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Fabulously Olivier

Microsoft just bought ActiBlizz

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Wow. I guess you got to be impressed at the scale of this achievement. Having exclusive rights to Call of Duty pretty much mean you have a gigantic edge over the competition. To my chagrin this likely means I won't be able to play Overwatch 2 anymore since I don't have an Xbox and don't trust pc gaming enough to try get it for PC. 

Here's hoping they immediately fire Bobby Kottick. 

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1 minute ago, Etrurian emperor said:

You can't announce you're firing another company's CEO before the deal even clears the FTC. And certainly not without potentially tanking their stock price.

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oh BOI. fingers crossed what will they do with that hot mess of a studio.

im no microsoft fanboi, but im sure many people also realize since Phil Spencer lead Xbox, he's been doing more good than harm. its not perfect, but its in the right direction. something like "supporting what studio does best by providing what they need" is a good motto imo.  heck even gamepass thats been laughed at by Sony, now adopted by... none other than Sony confirmed to arrived in coming month.

and buying actibliz is not the most outrageous thing microsoft has done. they've tried buying SquareEnix and nintendo in late 90's - early 2000's

31 minutes ago, Fabulously Olivier said:

You can't announce you're firing another company's CEO before the deal even clears the FTC. And certainly not without potentially tanking their stock price.

this. cant start ordering around before they finalized everything. since stock holder and board of director of triple-A game company are not known for pro-consumer(gamer). its whether they can generate stable revenue or not, thats all.

maybe microsoft can should start making crossover just like Bandai Namco, which is the holder of most game-related IP afaik

Edited by joevar

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I'm interested in seeing how Nintendo and Sony respond.

 

Nintendo's pretty secure in their own IP, but I would LOVE to see them acquire Koei Tecmo and Bandai Namco, just to secure these very strong three-way partnerships. Microsoft acquiring any of them would be terrible for all of them.

 

Square seems like a logical target for Sony.

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4 minutes ago, Fabulously Olivier said:

I'm interested in seeing how Nintendo and Sony respond.

 

Nintendo's pretty secure in their own IP, but I would LOVE to see them acquire Koei Tecmo and Bandai Namco, just to secure these very strong three-way partnerships. Microsoft acquiring any of them would be terrible for all of them.

 

Square seems like a logical target for Sony.

I'd rather not see any more large mergers. More competition is generally going to be better for customers than having an increasingly small number of huge media conglomerates. If the entire gaming world gets carved up into the competing fiefdoms of Microsoft, Sony, Tencent and Nintendo, the only people who benefit are the people who own shares in Microsoft, Sony, Tencent, and Nintendo.

The only game companies that I can think of that I'd like to see bought out are Ubisoft (who need their entire management replaced asap) and Konami (who have a lot of interesting and historic IPs but mostly seem to be interested in pachinko and gambling these days, with video games as a bit of an afterthought).

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i can see koei tecmo pruchased by another Juggernaut of publisher. but Bamco? very slim chance. Bamco just got actual Guinness World Record for holder of most IP in a single product last year. Their value must be over the roof. its like trying to buy Mitsubishi. we thought they dont have good sales in car nowadays, but that only tip of iceberg of their whole business

and Square still going strong afaik. unless they flop hard like activ-blizard, they would not want to sell their company i guess. (not about money, but rather pride like nintendo)

personally i want someone to buy konami. like seriously, so many beloved IP left for dead there.

Edited by joevar

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I wasn't personally shocked on hearing about this merger, since I stick to Japanese games. And Activision-Blizzard is also bogged down by controversies and everything is dead or dying except CoD commenters have said. Still, the monopolistic fears aren't unwarranted, and Sony is probably in the midst of a heart attack at the prospect of losing CoD. And, the sucesss of GamePass, which should be strengthened via this purchase, undermines the premise of game "ownership" as well as video game preservation, two things which I do care about.

The natural course of human nature married to economics has always been a want for monopoly among those making the profits. The guilds of medieval Europe attempted to monopolize their trades, being very anticompetitive. What has changed, is the capacity for scale, as the technological means to support larger and larger organizations has grown, at a pace able to counteract the expansion of the average human being's ability to explore the world and choose the markets in which they are engaged. I should not be surprised that fellow members of our species would do this in our era, for it is no different from any other.

At times like this, you can't do anything to change the course of economics. We're all insignificant. What recourse we're left with is to adjust our tastes in gaming, to expand our tastes beyond gaming, or partake of a modicum of antimaterialism. Everything is fleeting, don't get overly attached to the trifles that are forms of electronic entertainment, you'll feel better that way. -But so I wax superficially philosophical.😛

Edited by Interdimensional Observer

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11 minutes ago, lenticular said:

I'd rather not see any more large mergers. More competition is generally going to be better for customers than having an increasingly small number of huge media conglomerates. If the entire gaming world gets carved up into the competing fiefdoms of Microsoft, Sony, Tencent and Nintendo, the only people who benefit are the people who own shares in Microsoft, Sony, Tencent, and Nintendo.

The only game companies that I can think of that I'd like to see bought out are Ubisoft (who need their entire management replaced asap) and Konami (who have a lot of interesting and historic IPs but mostly seem to be interested in pachinko and gambling these days, with video games as a bit of an afterthought).

Too late for that. This is the time of mergers, and if Sony and Nintendo want to remain competitive, they have to respond. Microsoft is one EA or Ubisoft away from basically owning the industry at this point.

 

And personally, I wouldn't mind a landscape where specific genres are strongly associated with specific platforms. That leads to predictability and ease of use for us. Microsoft basically owns the Western RPG and the FPS now. Maybe it's time for Nintendo or Sony to become the definitive JRPG platform.

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Damn. I pinned my hopes on them buying NetherRealm or Iron Galaxy to make me some more Killer Instinct. Heck EA sounds like a better deal on paper, you know how much money the FIFA and Star Wars brands would bring in on a consistent basis? Or maybe that's the reason why an EA acquisition is unfeasible. EA can sit pretty with its big brands without fear of going under unlike Activision.

This is insane news though. We didn't think it'd get bigger than them acquiring Zenimax media (Bethesda). That deal was 8 billion compared to 68 billion. Microsoft has acquired a lot of studios and publishing companies in the last ten years, but the ramifications are never seen until years later. And instead of those developers continuing their existing series, they typically cook up an entirely new IP. Certainly not at Microsoft's request, I'm sure they'd love the buzz of owning all those classic IPs and being able to announce a new entry immediately. But the studios they pick up are often chomping at the bit to work for anything else, they just need the financial backing to do anything other than the obvious, safe sequel. In that regard, I like what Microsoft has done thus far. And we have seen companies turn around completely like Double Fine.

I get not liking monopolistic mergers on principal, but Activision/Blizzard is not the type of behemoth with the sort of practices you'd want to see in this industry if you cared at all about "fair" competition in this cruel capitalistic world. Think more about the dragon that is slain than the vault of gold that's been pilfered. And if one of The Big Three has to be in charge of so much of the industry, I'm glad it's the guys that place priority on functioning hardware, listening to fans, and games preservation.

My predictions for the next, equally large acquisition? Tencent buys Nintendo. 

Edited by Zapp Branniglenn

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4 minutes ago, Zapp Branniglenn said:

Damn. I pinned my hopes on them buying NetherRealm or Iron Galaxy to make me some more Killer Instinct. Heck EA sounds like a better deal on paper, you know how much money the FIFA and Star Wars brands would bring in on a consistent basis?

This is insane news though. We didn't think it'd get bigger than them acquiring Zenimax media (Bethesda). That deal was 8 billion compared to 68 billion. Microsoft has acquired a lot of studios and publishing companies in the last ten years, but the ramifications are never seen until years later. And instead of those developers continuing their existing series, they typically cook up an entirely new IP. Certainly not at Microsoft's request, I'm sure they'd love the buzz of owning all those classic IPs and being able to announce a new entry immediately. But the studios they pick up are often chomping at the bit to work for anything else, they just need the financial backing to do anything other than the obvious, safe sequel. In that regard, I like what Microsoft has done thus far. And we have seen companies turn around completely like Double Fine.

I get not liking monopolistic mergers on principal, but Activision/Blizzard is not the type of behemoth with the sort of practices you'd want to see in this industry if you cared at all about "fair" competition in this cruel capitalistic world. Think more about the dragon that is slain than the vault of gold that's been pilfered. And if one of The Big Three has to be in charge of so much of the industry, I'm glad it's the guys that place priority on functioning hardware, listening to fans, and games preservation.

My predictions for the next, equally large acquisition? Tencent buys Nintendo. 

Actually, Microsoft is one of the companies I'd least like to see gobble up the industry. Studios under them have a tendency to get misused/squandered for no good reason. Let's not forget that this is the company that killed Banjo, put Rare on Kinect, drove their own flagship studio into the arms of Activision, and almost killed Platinum Games.

 

(I'll personally never forgive them for putting former Guild Wars founders on a franchise as mediocre as State of Decay. That's like hiring a Michelin star head chef to manage a McDonalds).

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6 minutes ago, Fabulously Olivier said:

Too late for that. This is the time of mergers, and if Sony and Nintendo want to remain competitive, they have to respond. Microsoft is one EA or Ubisoft away from basically owning the industry at this point.

I think this is an exaggeration. Even after the Activision purchase, they'll still only be the third largest game company in the world, behind Tencent and Sony (source), so it would take them much more than just one more large acquisition for them to get that sort of dominance. I'm also not really worried about a single company getting a monopoly on the gaming industry. That would pretty quickly get broken up thanks to competition/antitrust laws. What I don't want to see is an oligopoly with a few major players in tacit collusion with each other; that sort of thing is much less likely to come up against the wrong side of competition laws but can be equal as damaging to customers.

You may well be right that it's something that is inevitably still going to happen. In fact, I'm sure that it will do to some extent or other. But merely recognising the inevitability doesn't mean that I have to like it.

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25 minutes ago, Fabulously Olivier said:

Actually, Microsoft is one of the companies I'd least like to see gobble up the industry. Studios under them have a tendency to get misused/squandered for no good reason. Let's not forget that this is the company that killed Banjo, put Rare on Kinect, drove their own flagship studio into the arms of Activision, and almost killed Platinum Games.

Rare is an ancient history example. Heck, it's pre-Don Mattrick, which was the actual lowpoint era for Microsoft. That's where Scalebound happened, which is what I assume you mean with PlatinumGames. Heck Scalebound kind of had a happy ending, where everybody involved just unanimously agreed to drop the project despite the all the sunk Microsoft funding, rather than release a Cyberpunk scale failure of a game that would tarnish both of them. I'm not up on what you mean by Activision or guild wars here.

But would you prefer that we got four or five half hearted banjo games in the 2000s? Because that's how you get Crash Bandicoot Mind Over Mutant, or the bizarre Legend of Spyro reboot. Serviceable-at-best games in a vacuum, but not recognizeably the same quality or vision as the originals. Very little of the original Rare was still at the company by the time Microsoft came in, because their partner was the ultra-restrictive Nintendo that never trusted in their projects even up to the end (see:Dinosaur Planet). And for the record, the Kinect games are the biggest games Rare ever made, financially, regardless of what we think of quality. Sure Banjo still hasn't been revived like other Rare IPs, but at least those two games were finished with functioning Stop and Swap on the Xbox versions over ten years ago. That's cooler than Nuts N Bolts.

Edited by Zapp Branniglenn

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I'm not really happy about this, knowing that new Crash and Spyro games are going to be XBox exclusive (at least at first) on top of my misgivings towards Microsoft themselves. But at the very least I have hope that they will continue playing nice with Nintendo and we'll still get to see their games on Nintendo systems. If nothing else, at least Microsoft has another company's worth of franchises for their inevitable Smash clone.

I'm rather jaded towards the whole megacorporation merger trend myself, and I'm getting closer and closer to abandoning mainstream gaming altogether and moving towards indie gaming. I'm already planning my own virtual console designed with the modding community in mind. That said, if we have to see more mergers, I'd like Nintendo to acquire Capcom and SEGA. Them basically owning Mega Man and Sonic means getting to see more of their characters in a prospective Smash 6. Plus I'd love to see all the jokes about "SEGA does what Nintendoes".

16 minutes ago, Zapp Branniglenn said:

But would you prefer that we got four or five half hearted banjo games in the 2000s? Because that's how you get Crash Bandicoot Mind Over Mutant, or the bizarre Legend of Spyro reboot. Serviceable-at-best games in a vacuum, but not recognizeably the same quality or vision as the originals. Very little of the original Rare was still at the company by the time Microsoft came in, because their partner was the ultra-restrictive Nintendo that never trusted in their projects even up to the end (see:Dinosaur Planet). And for the record, the Kinect games are the biggest games Rare ever made, financially, regardless of what we think of quality. Sure Banjo still hasn't been revived like other Rare IPs, but at least those two games were finished with functioning Stop and Swap on the Xbox versions over ten years ago. That's cooler than Nuts N Bolts.

Honestly? Yes. Half-hearted games are better than nothing.

"Cooler than Nuts N' Bolts" isn't a particularly high bar to pass. A remaster of Sabreman's old games would be cooler than Nuts N' Bolts.

Edited by Lord_Brand

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These mergers are already terrible for the industry in-of-themselves, but one thing that makes it even worse is that Microsoft is only delaying the inevitable in their quest to stay relevant through all these purchases.

The GameCube/PS2/Xbox era was the first bit of proof that just saying, "this game console lets you play these fun games" won't work anymore; the best-selling console that generation sold as well as it did because it was a cheap DVD player, and it's only become increasingly apparent ever since. Nintendo survived by going, "This games console has these hardware features that PC and other consoles don't have" through its handheld line, the Wii, and now the Switch. Meanwhile PlayStation and Xbox, ever since the PS4/Xbox1 era, have been trying to survive by saying, "This console lets you play these games that we've taken hostage", which isn't a good long-term strategy.

Edited by vanguard333

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5 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

These mergers are already terrible for the industry in-of-themselves, but one thing that makes it even worse Microsoft is only delaying the inevitable in their quest to stay relevant through all these purchases.

The GameCube/PS2/Xbox era was the first bit of proof that just saying, "this game console lets you play these fun games" won't work anymore; the best-selling console that generation sold as well as it did because it was a cheap DVD player, and it's only become increasingly apparent ever since. Nintendo survived by going, "This games console has these hardware features that PC and other consoles don't have" through its handheld line, the Wii, and now the Switch. Meanwhile PlayStation and Xbox, ever since the PS4/Xbox1 era, have been trying to survive by saying, "This console lets you play these games that we've taken hostage", which isn't a good long-term strategy.

That's funny. I've overwhelmingly had the opposite perception. Yes, Nintendo has had a competitive advantage because of its unique features, but it's still the unique IP that has made them industry leaders.

 

For the past 3 generations, the weakest hardware had won and the strongest had lost. Why? Because gamers care about games, not features. It's why you see Epic Games Store as the only viable competition to Steam, when objectively superior feature storefronts like GoG can't hack it. Microsoft is just learning how the game is actually played. Exclusives sell consoles.

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1 hour ago, Fabulously Olivier said:

That's funny. I've overwhelmingly had the opposite perception. Yes, Nintendo has had a competitive advantage because of its unique features, but it's still the unique IP that has made them industry leaders.

 

For the past 3 generations, the weakest hardware had won and the strongest had lost. Why? Because gamers care about games, not features. It's why you see Epic Games Store as the only viable competition to Steam, when objectively superior feature storefronts like GoG can't hack it. Microsoft is just learning how the game is actually played. Exclusives sell consoles.

The problem with that is that console sales don't really line up with that thought; the truth is more complex than that: 

The GameCube had the unique IPs, but its sales still proved disappointing and third-party developers still flocked to the PS2; the Capcom 5 being the most famous example of the latter.

The Wii was a huge hit, and its success was largely driven by casual gamers, for whom the Wii and its motion controls proved very appealing, and that success ended up being a fad because Nintendo had no idea how to hold onto this unexpected new audience.

The success of DS and the 3DS was through Nintendo being king of the handheld gaming market and through the two screens being a genuine innovation. As for the Switch, its success has been through attracting both the handheld and the home-console gaming market in a way that the Wii U tried and failed to do.

 

Also, I'm not talking about weak hardware vs strong hardware; I'm talking about the best-selling consoles selling as well as they did because they had something no one else had that had immediate appeal: the PS2 was a cheap DVD player, the Wii had motion controls, the Switch has being an effective hybrid of portable and home console, etc. All the PS4/PS5 and the Xboxes have are games they've taken hostage, which does affect sales, but is a stopgap at most.

Edited by vanguard333

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43 minutes ago, Lord_Brand said:

I'm rather jaded towards the whole megacorporation merger trend myself, and I'm getting closer and closer to abandoning mainstream gaming altogether and moving towards indie gaming. I'm already planning my own virtual console designed with the modding community in mind. That said, if we have to see more mergers, I'd like Nintendo to acquire Capcom and SEGA. Them basically owning Mega Man and Sonic means getting to see more of their characters in a prospective Smash 6. Plus I'd love to see all the jokes about "SEGA does what Nintendoes".

I know you're talking about a hypothetical, but saying you don't like big mergers and turning around to say Nintendo should buy ______ is the absolute height of disingenuity. And I've seen this exact sentiment every time Microsoft buys a new studio. It's not about principles. People just want more junk to buy that they're nostalgic about. 

Quote

Honestly? Yes. Half-hearted games are better than nothing.

I will agree to disagree on this, surely.

Quote

"Cooler than Nuts N' Bolts" isn't a particularly high bar to pass. A remaster of Sabreman's old games would be cooler than Nuts N' Bolts.

You can already play those games on Rare Replay. Unless you meant "reboot" or something. And if you agree Nuts n Bolts is a low bar to pass than you see where I'm coming from in saying I'm glad there weren't four more games like that immediately following the Rare thing. Because that's the future that awaited Crash and Spyro when they were dropped by their creators. 

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8 minutes ago, Zapp Branniglenn said:

I know you're talking about a hypothetical, but saying you don't like big mergers and turning around to say Nintendo should buy ______ is the absolute height of disingenuity.

Where did I say "should"? I said "if we have to". Don't put words in my mouth.

8 minutes ago, Zapp Branniglenn said:

You can already play those games on Rare Replay. Unless you meant "reboot" or something. And if you agree Nuts n Bolts is a low bar to pass than you see where I'm coming from in saying I'm glad there weren't four more games like that immediately following the Rare thing. Because that's the future that awaited Crash and Spyro when they were dropped by their creators. 

Except even Nuts N' Bolts is still better than nothing. It's not much better, but it's better. And unlike Nuts N' Bolts, both the Crash Titan games and the Legend of Spyro trilogy did generate a fanbase, the latter in particular.

Ultimately, they all went into hiatus for about a decade anyway, so in the end it didn't really matter.

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21 minutes ago, Lord_Brand said:

Where did I say "should"? I said "if we have to". Don't put words in my mouth.

I didn't put words in anybody's mouth. I acknowledged up front it's a hypothetical because that's how you worded it. Still bothers me just the same though. People only care insofar as the products they may or may not be able to purchase. 

Quote

Ultimately, they all went into hiatus for about a decade anyway, so in the end it didn't really matter.

Exactly. Nothing was accomplished in the long term by throwing a bunch of cheap studios at the same franchise "just because we can". Bad Crash and Spyro games weren't necessary steps toward Toys For Bob making Crash 4. Discovering Toys For Bob is what led to Crash 4. There are similar success stories for Killer Instinct, and Battletoads, potentially Perfect Dark too if we're just looking at Rare examples. Quality over quantity.

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1 hour ago, Zapp Branniglenn said:

I know you're talking about a hypothetical, but saying you don't like big mergers and turning around to say Nintendo should buy ______ is the absolute height of disingenuity. And I've seen this exact sentiment every time Microsoft buys a new studio. It's not about principles. People just want more junk to buy that they're nostalgic about. 

 

20 minutes ago, Zapp Branniglenn said:

I didn't put words in anybody's mouth. I acknowledged up front it's a hypothetical because that's how you worded it. Still bothers me just the same though. People only care insofar as the products they may or may not be able to purchase. 

Yes, you did. Hypothetical or no, you accused me of disingenuity because I offered a best-case scenario. And before you try to claim you didn't accuse anyone of anything either, by using my hypothetical scenario as an example and describing it as "the absolute height of disingenuity", you applied the term to me by proxy and therefore implicitly stated I was being disingenuous. I'm against excessive corporate buyouts, but if we HAVE to have them, I have my own personal best-case scenario. I would still rather they not happen at all, because third parties getting eaten up by first parties drastically reduces the selection of games we have for a given system unless the first parties can be bothered to play nice.

And even then, I have my misgivings about the first parties themselves, Nintendo included, which is why I'm talking about striking out to offer something new and independent. In time, my principles may not allow me to purchase from any of the Big Three.

Of course people care about the products they may or may not be able to purchase. People are consumers who are spending their hard-earned money on entertainment. They have a right to expect quality for their cash. They also have a right to be wary of megacorps buying up all the third party companies as we're seeing happen.

Edited by Lord_Brand

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In retrospect this announcement makes me wonder how much of the recent negative press was intentional against Activison-Blizzard to devalue the studio. I wonder how Sony or Nintendo will respond in this Megacorp present we live in.

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4 hours ago, Jingle Jangle said:

In retrospect this announcement makes me wonder how much of the recent negative press was intentional against Activison-Blizzard to devalue the studio. I wonder how Sony or Nintendo will respond in this Megacorp present we live in.

Since we do know that Phil Spencer made helpful comments talking about Activision Blizzard went haywire in the recent months with the controversial things going on. I do think they going might have the similar thoughts we might have. I still think Phil Spencer will might try to fire the CEO and hire a better CEO to clean up the mess going on from the workplace and management to make things better than in the past.

Edited by King Marth 64

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