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Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion all-cash deal


UltraMega
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Microsoft said Tuesday that it would acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. Activision, which is best known for famous games like "Call of Duty" and "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater," has been embroiled in scandal for several months following allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment among company leaders. 

 

Activision announced Monday that it has fired dozens of executives following an inquiry.

 

REDMOND, Wash. and Santa Monica, Calif. – Jan. 18, 2022 – With three billion people actively playing games today, and fueled by a new generation steeped in the joys of interactive entertainment, gaming is now the largest and fastest-growing form of entertainment. Today, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), a leader in game development and interactive entertainment content publisher. This acquisition will accelerate the growth in Microsoft’s gaming business across mobile, PC, console and cloud and will provide building blocks for the metaverse.

 

Microsoft will acquire Activision Blizzard for $95.00 per share, in an all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 billion, inclusive of Activision Blizzard’s net cash. When the transaction closes, Microsoft will become the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony. The planned acquisition includes iconic franchises from the Activision, Blizzard and King studios like “Warcraft,” “Diablo,” “Overwatch,” “Call of Duty” and “Candy Crush,” in addition to global eSports activities through Major League Gaming. The company has studios around the word with nearly 10,000 employees.

 

Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard, and he and his team will maintain their focus on driving efforts to further strengthen the company’s culture and accelerate business growth. Once the deal closes, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming.

https://www.guru3d.com/news-story/microsoft-to-acquire-activision-blizzard-for-a-whopping-68-7-billion-all-cash-deal.html

 

Pretty big news. I wonder if they will Kick Bobby out after the acquisition. 

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EHW Content Creator
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Microsoft are speed running business in the acquisition% category.

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They really are trying to acquire everyone aren't they.

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Blizzard and Activision games are why I first upgraded my graphics card in my first PC (prebuilt Compaq). Been an interesting ride for them.. Looking forward to the possibilities.

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54 minutes ago, Sir Beregond said:

They really are trying to acquire everyone aren't they.

Just to add some context, in 2021 fiscal year Sony brought in 25B from gaming while Microsoft only brought in 13B in revenue. It seems like Microsoft is throwing their weight around but realistically I see them as simply trying to catch up to Sony. 

 

Microsoft's gaming division is growing much faster than Sony's though. Microsoft saw ~50% growth while Sony only saw ~13%. 

 

 

Reading through the lines, I think it's safe to say Microsoft has proven the strength of the subscription model and their fast growth has put pressure on Sony to follow suite and release their own subscription plan. The PS4 era proved for Sony that the strength is in the software IPs and not the hardware sales. Both companies are realizing that more and more, and Microsoft is trying to emulate the level of quality and success that Sony hit with their first party titles. Some see this consolidation as a bad thing, and if it were a company like EA buying up other brands I would agree, but Microsoft is a very different company. They have a pretty massive amount of gaming tech under their belt now and it will be really interesting to see what comes of it when they eventually release a true next gen title that builds on all the new tech and talent they've gained.

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3 minutes ago, UltraMega said:

Just to add some context, in 2021 fiscal year Sony brought in 25B from gaming while Microsoft only brought in 13B in revenue. It seems like Microsoft is throwing their weight around but realistically I see them as simply trying to catch up to Sony. 

 

Microsoft's gaming division is growing much faster than Sony's though. Microsoft saw ~50% growth while Sony only saw ~13%. 

 

 

Reading through the lines, I think it's safe to say Microsoft has proven the strength of the subscription model and their fast growth has put pressure on Sony to follow suite and release their own subscription plan. The PS4 era proved for Sony that the strength is in the software IPs and not the hardware sales. Both companies are realizing that more and more, and Microsoft is trying to emulate the level of quality and success that Sony hit with their first party titles. Some see this consolidation as a bad thing, and if it were a company like EA buying up other brands I would agree, but Microsoft is a very different company. They have a pretty massive amount of gaming tech under their belt now and it will be really interesting to see what comes of it when they eventually release a true next gen title that builds on all the new tech and talent they've gained.

Oh, didn't realize the Sony piece. Still would hate for a time to come when everything is under Sony, Microsoft, and EA.

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27 minutes ago, Sir Beregond said:

Oh, didn't realize the Sony piece. Still would hate for a time to come when everything is under Sony, Microsoft, and EA.

I don't think we need to worry about that. With the way people have access to things like unreal engine and unity these days, the barrier for entry into game development is lower than ever. 

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I'm going to be the odd man out here probably, but I really don't care as I refuse to buy Activision / Blizzard games anyway.  Same with MS (outside of Minecraft, but that was before MS bought them).  It's just Microsoft being a big company bully, same thing EA does.  Don't care, I hope they rot.

 

Probably won't happen, but hey a guy can dream. :lachen:

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41 minutes ago, pioneerisloud said:

I'm going to be the odd man out here probably, but I really don't care as I refuse to buy Activision / Blizzard games anyway.  Same with MS (outside of Minecraft, but that was before MS bought them).  It's just Microsoft being a big company bully, same thing EA does.  Don't care, I hope they rot.

 

Probably won't happen, but hey a guy can dream. :lachen:

How is it the same thing EA does? 

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1 hour ago, UltraMega said:

Just to add some context, in 2021 fiscal year Sony brought in 25B from gaming while Microsoft only brought in 13B in revenue. It seems like Microsoft is throwing their weight around but realistically I see them as simply trying to catch up to Sony. 

 

Microsoft's gaming division is growing much faster than Sony's though. Microsoft saw ~50% growth while Sony only saw ~13%. 

 

 

Reading through the lines, I think it's safe to say Microsoft has proven the strength of the subscription model and their fast growth has put pressure on Sony to follow suite and release their own subscription plan. The PS4 era proved for Sony that the strength is in the software IPs and not the hardware sales. Both companies are realizing that more and more, and Microsoft is trying to emulate the level of quality and success that Sony hit with their first party titles. Some see this consolidation as a bad thing, and if it were a company like EA buying up other brands I would agree, but Microsoft is a very different company. They have a pretty massive amount of gaming tech under their belt now and it will be really interesting to see what comes of it when they eventually release a true next gen title that builds on all the new tech and talent they've gained.

 

Why would EA consolidating game studios be worse than Microsoft doing it?    Neither is good, but Microsoft doing it worrisome.  EA doesn't have an OS, a gaming system, a proprietary API or proprietary codecs to use as a vendor lock to shut out any and all competition.  Considering what Phil Spencer has said in the past, the likelihood that any of these games will be available on anything but an MS platform is slim. 

 

 

I always see people claiming they want competition...how great things will be for consumers, but in reality, people just want others to view their preferred brands through the same rose colored glasses as they do.

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7 minutes ago, UltraMega said:

How is it the same thing EA does? 

Well let's see, how many game companies has EA gobbled up over the years?

Consolidation of creative efforts under one giant umbrella is NEVER a good thing.  Yes, there's more budget available, but you're stuck under the umbrella, not able to go and enjoy the beach, metaphorically speaking.

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1 hour ago, pioneerisloud said:

Well let's see, how many game companies has EA gobbled up over the years?

Consolidation of creative efforts under one giant umbrella is NEVER a good thing.  Yes, there's more budget available, but you're stuck under the umbrella, not able to go and enjoy the beach, metaphorically speaking.

Acquisitions are the nature of any market. I think the similarities between EA and Microsoft are only that they've both made acquisition at all. Sony has done the same. EA tends to drive franchises into the ground. Microsoft has a much better track record. 

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1 hour ago, Diffident said:

 

Why would EA consolidating game studios be worse than Microsoft doing it?    Neither is good, but Microsoft doing it worrisome.  EA doesn't have an OS, a gaming system, a proprietary API or proprietary codecs to use as a vendor lock to shut out any and all competition.  Considering what Phil Spencer has said in the past, the likelihood that any of these games will be available on anything but an MS platform is slim. 

 

 

I always see people claiming they want competition...how great things will be for consumers, but in reality, people just want others to view their preferred brands through the same rose colored glasses as they do.

I see this as Microsoft competing with Sony by trying to improve their first party line up. Likewise Sony is getting more and more into the PC market. 

 

As a gamer, seems like we're winning out. Maybe if Call of Duty doesn't come to Playstation later on that will be a disappointment for Playstation owners but overall I see the competition between Sony and Microsoft as a win for gamers.

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1 hour ago, UltraMega said:

I see this as Microsoft competing with Sony by trying to improve their first party line up. Likewise Sony is getting more and more into the PC market. 

 

As a gamer, seems like we're winning out. Maybe if Call of Duty doesn't come to Playstation later on that will be a disappointment for Playstation owners but overall I see the competition between Sony and Microsoft as a win for gamers.

If you really think paying $90+ for a complete game (with day one DLC), and subscription based models is winning........  I might have a nice rock I could sell you. :lachen:

This is why I refuse to touch a lot of modern games.  If I pay for a game, I expect the ENTIRE game.  I also do not expect to get nickle and dimed to death just to play the game.  I also refuse to install a lot of the stupid DRM that is now commonplace to screw over paying customers, when the game is cracked same day anyway WITHOUT the DRM.  Piracy is never going to stop, its time the companies figure out a different model.  Preferably one easier on gamer's pocketbooks because today's games are getting ridiculously expensive.  Microsoft is absolutely NO better than EA, look at Office.  It went from you bought the Office package, it was yours.....to now you have to pay for it on a subscription model.  This is NOT okay to me.  There's been talks of them taking Windows itself to the same degree.  Luckily they haven't yet, but when they do, I won't buy Windows ever again either.

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23 minutes ago, pioneerisloud said:

If you really think paying $90+ for a complete game (with day one DLC), and subscription based models is winning........  I might have a nice rock I could sell you. :lachen:

I'm not sure what you mean. Why would anyone pay for a game that's already on game pass? 

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6 minutes ago, UltraMega said:

I'm not sure what you mean. Why would anyone pay for a game that's already on game pass? 

See, that's exactly my gripe.

You're fine with RENTING your games and the "store" telling you what you can and cannot play.  I'm not.  If I pay good money for a game, I expect to OWN that game forever.  Same thing with movies.  I understand there's some licensing limitations, always has been.  But I can still play my original copy of Quake from 1996.  I cannot say the same for half of my Steam library.

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2 minutes ago, pioneerisloud said:

See, that's exactly my gripe.

You're fine with RENTING your games and the "store" telling you what you can and cannot play.  I'm not.  If I pay good money for a game, I expect to OWN that game forever.  Same thing with movies.  I understand there's some licensing limitations, always has been.  But I can still play my original copy of Quake from 1996.  I cannot say the same for half of my Steam library.

If that's your preference, by all means. I definitely prefer Netflix to owning movies but either way you can still own movies or games, none of these options prevent that. 

 

A subscription model for something like office is annoying but office is just one program. $10 a month for everything game pass has on it is a steal. 

 

And actually, as for office... apparently this is not widely known but Microsoft still makes standard versions of office. Office 365 is a subscription program but there's office 2017, 2019, and 2021 that you can buy as a standard one time purchase if you want to. 

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1 minute ago, UltraMega said:

If that's your preference, by all means. I definitely prefer Netflix to owning movies but either way you can still own movies or games, none of these options prevent that. 

 

A subscription model for something like office is annoying but office is just one program. $10 a month for everything game pass has on it is a steal. 

 

And actually, as for office... apparently this is not widely known but Microsoft still makes standard versions of office. Office 365 is a subscription program but there's office 2017, 2019, and 2021 that you can buy as a standard one time purchase if you want to. 

Agreed with you on your first point about everybody having their preferences.  And you know, I had Netflix for a while and Disney+.  I tried to like it.  But I remember several times I was wanting to go and watch something, and it was gone out of the library.  The companies decide what they want on there.

Game pass for $10 a month, yes it seems like a steal.  You're right.  Until you want to go play say (example) Forza Horizon 5, and its no longer on there anymore.  Or whatever game.  It's fine for casual stuff, but if you want to enjoy your titles long term its most definitely NOT the way to go.  Personally, I absolutely LOVE going back and replaying my games again years later.  I still pick up Crysis from 2007 every once in a while and enjoy it.  COD4 still has an online community even, and that game is ALSO from 2007.  There's a few modern titles that have been great too for a consumer.  Tripwire seems like they've been keeping some decent morals as a game company for one example.  BeamNG.drive is another, that game's been in "alpha" stages since 2013 and the devs ALLOW modding, they allow local servers, they let you do just about anything you want (within reason).  Just a couple examples that I personally know of, I'm sure there's more.

I understand WHY you are okay renting your games.  That's fine, I used to rent SNES and N64 games from blockbuster back in the day.  Nothing wrong at all with having the OPTION to.  All I'm getting at, is that it should NEVER become the norm, and day one DLC's, and milking the customer dry just really grinds my gears.  Or again, when game devs kill their games entirely so they're not competing with their old games themselves because an old game is still popular.  You're trying to act like these things aren't a problem, but they really are.  GTA IV is completely dead, they've REMOVED online from it, a feature I paid $60 for, TWICE (retail and Steam when my disc broke).  It's dead because they wanted to push GTA V Online.  People have been warning about this stuff for years, and its slowly becoming a reality in the gaming industry.

Office was just an example of Microsoft doing the same practices.  That's all I was getting at there.  It's a thing, subscription models are "the future", and as a consumer, I don't appreciate it.  You can claim Microsoft won't do these things, but they already are.

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15 minutes ago, pioneerisloud said:

Agreed with you on your first point about everybody having their preferences.  And you know, I had Netflix for a while and Disney+.  I tried to like it.  But I remember several times I was wanting to go and watch something, and it was gone out of the library.  The companies decide what they want on there.

Game pass for $10 a month, yes it seems like a steal.  You're right.  Until you want to go play say (example) Forza Horizon 5, and its no longer on there anymore.  Or whatever game.  It's fine for casual stuff, but if you want to enjoy your titles long term its most definitely NOT the way to go.  Personally, I absolutely LOVE going back and replaying my games again years later.  I still pick up Crysis from 2007 every once in a while and enjoy it.  COD4 still has an online community even, and that game is ALSO from 2007.  There's a few modern titles that have been great too for a consumer.  Tripwire seems like they've been keeping some decent morals as a game company for one example.  BeamNG.drive is another, that game's been in "alpha" stages since 2013 and the devs ALLOW modding, they allow local servers, they let you do just about anything you want (within reason).  Just a couple examples that I personally know of, I'm sure there's more.

I understand WHY you are okay renting your games.  That's fine, I used to rent SNES and N64 games from blockbuster back in the day.  Nothing wrong at all with having the OPTION to.  All I'm getting at, is that it should NEVER become the norm, and day one DLC's, and milking the customer dry just really grinds my gears.  Or again, when game devs kill their games entirely so they're not competing with their old games themselves because an old game is still popular.  You're trying to act like these things aren't a problem, but they really are.  GTA IV is completely dead, they've REMOVED online from it, a feature I paid $60 for, TWICE (retail and Steam when my disc broke).  It's dead because they wanted to push GTA V Online.  People have been warning about this stuff for years, and its slowly becoming a reality in the gaming industry.

Office was just an example of Microsoft doing the same practices.  That's all I was getting at there.  It's a thing, subscription models are "the future", and as a consumer, I don't appreciate it.  You can claim Microsoft won't do these things, but they already are.

Well if Microsoft ever does take away the option to buy software without a subscription then your worries will be realized but since they haven't shown any signs of doing that I wouldn't worry too much. If anything I'd think Microsoft prefers customers like you who are willing to pay more for a sense of ownership. 

 

Yea office is just an example and it's a perfect example of how they still offer both options. I don't know of anything they have forced people to buy subscriptions for. Unless you have an exsmple of something like that, it's just pure speculation based merely on the fact that subscription options exist. 

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I hope the acquisition comes with a shake up and fixes the AAA title we know as COD. Multiplayer on COD has been getting progressively worse, so has their approach to cheaters. 

 

Considering how much money they take in for the title plus all the other im game purchases,I would like to think they have the resources to fix the issues. 

 

Bobby Kotick also needs to go IMHO.

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4 hours ago, UltraMega said:

Well if Microsoft ever does take away the option to buy software without a subscription then your worries will be realized but since they haven't shown any signs of doing that I wouldn't worry too much. If anything I'd think Microsoft prefers customers like you who are willing to pay more for a sense of ownership. 

 

Yea office is just an example and it's a perfect example of how they still offer both options. I don't know of anything they have forced people to buy subscriptions for. Unless you have an exsmple of something like that, it's just pure speculation based merely on the fact that subscription options exist. 

You haven't checked even on Office products lately have you?  Microsoft IS doing exactly what I'm griping about lol.  It's only going to continue to get worse.  They're not going to magically just decide to give consumers power back over their purchases.  It's bad business.

 

$150 for a basic version is what you get to "purchase" it, or you can get a full featured version for a subscription.  It's okay if you like renting things, that's fine.  But me, I like to own what I buy.  This is the future of gaming with Microsoft.  You WILL be forced into subscription models like Game Pass.

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50 minutes ago, pioneerisloud said:

You haven't checked even on Office products lately have you?  Microsoft IS doing exactly what I'm griping about lol.  It's only going to continue to get worse.  They're not going to magically just decide to give consumers power back over their purchases.  It's bad business.

 

$150 for a basic version is what you get to "purchase" it, or you can get a full featured version for a subscription.  It's okay if you like renting things, that's fine.  But me, I like to own what I buy.  This is the future of gaming with Microsoft.  You WILL be forced into subscription models like Game Pass.

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I don't understand the issue. You are pointing out yourself that you can purchase a one time standard activation key so what's been lost? You call it a "basic" version but it's really the home version. What's missing from it? 

 

There are 3 versions of Office 2021, home, business, and professional. 

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30 minutes ago, UltraMega said:

I don't understand the issue. You are pointing out yourself that you can purchase a one time standard activation key so what's been lost? You call it a "basic" version but it's really the home version. What's missing from it? 

 

There are 3 versions of Office 2021, home, business, and professional. 

Classic versions of word, excel and powerpoint instead of their premium versions.  Lack of onedrive, outlook, and android / IOS apps.  But sure, its the same thing. 🤦‍♂️   Also, its "Home", "Personal", and "Family" that I showed......ALL are home versions of Office.

I'm not saying that having the OPTION to rent your software or games shouldn't be allowed, I think that's a wonderful idea.  Always has been.  Renting serves a purpose.  It's so you can try a game (any media) BEFORE you buy it and invest hundreds or thousands of hours into it.  It's great.  But it shouldn't be the ONLY option, and that's exactly where we're headed.  Go look again at that Office chart, look at what features are NOT there when you buy a "full" license.  Microsoft isn't the only company pushing this either, I'm just picking on them because this thread is about their merger with Actiblizzard.  Actiblizzard is JUST as guilty of this, go look at WoW, or the latest Call of Duty yearly expansion pack for $70.  I dare you, go try to play MW2 online, I'll bet matchmaking is disabled now.  Whereas COD4 is still alive and kicking.  They've been slowly removing features and going to a subscription based model since about 2007.

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9 minutes ago, pioneerisloud said:

Classic versions of word, excel and powerpoint instead of their premium versions.  Lack of onedrive, outlook, and android / IOS apps.  But sure, its the same thing. 🤦‍♂️   Also, its "Home", "Personal", and "Family" that I showed......ALL are home versions of Office.

I'm not saying that having the OPTION to rent your software or games shouldn't be allowed, I think that's a wonderful idea.  Always has been.  Renting serves a purpose.  It's so you can try a game (any media) BEFORE you buy it and invest hundreds or thousands of hours into it.  It's great.  But it shouldn't be the ONLY option, and that's exactly where we're headed.  Go look again at that Office chart, look at what features are NOT there when you buy a "full" license.  Microsoft isn't the only company pushing this either, I'm just picking on them because this thread is about their merger with Actiblizzard.  Actiblizzard is JUST as guilty of this, go look at WoW, or the latest Call of Duty yearly expansion pack for $70.  I dare you, go try to play MW2 online, I'll bet matchmaking is disabled now.  Whereas COD4 is still alive and kicking.  They've been slowly removing features and going to a subscription based model since about 2007.

I'm not sure what you mean by "classic" versions? Is office 2021 supposed to have more than one version of word included? 

And sure it doesn't have android support but why would that be expected? There are no other one time software purchases that are cross platform in this market. You are listing features that have been added to the subscription, but nothing that's been lost from the one time purchase versions. It makes sense that things like cloud support and cross platform usage would be subscription based. 

Overall you're arguing that the existence of subscriptions is evidence that Microsoft wants everyone to move to a subscription only model and that they're going to push that no matter what. However real world examples don't support that argument. You say "Microsoft isn't the only company pushing this either" however you havent provided any evidence that Microsoft is doing this at all. Maybe someday they will infact do that but for now all I see is more options and no downside with no signs that they plan to stop selling single use keys. 

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