Xbox VS Sony. What began as a simple takeover story ended in a legal soap opera. But it is now over, justice has decided. Now what will happen?
Xbox and Sony have been battling for months, with the former wanting to buy out one of the industry’s biggest players and the latter trying to stop it at all costs. A soap opera that will have had its ups and downs. His throat attacks, his playground tackles and his blows. A case full of figures, revelations and compromises.
But that’s it, here we are, the end of the tunnel.
The FTC lost its final lawsuit, and was denied the injunction that would have allowed it to block the takeover of Activision Blizzard. Xbox therefore emerged as the big winner, even taking a step back from the British regulators who also decided to drop the case in exchange for a compromise. Rumors are that Microsoft would be ready to make big sacrifices to calm them down for good. So it’s official, Microsoft has free rein.
Activision Blizzard at Xbox, a historic takeover!
And it’s a deal that can be concluded very quickly since this Saturday, July 15 at 9:00 a.m. French time, Microsoft / Xbox can formalize its takeover as soon as it wishes. The legal verdict will be formalized on July 18. We are talking here about a deal of nearly 70 billion dollars. A colossal sum, astronomical even, much higher than all the other takeovers of recent years, even if we combine them and mix the companies. This is unheard of and yet this is the price that Microsoft intends to alEsports Extrasto bring Activision Blizzard into its stable.
call of duty, Diablo, Overwatch, World of Warcraft, Crash Bandicoot or the myriad of mobile games from Kings, an Activision subsidiary, including the legendary candy Crush… A crazy amount of ultra popular and above all, ultra lucrative licenses will therefore end up under the Xbox umbrella before long. It is also for one of them that Sony initially fought body and soul. call of duty was indeed in the sights of the Japanese giant piloted by a Jim Ryan who did not want to let go of the piece. For him, it was out of the question to find the most powerful FPS of all time in the camp of his opponent.
We now expect more than one thing, the final validation and the announcement with great fanfare from Xbox and Activision Blizzard. For some, this takeover will also sound like a relief since Activision has recently been rocked by numerous cases of harassment, unfair dismissals, etc. Bobby Kotick, currently at the head of Activision, should also leave his post with effect immediately upon redemption. It was in any case what had been said at the time of the announcement of the takeover. And some are just waiting for that.
What impact for the industry?
Such a tremor will inevitably leave traces. Even though Xbox defended itself by saying that it wouldn’t change much, the fact is that the firm will have in its suitcases some of the most lucrative licenses in the world, call of duty and mobile games in mind. The green brand also claimed to want to place itself more in the cloud gaming market, but ultimately made many concessions on this subject. There will most certainly be no market dominance, but things could change with this takeover.
On the console side, Xbox is in a hurry and lost the famous console war (yes, the famous one!). The numbers say it. Whether we like it or not, Nintendo dominates with its little Switch and asks nothing of anyone, even though Big N is always put aside when we talk about Xbox and Sony, as evidenced by the fact. the recent lawsuit with the FTC. Then, we find Sony following suit, leaving Microsoft last in this trio with its Xboxes. It’s hard to imagine that such a takeover would change anything, especially since the green brand never really wanted to break the house with its Xbox Series. The idea here is rather to sell the service, an ecosystem and to be present everywhere. And for that, however, Xbox is pretty good.
Services are the hobbyhorse of the green brand. Even if Sony can proudly claim a much higher number of subscribers to its PS Plus (by combining all the formulas), it is nevertheless Xbox which wins the bet with its Xbox Game Pass. Subscribers are legion and above all, the service enjoys a very special aura thanks to its many games available as soon as they are released and promises all the time. Even if the latter has taken the lead in the wing recently, because of the absence of exclusive Xbox licenses or else, the failed launch of the latter, as red fall, the thing is, Xbox Game Pass remains a staple for many. There is no doubt here that the arrival of Activision Blizzard games in the Xbox Game Pass will push some players to checkout. We’re not there yet, but it’s more than likely that call of duty get there in the future. By 2025 based on hallway noise. And who says Xbox Game Pass subscribers, does not necessarily mean Xbox Series. As a reminder, the service is also available on PC and also accessible via the Cloud, the third branch on which Xbox relies.
Cloud Gaming is still at the stage where it is trying to find a place for itself with everyone, but is a bit stuck in sauerkraut. Each actor tries to settle there without really breaking through for the moment. But it is something that is on the rise and should grow even more in the years to come, along with the all-digital trend and the emergence of portable platforms (ROG Ally, Steam Deck, Logitech G Cloud …), which are becoming more and more accessible to the general public. That’s good, isn’t it? And it is here that Xbox wants to place itself instead of waiting and having to jump on the bandwagon. And it must be said that Cloud Gaming fits perfectly with its desire to be accessible everywhere. To see then.
It is a certainty, there will be change. It remains to be seen when and in what proportion. What is certain is that the market should be boosted. Even if it is certain that Nintendo, as a good outsider, will continue to do what it knows how to do best, it is Sony that could well go to the second and take risks. Things that the company does not necessarily do lately, preferring to capitalize on its aura and its already well-established strong licenses. We know, however, that the company knows how to have a guarantor, as evidenced in particular by the transformation of PS Plus into three attractive offers to fight the Xbox Game Pass on its own ground.
And the games in all this?
But what interests us, the players, are the games. What will become of them? That’s a question no one can answer yet. It is certain that some licenses will soon become exclusive or that new IPs will arrive. Now, if you’re an avid gamer of call of duty, do not worry. It is expected that the license will remain cross-platform for quite a while. And this, even if it ends up landing on the Xbox Game Pass.
What could be good news, on the other hand, is above all that we could well see the reappearance of licenses that have been somewhat set aside, such as Crash Bandicoot or spyro for example, which fans are clamoring for. Since even if the marsupial is present in the Crash Team Rumble spin-off, it is not the Crash Bandicoot 5 that everyone expects. The little purple dragon for its part has not given any sEsports Extrasof life since the stoppage of the Skylanders and the appearance of the remastered trilogy of the first three games of the license.
Blizzard, for its part, should continue its momentum with Overwatch 2 which connects the seasons, Diablo 4 which will indeed have the right to its season 1, World of Warcraft flowing happy days and perhaps even the return of Starcraft shortly. We will see, the final acquisition of Activision Blizzard will most certainly be done in the coming days.
And you, what do you think of this takeover? What do you expect from Microsoft and Xbox now?