Wow actually. The thunderclap from the news of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard for 68.7 billion. USD – the largest in the short history of video games, and which grossly overshadows the 7.5 billion. USD, which Microsoft has paid for Bethesda – rings still noisy. The reverberation will not give up for a while, and right now there is a struggle to understand what it all means.
Will Call of Duty be an exclusive Xbox console? Is this predominantly a game for mobile, given King’s presence in Activision’s stable and Microsoft’s absence in that space? When does Singularity Games Pass? Does that mean we might finally get a new DJ Hero?!?!
Who knows honestly, for today’s announcement, delivered in the dead prose that has had all its life and most meaning sucked dry as it passed a dozen lawyers’ desks before being pressed live, was thin on details.
We know the cold, hard facts – the lucrative franchises that Microsoft stands to win, such as Call of Duty, Warcraft and Overwatch, the studies of tremendous talent, the legacy, and the eye-catching $ 68.7 billion that cover it all – but some other all-important details remain intangible.
For example, we do not know exactly what it all means for Activision’s CEO Bobby Kotick, whose additional presence in the company is still a vague blot in the middle of it all. However, it is clear that the controversial leader is set for a big payday when he inevitably pays out when the process is complete – an implicit detail in the midst of all this that makes this acquisition particularly difficult to swallow.
It certainly makes it hard to celebrate, and gave the investor’s calls that followed immediately after the news an awkward edge. Kotick itself called in on a scratchy phone line, while Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s triumphant opening remarks rang a bit hollowly at the moment – addressing the issues that Activision Blizzard has publicly faced and the trials its employees have faced, his promise about ‘not just talking, but walking’ felt like nothing but hot air with no immediate action in sight. These are issues that Microsoft has begun to address, although the answers are still not ready for public scrutiny when the call stops. abruptly instead of being thrown on the floor.
It’s, as it has been throughout the Activision Blizzard scandal, a mess, though there is an implicit hope that Microsoft – a company that is not without its own flaws, it must be said – can come in and address these concerns. . For Activision Blizzard employees who have already had to endure so much, there may be fresh optimism that the change that is so badly needed can be accelerated by all of this.
Then perhaps, after all that, there is hope for a new pitfall, for a Call of Duty that has been revitalized and revived, for talented teams to do an amazing job. But such details seem so long along the way. Before we can achieve that, there is so much more than just the games to consider.
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