Microsoft’s eye-watering $69 billion proposal to purchase Activision Blizzard has been the source of intense scrutiny from global governments for nearly a year now, but the UK’s regulator has released a provisional report today which says it “could harm gamers” and potentially result in “higher prices, fewer choices, or less innovation”. While it’s not a knockout blow for the buyout by any means, it’ll undoubtedly prove gloomy news for the trillion dollar Redmond firm.
“The provisional findings from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) follow a wide-ranging investigation conducted over the last five months to understand the market and potential impact of the deal,” a press release states. “This has included holding site visits and hearings to hear directly from business leaders at Microsoft and Activision, analysing over three million internal documents from the two businesses to understand their views on the market, commissioning an independent survey of UK gamers, and gathering evidence from a range of other gaming console providers, game publishers, and cloud gaming service providers.”
According to the CMA’s findings, the merger “could make Microsoft even stronger in cloud gaming, stifling competition in this growing market and harming UK gamers who cannot afford expensive consoles”. It adds that agreeing to the acquisition could also “harm UK gamers by weakening the important rivalry between Xbox and PlayStation gaming consoles”.
It explained: “Xbox and PlayStation compete closely with each other at present and access to the most important content, like Call of Duty, is an important part of that competition. Reducing this competition between Microsoft and Sony could result in all gamers seeing higher prices, reduced range, lower quality, and worse service in gaming consoles over time.”
Microsoft, for its part, has responded swiftly – reiterating its commitment to releasing Call of Duty on PlayStation platforms for at least ten years. “Our commitment to grant long term 100 per cent equal access to Call of Duty to Sony, Nintendo, Steam and others preserves the deal's benefits to gamers and developers and increases competition in the market. What does 100 percent mean? When we say equal, we mean equal. 10 years of parity. On content. On pricing. On features. On quality. On playability.”
Sony has been dead against the deal, appealing to regulators that Call of Duty has no equal, and claiming that its potential removal from PlayStation platforms would massively impact its ability to compete. One proposed remedy for Microsoft may be to break up the deal, allowing it to purchase the remainder of Activision Blizzard while Call of Duty remains independent. Either way, with other government bodies like the United States’ Federal Trade Commission and European Union’s European Commission also investigating this deal, there’s a lot of mileage left in this story yet.
To contest the deal was maybe the smartest move Jim Ryan has done as the Boss of PlayStation.
@Greifchen I mean, the entire company would have been incompetent if they didn't contest it. They kinda had to...
@get2sammyb Yes, but with this effort? Sony is fighting hard on it.
This isn't about sony trying to block the deal it's about the CMA and FTC coming to their own conclusions with their own findings and research.
I'm bored of people blaming Sony and Jim Ryan like they have to power over governments to prevent acquisitions 🙃
I personally don’t like the idea of any hardware manufacturer owning entire publishers. When Microsoft bought Bethesda, they said they would look at titles on a game by game basis that they would see which ones would still be available to PlayStation. So far, nothing. All the big releases are staying on Xbox, so I’m really not surprised that this is going the way it is. If Microsoft makes all the promises before a purchase, their track record usually means that they will do the exact opposite afterwards.
I just don’t think publishers should be tied to one platform and the obvious risk that is associated with that is being pondered by regulators too. In the end, this won’t effect me as I own all consoles, but I don’t like the thought of console manufacturers doing this at all.
The fear is, what’s stopping Activision from pulling the plug on PlayStation and going exclusive on Xbox………. no need for the regulators in that scenario.
@Splatmaster Why would they do that, though?
Good. This why we have governments. The buyout is sufficiently bad for gamers, and MS should not be allowed for buyout the gaming industry because it has a large bank account.
And the way they emphasize 10 years also makes it sound like in 10 years the problems will surface. As a regulator the 10 years would honestly make suspicious with that statement.
An important detail is that the 10year offer to sony/steam/nintendo was not considered at the phase 2 stage, the cma states that would be considered in the next remedies phase which begins now.
I have tried reading the report and it's pretty confusing. They list 3 structural remedies, but then mention that behavioural remedies or access agreements may also be possible later in the report.
We should have a clear picture in the next few weeks. I believe MS has 2 weeks to respond to the remedies, with the cma's final report due at the end of April. Its all up to MS to come to an agreement now or it's dead
Well, duh! (As we used to say as kids in the 90s).
if MS’s entire argument is “yes, but not for 10 years”, and “it’ll be available on PlayStation (but we won’t tell you in what capacity, Sony will allow Gamepass on PS right? )” then it’s no wonder they haven’t won this argument here.
The key point was that the body clearly said it would stifle competition in the nascent streaming market. Which is an argument MS tries to sweep under the rug.
A good thing for competition and so gamers (other than the extremely short term saving some would make via Gamepass).
Okay. Abandon acquisition. Spend fraction of money saved and buy Capcom or Sega and make all their ***** exclusive.
Since it is clear, that acquisitions are not problem, only COD is a problem.
I hope it is stopped. People think Gamepass is the future and every game will be free forever. But once they have a monopoly, they can (and most likely will) charge whatever they want. Even if they just slowly increase the price of the subscription because of ‘inflation’ or whatever. Look at Netflix and their shamelessly greedy practices in the last few years.
Idc if Microsoft buys up every studio there is.. I will never buy an Xbox as I love every single PS IP and don’t care for any Xbox IP (excluding Gears but I’m happily living without it)
@Godot25 I don't think these companies operate in scorched Earth tit-for-tat tactics. At least I hope they don't...
@get2sammyb Money from Microsoft
I mean if they deal ends up not happening Microsoft could in theory offer (part of) that money for exclusivity deals. Seem to happen quite regulary in gaming anyway.
Don't know if Sony could fight such a deal as well though
Doesn't mean I'm expecting MS to do that though considering that would go against their "10 year deal" ideology
@get2sammyb it’s just a hypothetical scenario just to spite Sony for doing all they can to stop Microsoft buying Activision.
Activision could say, we are going Xbox, pc, mobile and Nintendo exclusive, whilst giving Sony the middle finger……..
@get2sammyb Well. Unless Microsoft wants to put all 69 billion into AI (which I doubt) it is reasonable thing to expect that they would spend at least fraction of money on Xbox stuff since whole sum of money was allocated to Xbox.
Capcom market cap is currently 6,7 billion which is 10% of ABK. Ubisoft's market cap is 2,5 billion (but nobody in their right mind would buy Ubisoft tbh) etc etc.
It would be foolish to think that if this deal goes under, Microsoft won't use dollar from saved money on future acquisitions. Because if this deal is blocked, it is blocked because of Call of Duty.
I'm like 90% sure that if Microsoft wasn't tangled to this whole ABK stuff, they would bought Crystal Dynamics/Eidos and Tomb Raider/Deus Ex from Square instead of Embracer.
That's fine because it at least gives competitors a shot. Microsoft doesn't have to acquire Activision-Blizzard to put their content on Game Pass - they can just pay more to achieve that, but they don't.
The FTC and CMA are using Microsoft's actions with Bethesda (which contradict Microsoft's words) against them. Hopefully, regulators are not as easily fooled as a lot of folks are. There are plenty of ways Microsoft can be anti-competitive with Activision-Blizzard King properties. Additionally, what happens after their proposed ten year deal expires?
Of course Sony won't agree to anything that puts the most important game on their platform at risk or, at minimum, gives their direct competitor control over it. They shouldn't accept any deal because every single one of them offered so far does more harm than good.
@Splatmaster Money, plain and simple. Activision still has to appease their shareholders and unless MS is willing to shell out more money than Sony on exclusivity, then their games will be multiplat. This ensures that as many people as possible will be playing/spending money.
Stand firm Jim ✊🏻
Smh Xbox keeps saying but but but 10 years smh SONY will never accept that. Imagine if took a 10 year deal after MW2 in 2009 Playstation wouldn't have had CoD since 2018. MS shouldn't have lied and tried to spin the FTC and the like. Now the deal might die as their 3 biggest markets are saying nope.
I'm tired of all this stuff, but at least it put a pause to those Microsoft presentations, who are they going to buy tomorrow, today? The entire industry has become a competition of who will buy the most developers.
Who knows now, with all this drama of approval or rejection of the purchase, before making any decision they won't think a little bit beforehand.
The whole thing with MS trying to buy Activision is that they are inept at growing/managing their own studios. They had Rare, Lionhead, and Bungie under their wing and look at them now. Rare is barely a shell of its former self, especially after they were huge on the N64. Lionhead isn't around anymore, and Bungie moved away from MS to become wholly independent, then got bought by Sony (while still remaining independent).
That's just the tip of the iceberg, as MS hasn't really done much with their IPs in the long run, since then. While Halo has seen some success, it has waned quite a lot in recent years. MS basically relies on a handful of IPs only (not saying the other two companies don't either). Phil Spencer acts like a god's gift to gaming, but he's basically selling a rental service to customers.
Let's be honest here, the only strength Microsoft has ever displayed against its competitors was financial, bribery etc. It was never imagination or innovation.
Disappointing( It seems that CMA has made up their mind and just looking for supporting arguments.
“More expensive console and games” - happens regardless, as demonstrated by Sony in recent years.
“An important field of cloud gaming” - Sony started offering streaming capability on PSNow years before MS, could have been market leaders by now if they wanted.
“Access to content” - again speculative. Also ignores multiple (time-limited) Sony exclusives.
The way people here ignore tangible, imminent, highly probable benefits this acquisition (entire ABK catalogue on gamepass + day1 releases there) but drum up potential negative consequences at some indeterminate point in the future kinda reminds me of another important debate in the UK society;)
@Gbarsotini You think this will stop future acquisitions? It's clear that acquisitions are not a problem, but Call of Duty is red line. So stuff like buying Take-Two (because of GTA), EA (because of FIFA) is off the limits.
But you can't use same arguments that CMA used here to block buying publishers like Capcom, Sega, Square Enix, Ubisoft etc.
Whole problem is just "Call of Duty is just too big," not that "Microsoft's acquisitions needs to be stopped."
@Vovander entire catalogue to the approx 30mil Game pass subscriber.... to all future games to 0 of the approx 100mil PS user base.
more gamers lose out
@Godot25 You´re right, I forgot to change stop acquisitions for pause acquisitions. I don´t think it will stop, but last year was crazy, that was the only talk in the gaming industry. At least it stoped, even if its for a few months only.
@Gbarsotini I think that 2023 won't be big for acquisitions. Companies are experiencing economic slowdown and they are looking for ways to save money. But on the other hand there is still inflation that is eating money that companies have in banks.
We will see. But I think it is only matter of time when Microsoft will purchase someone in gaming space if this deal will go under.
The Xbox Forum on Reddit is cracking me up. "Jim Ryan is clearing paying them all off." Sony is worth 100 billion dollars, Xbox is worth 2 trillion. Why do these guys act like they are the victims in this? Microsoft could literally buy the entire Sony company and still have a bunch of leftover. Imagine if they used their money to fund massive AAA projects with their own studios. All they are doing is saying we can't compete so let's force people into our ecosystem.
@Godot25 Yeah, agreed. I think that's also why Sony hasn't bought Square yet, this whole drama.
@stvevan One is a (almost) certainty, another one a possibility. MS does not necessarily have to withdraw COD - having it as part of GP will be sufficient draw for many.
@Gbarsotini Yup. I think that Square sold their western studios to make itself better target for acquisition for Sony, but for some reason (maybe economic slowdown) Sony did not pull the trigger.
@Godot25 On the bright side if this does pass then Sony has no excuse but to buy them up. Final Fantasy being at home with PS makes a lot of sense. I could even see them doing a deal where they just purchase the right to the IP and nothing else from them. Still hope it doesn't resort to that though. Much prefer we have a healthy amount of third party developers.
I just wish that a final decision would be reached quickly, either way. I feel like until the deal is done (or ditched) that we aren’t going to see Sony really open up about their first-party projects in development. They can’t tip their hand yet, and have to continue to appear vulnerable in the market.
Didn't Sony introduce £70 games first?
@KaijuKaiser They are using their money to fund massive AAA products with their own studios, those games just haven't come out yet.
Not exactly, these findings are based on their inquiries and feedback to and from other interested parties. Without Sony’s claims, it’s likely they would had not reached this conclusion.
Either way, this is a procedural report that does not take into account any remedies suggested by Microsoft. Now they actually enter the negotiation phase, where Microsoft will not only officially put forward their commitment to keep the game on other platforms as they done with Minecraft, but also listen to CMAs own suggestions on potential remedies, that is always a part of these procedures.
There won’t actually be a block unless they can’t reach an agreement, something that is possible. CMA might be happy with Microsoft’s proposed remedies, or they might demand more extreme ones, like spinning off the entirety of Call of Duty into an independent entity. MS might not agree with more extreme solutions CMA might demand.
@Splatmaster even if this deal doesn’t go through, this won’t likely end well for Sony.
@Bionic-Spencer Yep,after "Gamer" Phil Spencer's pre-purchase promises of Zenimax "game by game",& quickly axing titles like Starfield,Elder Scrolls & anything else not inked in pre existing contracts,it's niave in the extreme to believe Xbox/Microsoft wouldn't exercise the same behaviour with all the backlog of IP's in Activision Blizzard's closet!
Saw an article on Kotaku AU where Bobby Kotick again trying to tie TV show spin-offs & the number of successful single player games that Sony & Nintendo have created equals a monopoly that must be stopped by little old Indie start-up Microsoft,USA,USA,USA!🙄
How Xbox's "failure" to spread beyond Forza, Halo, Fable,Gears of War, somehow justifies their buying up all the 3rd party publishers & their back catalogue of IP's just to prevent their appearance on rival platforms is considered competitive?
The current Activision board are just looking for a nice gold watch retirement package to make up for their blundering mismanagement.
Have to say that the UK's position makes little sense when viewed objectively (and I know that some on here will not like what I have to say!). However:
1. For example, it says, “harm UK gamers by weakening the important rivalry between Xbox and PlayStation gaming consoles”
However, right now Sony is hands down beating Xbox in console sales, exclusives, and subscriber numbers, and whilst it maybe an important rivalry, it could be argued that Sony is harming Microsoft and the Xbox with its dominance of the market.
2. They add, “Xbox and PlayStation compete closely with each other at present and access to the most important content, like Call of Duty, is an important part of that competition. Reducing this competition between Microsoft and Sony could result in all gamers seeing higher prices, reduced range, lower quality, and worse service in gaming consoles over time.”
Yet, as it stands, Sony has access to the superior version of the Call of Duty franchise. It has the marketing rights, and also exclusive content not available to the Xbox. Effectively, the UK is attempting to maintain Sony's dominant position when it comes to Call of Duty, rather than allowing Xbox to further compete with the PlayStation. That in itself seems to show some real bias that I don't quite understand from an organisation that is supposed to be completely neutral.
They also mention pricing of consoles, whilst ignoring the fact that the PlayStation is, at present, the more expensive of the two consoles, and also overlooking the fact that the Xbox has a considerably cheaper console in the Series S. It is also likely that in the not too distant future, the Call of Duty franchise will become a current generation only franchise, making the Series S an even more attractive and more affordable offer for those making the leap from the previous generation. Added to this, Sony not only increased the prices of their consoles first, but also their games. So to say that this is an issue that will be brought about by Microsoft seems to completely ignore the facts.
Overall this seems like a truly odd conclusion to have reached, and I would be shocked if Microsoft doesn't push back hard on this, and from an objective point of view, I wouldn't blame them.
@Green-Bandit what will make it so bad? Sony will probably lose CoD marketing... they would lose it with a merger anyway.
but what else?
Haha what a brilliant photo!
I love that Microsoft’s position on this is an actual reflection of reality. “We suck at this…so we need Activision!”
An Activision acquisition won’t change that truth.
@Green-Bandit What do you mean by this? Personally if the deal falls through and they try buying up Japanese studios or something then I think it looks REALLY bad for Microsoft. I think they honestly go quiet for a couple of years if this fails.
"Could harm gamers that cannot afford expensive consoles"
Xbox offers the cheapest next gen console.
I’ve never played a Blizzard game and other than Sekiro im not a big fan of Activision either so if this goes through it’s not a big deal for me but I would love it to fall through just to watch the meltdown from all the Xbox mouthbreathers in the IGN comments section. Those guys are the worst.
If this deal gets blocked I really hope Microsoft stops being so friendly to Sony and start playing the same game Sony does all the time. Sony just gets away with too much. Im sure Sony voicing their concern to regulators played a role in this finding.
Many on this website praising Jim Ryan about trying to block this deal would be the same ones gloating how great Sony is and would throw call of duty being exclusive to playstation in everyone's face. If the roles was reversed and Sony was buying activision do you really think Sony would offer a 10 year deal for Call of Duty to stay on Xbox? Or better yet would they try and bring Call of Duty to Nintendo? What about steam? I think we all know the answer to that. Everyone would just say hey get a playstation if you want to play Call of Duty. What happened to all these poweful pcs everyone claimed they had when Microsoft first started putting their games on pc. Couldnt everyone just continue to play call of duty on their super powerful pcs everyone bragged about or was that just bs? This will suck for fans of Nintendo that could've had call of duty return to their platform. Tencent buys everything and know one bats a eye but Microsoft buys and the sky is falling. Sony raised games prices, Sony raised console prices first, Sony was against cross play and Sony actually started cloud gaming on consoles first but the CMA has issues with cloud gaming all of a sudden. This is getting ridiculous. If this gets blocked and Microsoft start doing all these timed exclusives for big games like Sony do it'll be interesting to see how everyone reacts to the hypocrisy
I hope it does get stopped. I don't care about any Activision franchises so it makes no difference to me, and I actually don't think it is unfair competitively so it shouldn't be stopped (but I'm no expert). I just want it to get stopped because Microsoft sucks and somebody needs to stop them buying their way to the top.
@stvevan hard to tell at the moment. COD marketing for starters won’t make them happy, maybe certain Blizzard titles, maybe ABK sell certain parts of them to MS and COD stays out of the deal. They said that would be an angle they would accept. So Cod Stays and MS can buy the rest. I am still in the belief this deal will happen but if it don’t, ABK and Bobby will be upset for sure and looking to MS to help them going forward. the Business side of gaming sure is a wild ride, let’s just sit back and continue to see how this unfolds.
@Malmall20 it IS Sonys job to oppose it. there is no choice but to.
as you say with roles reversed.... MS would do the EXACT same and oppose it.
@Malmall20 as an owner of a PS5 and Series X, you nailed it. I am not a fanboy, but i want competition between these two and i want to see what direction MS takes with or without the deal passing. This case didn’t even look at the 10 year COD deal given to Switch and PS. So it said that will be looked at in the next hearing. I still think the deal passes.
@KaijuKaiser they could go quiet, you aren’t wrong there. It’s hard to say, but i know who won’t go quiet, ABK! They will still be looking to sell and all but for sure Sony will lose the COD marketing and bundles, maybe even miss out on a few Blizzard new IP’s, hard to say right now, but i think it’s fair to at least think ABK and Sony won’t be hugging and hand shaking.
It’s sad when your hopes and dreams for a somewhat decent gaming platform hinge on the acquisition of a company like Activision, and not the work product of your own developers…that you’re laying off.
@Green-Bandit as ive said on PX i believe too it should go through.
its the 'fanboy' stuff thats wrong. like saying MS have 70bil to spend on Xbox exclusive etc, they dont.
RE abk retaliation to Sony, can they afford to? i doubt it.
Iv not read all the comments and I am not sure I fully understand all of what's going on and my opinion may be incorrect so do please set me straight if I am but playstation buy game developers, bungie and insomniac as 2 examples but xbox are buying game publishers which include countless game developers all under the same umbrella. I think this is what has so many people concerned. Again my opinion is possibly wrong and look forward to a conversation explain it.
Hot dang! Wonder if Xbox will block Sony if they wanna buy some games company. But geez we just play games to have fun will we get ripped off in years to come if this goes through? I know one thing gaming is a subscription and they will build apon that subscription no consoles just a subscription via browser window? Geez hope not
I would be more open to this if Microsoft was a competent gaming publisher, but they have proven time & time again that they don't know how to manage or innovate their stable of IP's.
Wonder if all the devs they let go will get their jobs back since there will be 69 billion laying around. Doubt it. An extra slap in the face to all those people.
Microsoft had enough games and developers under their belts to have as many exclusives as Sony does. Sony bought Naughty Dog way before Uncharted and the Last of Us, Guerilla before HZD, Sucker punch before Ghost of Tsushima. Where Microsoft doubled down on Gears, gears and oh yes, Halo, Sony have slowly but surely been creating IPs that have flourished. Now Microsoft are complaining because they can’t compete with what Sony has done. I’m not surprised. Sony buys developers and helps them along until they are throwing out incredible stuff. Microsoft buys developers and up until now have them doing almost nothing. It’s also strange to see so many people that used to be tied to developers that Microsoft buy break away and make their own studios!?! That is off right there. Anyway, when Microsoft were at E3 lauding all those developers they had bought, there was more than enough tallent for Microsoft to get a steady stream of games. Almost nothing has come from that. Then they bought Bethesda and broke all the promises they made about them. Being a publisher, they really should have been blocked there and then. If this deal doesn’t go through, which I really hope for gaming it doesn’t, Microsoft will simply look elsewhere at acquisitions. These will likely be more like developers again.
The right call. Microsoft shouldn't be allowed to own any more huge publishing houses after the Bethesda/Zenimax purchase.
It will kill competition in the market and lock previously multiplatform titles to Microsoft.
@Mad001 if Sony tried to buy Activision then the exact same arguments should be made, imho. Neither console manufacturer should have that much control.
Either one buying a development studio, sure, that's fair game, but a whole publisher?
@MattBoothDev lol yeah but hey they have the money to do it nothing we can do.
@CRASH64 I agree to a certain extent but Microsoft won publisher of the year in 2021. I agree they need consistency though.
Yup. And we know it.
They brought us gems like payed for online and micro transactions.
Can the switch even run COD?
I didn't really care at first, I thought that maybe Microsoft could make me want to play COD again, but more recently I thought more about it. If it goes through, MS will own pretty much every successful FPS on the market. Throw in games like Diablo and StarCraft and they would own a lot of franchises that I actually love. So I am against anyone buying any of these bigger publishers like Activision and EA
@Somebody by definition there isn't a next generation console.
But as an Activision exec pointed out, Sony make the Last of Us, and the TV show is doing well so clearly Playstation will be fine right CMA?....im guessing those nonsense, desperate arguments are falling flat with the regulators.
Im glad the CMA is taking this seriously. Whichever way this goes is going to fundamentally shift the gaming landscape
I'm so glad, hopefully the deal won't go through and everything will stay the same as it's always been. I don't want this deal affecting Sony and PlayStation.
While they're at it, PS Store should be investigated for removing standard editions and leaving pricier GOTY etc editions as default. Also, investigate stick drift.
Good. The amount of people throwing surface level stuff out like "Sony is crying", "Sony getting their way", etc, etc do not understand what this deal means. You do not want anyone, let alone Microsoft, who has been incompetent at making games & keeping franchises healthy for over a decade now, having that much control of the industry. Not to mention how they blatantly lied about Bethesda exclusivity.
I can't believe people are finally starting to see through Phil Spencer and crew's little fake hero act but it sure is happening at the right time.
I know it's not a popular deal in PS-circles. And even being in both PS + XB circle, I still have mixed feelings in general on the deal. But the hypocracy from people on all sides drives me crazy, especially in light of PS's own exclusives mongering, including with this very game, lines are very blurred as to what's "good."
I find the common mantra of "it's bad for gamers" though to be disingenuous. Is it though? Is it bad for PC gamers? Is it bad for mobile gamers? That's the lions share of "gamers" right there. Is it bad for Nintendo gamers? Is it bad for Luna gamers? The only "gamers" that it may be good for or may be bad for are PS and Xbox gamers, which is a tiny share of the total "gamer" population. And I don't think we even know at this point which of those two groups it would be good for and which it will be bad for, if either.
On one hand PS is dominant. They've become increasingly anti-competitive and abusive toward their customers because they can take us for granted. Putting MS into a fiercely competitive position only means PS actually has to work harder to offer value. That BENEFITS PS customers. OTOH, it could mean specific franchises a particular PS customer may value may go away, which would be bad for those PS customers.
On the flip side, for XB customers on the surface it means CoD on GP, it means maybe exclusive Spyro, etc, etc. Sounds great. OTOH as an existing XB customer as well, I worry about it catapulting MS into too powerful a position or focusing too much resources on the CoD market and not enough on my market, making it a worse place to be a customer. But then that could also make PS become better, or better value, as they have to fight more aggressively for business.
No customer of any business will ever benefit from said business being more of a monopoly. That applies to PS customers today, that may apply to XB customers post-deal. In either case it's not "gamers" it's a specific segment of gamers. IDK that anyone at this point knows which group really will benefit and which will suffer for it. I do know the regulators are obsessed with CoD, while that's not MS's main goal at all, and IS Sony's biggest, if not only concern, regardless of what fans/customers may think. For Sony and their shareholders it's about CoD and only about CoD and the rest is irrelevant. Fans may have a different take, but that's not what the business cares about.
@Snake_V5 Really, just consider the above. An unrivaled, unchallenged PS is not necessarily the best result for a PS fan. PS was at their best under intense competition in the PS1, PS2, PS4 launch eras. At their worst when uncontested in late PS2 into PS3 launch, PS4 into PS5 launch. "I like this brand best" and "this brand should be an uncontested monopoly" are not mutually beneficial views. If you want PS to be the best, you want them to be in a position of fiercely competing. Same holds true for MS, as well. That is when these companies are at their best.
Heck, look at Nintendo's return to 80's policy and pricing as they become a monopoly in their own market again....it's an ugly thing to be be a fan of a brand that's "winning" all the time..... they have no incentive to compete for your business, and no incentive to respect customers.
It is fascinating how in the beginning of this whole thing people thought (including myself) there was no way this wasn't going to go through. After an update like this though its a real possibility at this point that it could be blocked or at the very least drastically altered.
Wow - wonder how much all that cost the UK tax-payer!
@Korgon Despite stirring up the internet hornets nests, the release of this actual document doesn't actually change much. This isn't a real move to block, this is a months-late assessment of the INITIAL sticking points. Moving at the speed of government, which is slightly slower than the formation of amber crystal. It's basically much ado about a document that basically says "we intend to look into this eventually, this is the initial concerns we had last time we said we had concerns, finally put into writing, and we haven't actually considered proposed solutions yet." Importantly it basically says "the deal is ok if the concerns are addressed", but it's still ambiguous as to what they'll accept as addressing the concerns, because they haven't actually considered what MS even proposed yet. They'll get to it. Give it 3-40 months. Plus or minus.
But a meaningless non-document, months late from the sloths of government is useful fodder for stirring up the internet commentariat on all sides to foam at the mouth. Especially when their proposed remedies are just completely out of touch and indicate they don't even understand the topic yet. No involved party has even submitted their arguments yet.
@NEStalgia I understand what you're saying but I see it if you're a hardcore PlayStation fan then you shouldn't want anything affecting that. When you're a fan of something hardcore or not you want them to succeed and not want anything in the way of that.
It's like me saying, I support manchester united but I want them to get beat by another football team. No, I want manchester united to win.
Microsoft are basically a bigger version of EA and I happily avoid both
So now we can move on
I rented the last one just to play the single player and could not even finish that.
Narrative is somewhere between propaganda and cliché dribble
Company laying off 10,000 people should not be wasting this much money on this garbage anyway.
@MasterVGuides This. Microsoft complains that Sony's multiple iconic IPs show they dominate the market and would not be threatened with this deal, but Microsoft has all the tools in the arsenal to create similar IPs already. So many talented studios that have created legendary games in the past, and Xbox can't seem to produce any more great games out of them. What the hell are they doing over there to neuter all of these developers?
@Snake_V5 There's a facet of that in fandoms, but I'm not sure it's the healthy approach for fans, even if it's a common one. PS didn't become the product you like by being dominant and coasting on CoD mtx residuals since 1995, reporting endless gains to shareholders, while constantly gouging customers. It became the product you like by clawing its place in the market against near-monopoly Nintendo against all odds, and having to fight for every sale and appealing hook to get there. If they were uncontested, they'd probably never have become the product that made you like it to begin with.
It's Nintendo that was the dominant one coasting on external products and abusing their customers and vendors while enjoying guaranteed success at that time, to the point that even a "hardcore fan" like myself drifted away from them to the point of not even buying all their consoles anymore. A lot of those fans moved to PS precisely because in a competitive position they were just better. Then nearly down and out, Nintendo had to get competitive again, and they did. For a while anyway. If Sony hadn't knocked them off their pedestal, Wii and Switch probably would have never happened.
Now Sony's in the position Nintendo was back in 1995, and Nintendo moved to a different market and is ALSO in that position again. Both of them need a firm kick to get competitive. Nintendo's will come in the form of Apple and cloud services. Sony's....well, it needs to come from somewhere, and a more competitive MS is the most direct challenge around.
Like I said, though, my worry is then it goes the other way, MS becomes too dominant and instead of balance we're back to an imbalance that's just in the other direction. But leaving an unchallenged PS isn't something that will make PS better. Makes investors and executives richer, but doesn't make PS better. Being in a nail biting competition is what makes it better.
Sports analogies are a little different because the team that always wins means it's the team that always plays best no matter who challenges them. Companies always winning ends up meaning that they don't have to play at all, they can just sell tickets to view the winner's stadium.
@NEStalgia Good points there... I'm glad you seem civil and not argumentative.
@NEStalgia I do agree that healthy competition has brought out the best in PS, and in the past Xbox.
This new GamePass centered focus for Microsoft doesn't feel as healthy in the long run. Sure it looks good for consumers now, but Microsoft hasn't instilled much faith in me or many general gamers that they will do what's best for their IP, their developers or the studios they acquire.
They have such poor hands on management with their current studios, I shiver to figure out what would become of ABK if the acquisition goes through. Microsoft needs to focus on innovation with their current dev teams. Hi-Fi Rush was a great game, and they need more of those to instill confidence in gamers.
My opinion, if this deal falls through. Microsoft should take the money left over from the deal and invest it into their current dev teams and not look to make any new acquisitions until they are back to a competitive position with Sony IP.
@Godot25 If that happens, I hope they tactic is recognized, it's recognized as blatant anti-consumer and monopoly tactics, and have every publisher they bought forced to separate, including Bethesda.
@Godot25 There are very stiff penalties for MS that they'd pay to Activision if the deal doesn't go through for any reason. Totalling in the billions.
Microsoft is in too deep to abandon this deal, and MS and ABK are VERY confident this deal will happen.
If it doesn't, I doubt MS will attempt another deal very soon after the failure occurs.
Let MS buy Activision and let Sony buy Bungie and let's see who makes the better shooters.
@WolfyTn Your loss why be loyal to one platform? u think Sony cares about you? just want your £&$
Currently in the UK market, one firm has a massive domination.
I struggle to see how the status quo is not causing higher prices and poorer deals. We are literally in the situation the regulator "claims" it is wishing to avoid.
The dominant firm is well behind on "innovation" e.g. with their sub services.
When they did release a sub service, it was an absolute garbage rip off, where you still have to pay £70 for first party games!
I can also get cheap keys for Xbox games but Sony has clamped them down tight for example.
Seems to me we need MS to be MORE competitive.
This whole thing really annoys me because it’s, firstly, hypocritical (watch Sony breeze through their SE acquisition). But secondly, I feel like the people making these decisions have no idea about the gaming industry. Literally no idea. In fact outside of UK game developers, I feel like barely anyone in the UK has knowledge of the video game industry. It seems like such an afterthought here. Hence why you see the chav games dominating the charts all the time. Not saying theres anything wrong with the Cod/Fifa/Gta holy trinity necessarily but it’s literally all the time. Because that’s all the casuals know about.
@Bionic-Spencer you do know that Sony purchased a UK publisher called Psygnosis to help the PS1 in the EU & US.
@NomNom True, though in a lot of ways I think what MS mostly needs is time. But it's also the one luxury they don't really have amidst the backdrop that Sony and Nintendo have a solid release schedule up against their void. (Though we don't actually know a whole lot about Sony's release schedule other than Spidy right now, so the cadence could always change.)
They don't really need to funnel the money into the existing studios. They're well funded already. They had really no studios or brands just a handful of years ago, which is what launched the buying spree, and the buying spree hasn't really had time to develop into games yet. Their A to AA sized budget games so far coming from those acquisitions have been very good. Pentiment, Hifi Rush, these passion projects have really delivered. It's not a "GoW wow" moment, but it's a good omen. But it hasn't been enough time to turn around any larger projects, and the few in the pipeline they had have been already committed PS timed exclusives from before the sale which produced the awkward narrative at one point that XBS had actually published more games on PlayStation than on Xbox.
They get, and deserve, a lot of flak for what happened with Halo and Crackdown, but I think the disasters of those two games ballooned into this narrative that "all of their studios are mismanaged and ruined franchises", but really it's only those two games. The rest of their studios and partnerships have, so far, been doing good work, but haven't been turning things around fast enough, and while they're all super solid niche games, none of them are big mass market blockbusters. And that might be ok. If PS is focused on the big blockbusters, maybe MS can focus on just a huge catalogue and filling lots of niches. It's not a bad strategy, if that's their strategy, and for that they need lots most studios. It's just, with MS, I can't always tell if they're executing a broad market strategy, or just completely lost the script and are all over the place...
I don't want to hear anymore from some of yall asking why Sony isn't following the gamepass strategy after MS told on themselves in those documents(gamepass has been eating their lunch surprise surprise).
Jim might not be the "cool gamer CEO" we want but he's obviously good at the job.
Microsoft is so full of s***. They say they guarantee parity and availability on all platforms. Well, if the deal goes through, COD goes straight to Game Pass. Day and date releases. Now people are flocking to GP by the millions. Then Microsoft offer Sony to put COD on PS+. Which is the very last thing Sony wants, because they have a totally different business strategy. And now Microsoft have them right behind the eight ball.
Capcom is nobody's b
Are you rural bandit?
Sony is like Apple. Pumping their arrogance as the premium brand. Let’s pay $1000 more for a TV because it is a Sony and has the name at the bottom of the TV. Jim Ryan only cares about revenue and profit. He is a scumbag and his only job these last 6 months has been greasing the pockets of regulators around the world. He seems to be doing a good job at this point though. I wonder how much money he promised to these regulators? As an American and I say to all you Brit’s, why would you want a Japanese company controlling the narrative here?
The stone cold truth
@lacerz so much stupid with this comment.
@NEStalgia Bingo buddy. Thats the facts there. PS fan’s are some of the worse industry fan’s cause they want others to lose in order to win. It’s ok for COD to go to GP and still be on PS. It’s ok to have Square make money on FF16 with being on Xbox, it’s ok for competition so we all get a fair shake. For all the trophy lovers without Xbox 360, Sony don’t make trophies, or bring cross game chat to PS4. Competition is what makes an industry great, Pepsi vs Coke, Ford Vs Chevy, Apple vs Samsung, and Xbox vs PS. ABK deal is not going to sink PS, and most of the games will be on all platforms. MS owns Minecraft, one of the biggest names in all of gaming and it’s on all consoles. If they were in this to throw their money around and crush Nintendo and Sony out of the industry Minecraft and COD would be exclusive to PC and Xbox and that would eat marketshare like the Cookie Monster at a Girl Scout cookie stan, and with that analogy i suppose it’s time to get back to my Switch for more Metroid Prime Remaster.
@GodofCapcom Why? And are you really God of Capcom?
got a PC PS5 Switch
nothings affecting me , but i hope it hits sony where it hurts
Yes, yes I am.
@GodofCapcom well not every day you meet a god, one favor to ask if you don’t mind, can you please release Street Fighter 6 next month? Promise not to ask for anything else. JK, nice to meet you. I am in a goofy mood, i am in a blast from the past playing Metroid Prime remaster on the switch today. Easily a top 15 game for me all time. Been to long as it’s just as fun as it was back in 2002 on GameCube.
The real reason to oppose this deal is microsoft mismanages their studios, 343 has done an abysmal job delivering on content promised for halo infinite, where is state of decay 3? what is rare even doing now? I imagine there's a gears of war 6 coming but who even knows at this point.
The only studio that seems to be able to do their job consistently is the forza teams or "FORT-ZAH" as the awful British announcer calls it.
I think you're rural bandit. Are you from Austin?
They call me god because I make godly games. Good things come to those that wait. We just released mh rise and it's great on the ps5. Sf6, re4, pragmata and exoprimal are coming this year. Dragons dogma 2 will come to a theater near you.
@GodofCapcom I’ll play along, sure I’m Rural Bandit, now what?
Yeah Capcom has been on Fire lately, i want to get RE4, SF6 and of course Dragons Dogma, Pragmata is going to be a hard sell.
@sonicmeerkat they only had 5 studios and 3 IP’s before they started to invest in Studios. Hell Blade 2 i would think will be out before Gears 6, rare is said to be ready to show Everwild in June, Contraband, Indiana Jones and Avowed along with Fable might be closer than we think or further out. June should let us know for sure. They have IP’s to release now, i just hope the i.d rumors of a Quake reboot is real, cause that would be a great game. On the Sony side we know we have Spider-Man 2 coming and i want to see more of the Last of Us multiplayer, for as long as thats taken, it has to be good. Gaming is going to be good to all 3 in 2023 it seems.
If you know there's so much stupid with your comment, why post it?
@UltimateOtaku91 More importantly I'm tired of hearing about this deal. I can't wait for it to be over and done with.
Regardless of whether or not the deal goes thru fully.
Yes of course they do, you wouldn't fight back hard if there was a chance that you would miss out on millions, would you?
@Art_Vandelay And this is Microsoft's fault...why exactly?
Offering players choice in how they want to access their games is a good thing no? If Sony don't want to do it than okay, it's their choice. But then they can't cry that Microsoft is doing it.
@Godot25 Oh god, are you Microsoft PR? "Offering players choice". Yeah, right.
Look, Microsoft has every right to engage in fair market competition. What they don't have the right is to wield their mighty financial power to force the hand of competitors to push them out of business in the long term.
This is big tech 101, buddy. Textbook stuff. Is this your definition of choice? Breaking the legs of your competitors?
I know, I know... "Oh, c'mon! Sony will be fine!" Or will they? Could they really withstand years of losses by adopting a clearly unsustainable model?
@Splatmaster about 70% of COD console sales are on Playstation. Not really good business targeting a 70% loss.
Ah thanks for that, gave me a good laugh
@KaijuKaiser even if Microsoft manages to get the ABK deal through. Sony's determination to stop the deal could cause a headache if they do buy SquareEnix as the regulators will have a better picture of Sony's business model, exclusive behaviour & could deem Final Fantasy & Dragon Quest as being to big to be exclusive. I'd expect Nintendo to get involved.
Buy a game to own it
Have a game "rented" as a part of your subscription
Isn't that definition of choice for players in terms of access to the game?
Like. You can laugh all you want and throw "big tech 101" anti competitive at everybody. But you can't deny that right now, Xbox has most flexible ecosystem in terms of player choice. You want big ass PC rig and play XGS/Bethesda games? You can. You want powerful console? You can. You want cheap console? You can. You want to buy games? You can. You want to rent games through subscription with first-party games day one? You can. You don't want console/PC but you want to play those games? You can.
@Godot25 All right, I didn't mean to pull that card, but you kinda forced my hand (see what I did there?):
Xbox has everything a gamer could ever want. Except for great games.
"Wait, but they're coming!" Heard that one before...
All those things have arguably already happened to the industry.
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