Microsoft buys Activision Blizzard

Except it isn’t close to a monopoly unless you are talking about the monopoly of Call of Duty.

Ferrari has a monopoly making Ferraris!

I’m pretty sure the only reason this is happening where other mergers went through is the presence of Lina Khan as the chair of the FTC under Biden. She’s a troublemaker (in a good way, if you’re like me), and I still have no idea how a troublemaker ended up as chair.


You know, I wonder if this would end up actually being cloud or just the mobile version of Call of Duty. We’ve seen pretty great versions of both DOOM and DOOM: Eternal, which I know isn’t as demanding as future titles would be, but you never know.

Beenox (developers of Bee Movie: The Game), would be the obvious choice. Recently expanded as a developer within Activision, COD support studio, long history of porting marquee Activision titles like Kelly Slater’s Pro Surfer.

However this Call of Duty machine shakes out, I hope they leave Toys for Bob out of it. There’s a treasure trove of Microsoft umbrella IPs that could use the same love Crash Bandicoot 4 got.

Let’s not go overboard. MS leadership is probably better on this count than Activision, but they don’t hold any kind of silver bullet for gender discrimination, etc. And, sure, they have to make extra promises and be under extra scrutiny for awhile to make the merger go through. But you could accomplish those same things without a merger–just hold the company accountable.

(Heck, I’d say break it up and then hold the pieces accountable! At least as smaller companies they’d have a chance of actually implementing real change.)

I’m honestly very surprised. It’s been so long since the FTC did it’s job I don’t know how to react! Seems a weird hill to… resurrect on? But I would welcome more scrutiny on corporate mergers, I just hope this isn’t a one-off thing due to CoD. That would be weird.

Imagine a merger getting blocked due to Call of Duty.

Out of curiosity I looked it up and realized that CoD is tiny little baby potatoes compared to Pokemon.

Warcraft, Diablo, Hearthstone and Candy Crush are probably not small potatoes. Still doubt that MS loses.

The merger’s not going to go through, and it’s all my fault. I had some unallocated cash in an IRA when the merger announcement came out and said, “Oh, that’d be a nice return in less than a year.” and bought ACTI. I don’t recall any serious antitrust speculation at the time (it was probably out there). FTC would probably drop their suit if I sold, LoL

The full complaint isn’t available yet, but this from the press release is interesting:

Seems like they’re taking the CMA line that Nintendo isn’t a competitor in the console market.

Does MS even have any titles that compete with any of these? They all have competition, and MA owning them isn’t reducing the choices available. My only worry with MS is their penchant for deciding they no longer care about games, and ignoring it, but if they are throwing $69B at it, I would hope it doesn’t happen again.

Not sure about that one way or the other tbh. Certainly that’s true for Call of Duty since it hasn’t been on Nintendo consoles since Ghost. Diablo and Overwatch are there though.

For most of the Actiblizz catalog though it’s probably true that Xbox and PlayStation make up the majority of sales. So yeah, easy to arrive at the conclusion there are two players in the “high performance video game consoles” market.

This is truly a victory for the little guy.

And by little guy I mean Sony.

Also, every gamer in the world. Yes, even if you have Game Pass.

Heaven forbid Sony need to compete.

Because, you know, they treat consumers so well.

Sony does compete. That’s the point of this. It’s to keep the competition possible. If Microsoft buys Activision/Blizzard after buying Zenimax, consumers will get locked out of console choice for that many more games than they already got locked out of before without buying a Microsoft console or a PC. Choice continues to dwindle if that happens and it quickly becomes anti-competitive.

Microsoft could buy every game developer on the planet tomorrow with the money they have. Where does it stop?

Pretty sure we’ve been told how the series X was d0med because Microsoft had no exclusive titles which could compete with Sony’s vast library.

They have those after the Zenimax acquisition, or you know they could hire development staff to build them instead of simply purchasing an entire industry with their vast cash reserves.