Will Microsoft be the Netflix of video games, after the purchase of Activision Blizzard?

Will Microsoft be the Netflix of video games, after the purchase of Activision Blizzard?

The company, which until its purchase yesterday was ranked as the fourth largest company in the video game industry, is behind Tencent, a Chinese company that owns the studios responsible for League of Legends and Fortnite, in addition to Sony and its now owner, Xbox.

However, despite this economic relevance and having declared more than 8,000 million dollars in earnings in 2020, it was going through an internal, media and even gaming crisis.

First, the company’s CEO, Robert Kotick, was singled out as part of the workplace and sexual harassment problems that the company had been suffering for years. This problem has made them creditors of fines and investigations, where even marketing and commercial relations have been suspended until the issue is resolved. To cite an example, LEGO suspended the production of the buildable figures of Overwatch 2 until there is a resolution of the case of harassment that the company has.

Second, the year-end games did not have the expected reception or scope. Call of Duty Vanguard, was received very simply and did not achieve the expected results in reviews, coverage or sales for the company’s best-selling franchise. While Overwatch 2 has been delayed multiple times, and the game was expected to be released in 2021, it still has no definitive date in 2022.

In addition to these problems, Microsoft has had a very special focus on online games and on diversifying its portfolio of titles. In other words, beyond seeking to be a console-selling company, experts point out that seeks to be a multiplatform content generator, especially in the trend for games in the metaverse.

Microsoft’s purchase of Activision will speed up more deals in the industry, as big tech companies look to expand their consumer offerings by acquiring game studios and developers that lured gamers during the pandemic. “It would also help the company get into the streaming and metaverse spaces,” said Niklas Melcher, an analyst at NewZoo.

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While smaller niche metaverse games are starting to emerge, three of the biggest metaverse titles are hands down Fortnite, Roblox, and Minecraft. Two of these from Tencent and one from Microsoft.

a defined path

Throughout 2021 we saw Xbox make several moves to beef up its subscription system. Starting with releases such as Psychonauts 2, Forza Horizon 5 and Halo Infinite, exclusively and from the first day for platform subscribers, something that can be replicated in titles such as those that Activision Blizzard has in its catalog.

Starting with the acquisition of Bethesda in 2020, which meant a cost of 7,500 million for the company of Bill Gates less than 10%, the acquisition of Activision Blizzard comes to complement an already expanding catalog and that will add new games in development and the inclusion of all the previous repertoire of the company.

In addition to content, there is the issue of adding users, since the Xbox company announced that it has 25 million paid Game Pass users, a figure that is still far from the 400 million active monthly players that it has together among all ATVI games.

Although the sale will be consolidated until 2023, where the same companies announced that they will maintain their independence and continue the acquisition process with the same creative teams, in the coming months we will surely have more news about the plans for the inclusion of games in the ecosystem. Xbox. Similar to what happened with Bethesda where it faced its commitments to other platforms, even when it had already been acquired by Microsoft.