At the beginning of August, Important information about Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard was made public. Said information is the result of the Brazilian Trade Commission at the time of forming a verdict to declare if said acquisition could negatively affect the market and competitors. As many will know, the Japanese company Sony was the only one who had reason to be against said acquisition, however, the other companies do not have great inconvenience to respect. Below we will reveal what the third-parties think of the purchase of Activision Blizzard.
What do the third-parties think of the purchase of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft?
Call of Duty will end as an Xbox exclusive, Xbox Era suggests
In general, companies such as Warner Bros, Ubisoft and Bandai Namco declare that they are not affected thanks to their business system. They also claim that their catalog and future projects are good enough to compete in the market. However, we will be going into more detail on each statement, and not only on these three entities already mentioned.
Warner Bros as a developer and distributor of games for PC and consoles can require an investment in terms of value, time and resources. However, the existence of several companies that develop and publish games for PC and consoles shows that such barriers are not high enough to prevent entry, especially from companies that operate in related sectors in some way, such as electronics or software, and/or strong competition. They have no specific comments or concerns at this time regarding the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard King merger.
They defend that the PC and console markets are the same, but the mobile ones are totally different. Nor do they find a justification for the market distinction based on its genres and types. Many games cross genres, and players are usually not limited to just one game genre.
They don’t think Activision Blizzard King (ABK) has unique games as there isn’t a video game title that doesn’t have close competition. All publishers and games compete for available game time, and no title is unique in its own genre.
They give the example of Battlefield, PUBG, Apex or Rainbow Six which are competitors of COD. Likewise, Candy Crush has multiple similar games and The Elder Scrolls Online or Blade & Soul are alternatives to WoW.
Bandai Namco thinks that the PC and console markets are very similar, and clarifies that the PC market is almost completely digital, so the separation makes sense. On mobile it’s very different and they don’t think the 3 markets should be grouped together. Each game is unique. There is simultaneous Call of Duty competition, such as Battlefield, Valorant, or Destiny. The same in relation to World of Warcraft.
They are a digital game store for PC, Mac and Linux from LATAM. They say there is an obvious difference between physical and digital distribution. It’s becoming more and more common to have independent games that are only distributed digitally.
They think that all ABK games have close competitors in their categories, like Battlefield, Free Fire, Final Fantasy XIV or Bejeweled. At the same time, they understand Gamepass as something positive for consumers right now but that in the future it could generate a lot of concentration and exclusive content as it is not available on other platforms.
They say they are aware of public statements from Microsoft and Activision regarding their post-operation plans (keeping some cross-platform games). They also consider Apple Arcade as a relevant entry in the digital distribution market in the last 5 years. They don’t really answer any questions as to whether they would be affected by the purchase.
They consider Naughty Dog, and Sony in general, as a potential competitor of ABK – Microsoft for the creation of AAA games. Call of Duty, WoW and Candy Crush have real competitors, according to them. Battlefield, Apex, Counter Strike, Valorant, or Rainbow Six for COD; Cookie Jam or Bejeweled in connection with Candy Crush and Rift, Runescape, FF XIV or TERA in connection with WoW.
Riot Games firmly believes that Microsoft will honor the public statements made about keeping some franchises cross-platform.. They do not expect any anti-competitive effects in the post-acquisition market.
Amazon is not very interested in the case since they admit not having investigated enough to form a criterion for said acquisition. However, its situation in the field of video games deals with two original titles and its Luna Streaming service, which is only available in the United States.
In the case of Google, it was only limited to highlighting the competitors of some Activision Blizzard King titles. They state that alternatives to COD could be Battlefield, Counterstrike or Rainbow Six. Alternatives to WoW would be Lost Ark, ESO Online or Guild Wars 2. And alternatives to Candy Crush would be Puzzle Quest or Bejeweled. They understand that there will be a significant number of game developers/publishers in the market after Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.