Gaming

Microsoft buys video game publisher Activision Blizzard

Brice N’Guessan, editorial director of Jeux Vidéo Magazine, is with us every Sunday on franceinfo and today we talk about the essential news of the week: Microsoft’s purchase of video game publisher Activision Blizzard for the handsome sum of 60 billion euros.

franceinfo: This acquisition has the entire gaming planet buzzing. It must be said that the check is very large!

Brice N’Guessan: Behind this takeover bid, Microsoft, and therefore its Xbox video game subsidiary, is bringing back world-famous games: Call of Duty, Candy Crush, Crash Bandicoot and World of Warcraft, among others. Each of these games has value, and Activision Blizzard has a very large catalog of licenses that Xbox will be able to exploit.

So 60 billion euros, is it too much?

To better understand the idea behind these types of acquisitions, let’s take the example of Disney, which in 2009 bought the Marvel license for $4 billion. At the time, everyone was stunned by the amount, but in 12 years, Disney has exploited the Marvel universe through twenty films that have generated a total of more than 20 billion dollars in revenue, only for the cinema.

If we listen to you, could this be a very profitable business for Xbox?

The case can be very profitable but Xbox complicates the situation. Today, the purchase of a video game is between 50 and 70 euros. This model, Xbox no longer wants, favoring subscription games with its Game Pass service. For 10 euros per month, you can access 300 unlimited games.

So to recoup its costs, Xbox must win over new users very quickly. Today there are 25 million subscribers to the Game Pass service. So we need a sustained acceleration in subscriptions, and Xbox wants to attract players by buying the most popular games.

Yes, but is this strategy suitable for the players?

Gamers who own Xbox, and especially their Game Pass subscription, are thrilled. On the other hand, owners of PlayStation or Nintendo consoles are wondering. Will Xbox reserve Activision Blizzard games for its ecosystem? At the moment, Phil Spencer, the great boss of Xbox, has not raised any hypothesis to penalize Nintendo or PlayStation players.

Precisely, Sony, parent company of PlayStation, reacted calmly and asks Xbox that all Activision games be available on all platforms…

This acquisition is a clear game changer, Sony’s market capitalization fell by $20 billion in the hours after the acquisition was announced. The concern is both among players and shareholders, because even if Call of Duty is available on all consoles, what do you think consumers will do when they have to pay €10 to play on Xbox versus €70 on PlayStation?

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