personally, I don't give a whit about the financials of gamepass. That is MS problem, not mine. If they are giving me good games (they definitely are right now) then I am subscribing.
 
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Zenoth

Diamond Member
Jan 29, 2005
5,132
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CoD is consistently the highest selling game on Playstation, so there's a big motivation right there- put it in Gamepass, and get people to buy an XBox and Gamepass instead of a PS5
Overwatch 2, Diablo 4 are coming soon, and will presumably be big.
CoD: Warzone is doing gangbusters.
Mobile games (Diablo for phones, all of King's games, CoD for phones), which is a big blind spot for Microsoft right now.
Big back catalogue of interesting IP like Crash, Spyro, Tony Hawks, etc. Now Microsoft can use that back catalogue to fill out Gamepass library, as well as developing mid-budget new games in the series to act as Gamepass filler between big releases.
Yeah true.

I admit I didn't exactly think much about Call of Duty in there. It stems from my complete disinterest in that franchise since... very long. The last CoD game I played was CoD 3 on the original Wii, and that was at a friend's place; just tried it out for about 1 or 2 hours (only thing I recall out of it was a sequence where my character gets in a fight against a Nazi and I had to use the motion controls to 'fight' and shake him off of me). Before that, I played and finished both original CoD games (PC versions) but that was it after that really. However, it's probably the main acquisition in this big purchase.

I don't think we have any information to say that Overwatch 2 and/or Diablo 4 are 'coming soon' though. But they should be generating good money for Microsoft whenever they do come out (especially Overwatch 2, not quite sure about Diablo 4 yet).

I do maintain, however, that a number of Blizzard... erm, I mean Acti- ... actually I mean Microsoft (now) franchises will need some form of repair. I'm actually playing Heroes of the Storm regularly, but that game being kept online because they never shut down the servers is the only reason why it persists, because it was abandoned almost completely the very day they decided to shut down the eSports scene for it. It's one particular 'still active, but nearly dead' game in their catalogue now that they should look at more (by "look at" I mean give that game an actual development team and rejuvenate it to bring it back on the stage and to the eyes of the gamers population).

Same with Overwatch right now, it's in survival mode, no significant updates for I think over a year by now, nearly two. Heck they even stopped doing those amazing CGI short stories since about 3 years (or more I think). All that matters for it right now is the yearly competitive stuff going for it, and Seasons-based events to unlock new character skins and other non-essentials and cosmetics.

They'll get their money back and then some, sure. But I think it'll be done mostly via 'other' franchises (franchises not known to have been made initially by the original Blizzard before Activision showed up in the family portrait). The only 'Blizzard IP' I can see being popular in the coming year (maybe, if it does come out within that time frame) is Overwatch 2, at least initially. For StarCraft I don't know what they can do with that, lest making StarCraft 3. For Heroes of the Storm they just need to provide it a team. For D4... well it's already in development so 'let it be' is the best thing to do for now and just hope it turns out well (it should but... I have some doubts on that one).
 

quikah

Diamond Member
Apr 7, 2003
3,639
383
126
Kind of vague hand waving in there. They will be stopped because of reasons...

What is the alternative, they remain independent and continue to stink up the industry? Tencent buys them? The simple fact is Acti/Bliz is pretty crap rightnow. Blizzard hasn't made a good game in years. Activision has 5 studios all working on call of duty for some reason. Acti/Bliz is woefully lacking in leadership. Bobby was great at building up the company from near bankruptcy, but he is awful for the company now. They desperately need new leadership.

My hope is that Bliz can get their act together (quit churning out awful WoW expansions) and at least 2 or 3 of the activision studios are allowed to get out of the CoD salt mines and make some new and interesting games.
 

AdamK47

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
13,947
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MrSquished

Lifer
Jan 14, 2013
14,298
11,170
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I don't like the complete trend to everything being subscription based. Especially for things like office and Photoshop, professional programs. But I do like it for streaming shows and movies better than what we had before.

For games I like having both options. To buy it as a one off or have it as a part of a subscription.

For the price of 3 AAA games I can subscribe to ultimate game pass for a year right now.

It's kinda starting to make more sense. Let's see how long the price stays 15 a month when they start delivering more AAA content with it and how that balances out.
 
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