Microsoft buys Activision Blizzard

Or, maybe the FTC knows jack all about the game industry, has no clue about the dynamics of players and developers and publishers, and doesn’t actually understand the relationship between gamers, game IPs, and hardware, among other things. It’s entirely possible that this is another case of the government in some form jumping into a field where it seems on the surface to be something they are familiar with but which really is something of which they are mostly ignorant.

Recognizing that you don’t necessarily personally buy the theory, but what has stopped them from using these tools all these years from the #4 position that magically become more dastardly from the #3 position? Seems like very specific tools.

But there’s no real concrete path by which this happens. They certainly couldn’t “coast” to dominating the gaming industry.

Again, there seems to be this suggestion that by having Microsoft be a closer, yet still smaller competitor, that ain’t is just going to collapse.

No, it won’t… They’ll merely be forced to improve their offerings. This is why competition is good. Having gamepass be good, is good for everyone, because it’ll force don’t to make their own gamepass competitor not suck.

And this is what I want, because I’m inevitably going to buy a PS5, and I want them to have to compete.

The big issue that I have with these kinds of lawsuits, is that people in the FTC and judges don’t actually understand any of this stuff, meaning the gaming industry.

I believe the FTC has filed against Facebook today as well over Meta buying out another VR company. I know I’m a total broken record at this point, but the only reason this is starting now that makes sense is the change in leadership at the FTC. Lina Khan is a critic of big tech.

WaPo seems to agree.

You’re right, but I’m trying to get into their heads. If the FTC buys into Sonys rhetoric that Call of Duty is a life or death prospect for them, then maybe they do believe that Ms would be able To coast to dominance.

It’ll be interesting if the American government manages to destroy the future of American industry, which is those big tech companies.

Seriously. That’s the only thing we export to the world. And it’s the most important industry in the world right now.

So with this fucked up timeline, all but guaranteed.

The lawsuit warns that the deal not only could give Microsoft an upper hand in consoles, but also an unfair advantage in more nascent gaming, such as subscription gaming and cloud gaming, according to an FTC official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the agency’s argument. The FTC argues that this deal could dampen innovation in these more nascent gaming markets, the person said.

This is the crux, I think, as I originally said when the deal was first announced - MS is currently the clear leader in this newly emerging market of Netflix-style gaming subscriptions.

I guess I don’t see how the acquisition changes that. It’s not like AB has a competing service like Game Pass?

No, but Sony do and are desperately playing catch-up.

Sure, but if AB has no such service how is the acquisition reducing competition in that space?

While you can pay your $70 for Acti-Blizz titles on Playstation until the end of time (or for the next 10 years), slim chance they’ll ever be on PS Plus as a free or streaming title from a MS-owned Acti-Blizz.

Wait… So the argument is going to be that Microsoft needs to be punished in some unrelated aspect of the industry, because Sony hasn’t improved their subscription services?

I mean… Sony had a huge library of games. They totally COULD make their services better.

The only thing that will force then to do so, is for Microsoft to start nipping at their heels.

Plus, Gamepass is one of the main ways Microsoft is trying to compete in the console market, which Sony dominates.

Yeah, Gamepass is like a Hail Mary pass for Microsoft. Without it, they looked to be out of the running after the fumble of the Xbox One generation. With it, they might be able to catch up one day.

In the end, I just want all 3 companies to stay in the gaming space and stay competitive and not lose out to mobile gaming and apple and google. I think the best chance of that happening is for game pass to succeed for Microsoft. It would let them stay in the game. Now, whether they need to buy AB for that? I don’t know. They clearly think so, but I’d like to think even if this gets blocked, Game Pass is still a very valuable proposition for the consumer, so I don’t think it will hurt them that much.

I mean, I literally bought an Xbox series X because of Gamepass (and backwards compatibility), and I skipped the xbone.

It didn’t help Sony that it was impossible (and still is) to buy a PS5. I eventually got a PS5, but nearly 2 years after I got the XSX

I give 0 shits about the “competitive” vs “anti-competitive” angle. It is a completely useless argument in this case. Anything that Microsoft wants to do will be considered anti-competitive by their competitor and vice versa.

The important thing in this case is that the FTC needs to make a compelling argument to me, the consumer, that this will be harmful to me.

Some of the current arguments I have seen so far, and it is pre-liminary, are that Microsoft is buying IP to drive people to their platform. That is not enough to make this anti-consumer. Companies do this all the time. Is Nintendo anti-consumer because I can’t play Pokemon on PC? This is how platform holders compete in this space, get exclusive content. This is a competitive move.

If the FTC makes an argument that this will lessen competition in the games-streaming space, or monthly games subscription space, that is a more legitimate concern as a consumer. Game-pass is great right now, but if microsoft gets a monopoly in that space and ratchets up the prices and lowers the quality, that would suck. I want them to push Microsoft on that much more.

But, they shouldn’t be punished because Sony has done an awful job with their subscription service and streaming options. That in itself would be anti-competitive, and anti-consumer. It would hurt consumers in that a legitimately inferior service was being helped to stay afloat by a lawsuit.

Either way, I hope we will see a lot more from the FTC on their concerns, and that will push Microsoft to make more commitments to being consumer friendly.

I feel like the gubmint’s resources would be better spent doing something about the endless consolidation in various health care device and service markets rather than ensuring wide availability of Call of Duty.

I have systems I’ve been supporting for 10 years or less that have gone through as many as four buyouts/mergers in that time, by companies with existing products doing essentially the same thing. I’ve yet to see wonderful new features or products come from any of it.

/End Rant

I don’t know, I think console wars are more important than say… affordable access to insulin.

Or at least more/as harmful than all the other shit they’ve allowed.