business news Xbox: Activision Blizzard Acquisition, Exclusives, Upcoming Acquisitions… Phil Spencer Takes Stock!
Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft Gaming, has been THE figurehead for the Xbox brand for a long time. But his task has become much more daunting with Game Pass, the launch of the next generation, the acquisition of Bethesda, and the upcoming acquisition of Activision. So where are we?
Some days ago, we learned that Saudi Arabia was the first country in the world to approve the acquisition from Activision-Blizzard-King from Microsoft.
Where is the acquisition of Activision Blizzard?
The process, which could last until June 2023, is closely supervised by financial authorities, who must decide if this redemption can take place or not. The Federal Trade Commission (USA), which has become much more fastidious, continues with its work, and very soon we could have some news. The European Union does the same, as do many countries around the world. the acquisition is historic, almost 70 billion dollarsand will largely concentrate the market.
Therefore, it is necessary to know if this merger, and more generally the expansion of Microsoft Xbox, raises no competition issue. Phil Spencer, who is supposed to oversee all of this, spoke very recently at the microphone of our colleagues at Bloomberg and took stock. He feels quite confident at the moment, pointing to the fact that the process is going well :
I’m happy with the progress we’ve made, but I approach the process with the support of people who may not be as close to the video game industry and who ask good, hard questions: “What is our intention? What does that mean?” “If you play it for five years, does it shrink a market? Does it grow a market? I’ve never done a $70 billion deal, so I don’t know how much my trust is worth. I will say the discussions we’ve had seem positive.
Phil Spencer stands by his stance on unions and cases rocking Call of Duty publisher
Acquire Activision-Blizzard-King, is also recovering an unclear situation. The publisher of Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush has long been the subject of investigations into sexism, harassment and sexual assault, and authorities have gotten involved. Along with that, Raven Software (Warzone) developers have unionized, and those at Blizzard Albany seek to do just that. phil spencer said who had studied the measures taken by Activision-Blizzard on this subject before validating the takeover agreement. During the interview, he added that he believes Activision officials are they really involved in the process. Regarding the unions, he added:
I have never run an organization with unions, but what I can say is that in working on this issue we recognize the need for workers to feel safe, led and fairly compensated to do a good job. We clearly see the need to support workers in the results they want to achieve.
Less and less excluded in the future and other bailouts expected?
The Microsoft Gaming executive previously said that will recognize the guild formed by Raven Software employees, which was obviously very well received by representatives of the Game Workers Alliance. The question of exclusives obviously came up during the interview, and that’s completely normal. Microsoft has the exclusivity but does not intend to make all of its first party games exclusive, which blurs readability a bit. In this new interview, Phil Spencer indicated that he was convinced that the number of exclusives in the industry will decreaseand that players will see fewer of them each month:
Sometimes in your house you buy an Xbox and I buy a PlayStation, and our children want to play together, but they can’t because we bought the wrong plastic (…). We really like being able to attract more players by reducing friction, making people feel safe playing, allowing them to find their friends, play with them, regardless of device. I think in the long run it’s good for this industry. (…) There are (perhaps) people in certain companies who don’t like it. But I think as we turn the corner and see where this industry can continue to grow, it’s becoming more and more noticeable.
Finally, Phil Spencer hinted, and this is far from trivial, that Microsoft will continue to buy studios or publishers. Having bought many studios, integrated Bethesda in its entirety, then signed a $70 billion deal with Activision-Blizzard-King, Microsoft’s Xbox branch doesn’t seem determined to cut the wing:
I’m always thinking of things that will improve our skills. Although we have been working on our geographic expansion, I would say that we still have too many of our creators in places that are outside of our traditional markets.
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