Activision Blizzard buyout was driven by Bethesda takeover, says Phil Spencer

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Putting developers at the heart of an extraordinary takeover

Even after several weeks, the announcement remains striking. By acquiring Activision Blizzard, Microsoft is getting hold of some of the most important licenses in the industry. Call of Duty, Warcraft, Overwatch or Crash Bandicoot and Diablo will come to reinforce the catalog of a publisher who already owns Halo, Forza, The Elder Scrolls Where Doom. An impressive list especially since the creator of Xbox also recovers Candy Crush and its millions of active users on mobile. All for some 68.9 billion dollars. Colossal.

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Therefore, it is easy to understand why Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, thinks “intimidate” by the scope of this operation. The man has certainly already piloted the acquisition of eight studios and a first-rate publisher, but nothing comparable to the giant that is Activision Blizzard. “It’s something that goes way beyond anything I’ve been able to do” he assures with humility.I don’t know if I’m prepared to do it, and the responsibility of this operation really affects me”.

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To illustrate the exceptional nature of this buyout; it suffices to observe the payroll of the two companies. Once the Activision Blizzard acquisition is complete, Microsoft’s internal studios will grow from around 5,000 people to nearly 15,000. A workforce that triples and which is precisely one of Phil Spencer’s priority issues. For the man at the head of Xbox for almost 10 years, it is indeed vital to ensure the proper integration of employees. In the columns of Axios, he stresses the importance of offering them “a permanent place where they can fully express their talent in an environment offering them all the necessary support”.

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Asked about the future of the disparaged Bobby Kotick, Phil Spencer however prefers to kick in touch. According to several well-informed sources, the current president of Activision Blizzard is not part of Microsoft’s plans and should be leaving office after the acquisition. Nor does it seem to be a point of attention of Xbox bosses who ensure to focus “one hundred percent on the teams”.

Microsoft Gaming will not be a superpower

With such a transformation of the face of Microsoft in gaming, many questions have arisen in recent days. Some voices are indeed raised against this new acquisition which, according to them, could unbalance the gaming industry. A superpower status refuted by Phil Spencer, like Satya Nadella before him.

I don’t have the feeling that if this agreement is reached, we would be in a position to particularly shape, and on our own initiative, the rules relating to video games. […] I want to take a stand to make teams better and make people feel safe. We have been public on these issues, but I reject the idea that we are in some sort of unfettered position of hyperpower. I do not believe that.

A speech that is based in particular on the turnover generated by Microsoft. Even by including the revenues of Activision Blizzard King, the company would indeed only be the third player in the market, behind Tencent and Sony. More particularly, the American giant would represent around 10% of a vast market where many players have also strengthened themselves. And where other acquisitions should be made in the coming months, like that of Bungie by Sony.


An insatiable appetite for redemption?

Will this also be the case for Microsoft? Can the firm still carry out structuring takeovers on the market? According to Phil Spencer, he would in any case have the support of his management. “Microsoft’s board of directors, the day we got approval for ZeniMax, asked, ‘What was next?’ he shares. An open appetite at the start of 2021, therefore, and which mainly concerns “mobile and casual gamers”.

But for the time being, the priority is therefore to transform the test. With more than 30 internal studios and more than 160 video game licenses, Microsoft has certain assets to reach new audiences. This is also the avowed objective of its takeovers, which should significantly increase the number of players and, one can imagine, Game Pass subscribers. In any case, it is these indicators that will make it possible to qualify the various takeovers as successful.

The lasting goal for us is: Are the creators of our platform confident that they have the best opportunity to reach as many players as possible with the greatest possible creative diversity that they need?

All information regarding the takeover of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft

Source From: Google News

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