Microsoft’s gigantic acquisition of Activision Blizzard, announced on Tuesday, worth nearly $ 69 billion, could fundamentally reshape market power in the video game industry . However, in the days following the announcement, Microsoft sought to reassure everyone that the acquisition was not intended to create a monopoly position in the gaming segment of the Redmond-based giant.
Nonetheless, it became clear as early as the announcement that this unprecedented acquisition would mean that (again) the company will be brought to the attention of the authorities and legislators, who have been more enthusiastic than ever before in recent years. in the fight against market monopolies.
During this period, Microsoft successfully out of sight of the authorities, the last time it had to defend itself in an antitrust proceeding against it, at least in the United States. At the time, the U.S. government won the lawsuit, and since then, primarily other technology companies, including Alphabet, Amazon, and Meta, have been targeted by antitrust investigations.
Although the acquisition of a gaming publisher, even if it is the world’s largest independent gaming publisher, may not necessarily have a market-distorting effect at first reading, such as maintaining a completely closed mobile ecosystem, It is also clear that Microsoft’s gaming empire is gaining ground year after year, which may involve some risks.
For example, Microsoft’s own subscription gaming platform, the Xbox Game Pass, could be enormous by integrating Activision Blizzard, which experts say could give Microsoft the opportunity to dictate potentially unfair business conditions to smaller, independent players. may shape the structure of the market.
The company may also choose to make the pull titles it owns through acquisitions platform-exclusive, although in the short term it may lose players who would play the games on rival platforms, but in the long run it could significantly weaken its larger competitors.
However, the company has proven in the past that this is not necessarily the goal of similar acquisitions: Minecraft, which was added to the company in 2014, has since been a multiplatform game, and its success lies in the fact that gamers from consoles to PCs they can pass the time in the Minecraft universe with anything up to and including smartphones.
Phil Spencer, the company’s head of gaming, who became CEO of Microsoft Gaming after the announcement of the acquisition, once again sought to cool down quickly. The CEO said in a Twitter message yesterday that the company intends to adhere to all previous contractual obligations during the Activision Blizzard acquisition, so the Call of Duty franchise will remain available on PlayStation consoles.
Source: HWSW Informatikai Hírmagazin by www.hwsw.hu.
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