While the bulk of the storm has passed, more information and analysis are coming on the subject of the giant acquisition made by Microsoft. The Redmond company announced yesterday that it had reached an agreement (estimated at $68 billion) to get its hands on Activision Blizzard and its licenses. Therefore, a question emerges: will Microsoft offer the newly acquired franchises as Xbox exclusives? In an interview with Bloomberg, the CEO and CEO of Xbox Gaming assures that this is not his ambition:
I will just say to Activision Blizzard players who play on Sony consoles that it is not our intention to separate the communities from their support and we remain committed to this path.
This statement is similar to that in October 2023 shortly after the acquisition of Zennimax Medias (Bethesda) by Microsoft. Asked about the licenses that could become exclusively playable on Xbox (Fallout, Elders Scroll…), Phil Spencer then indicated that he wanted “more gamers are playing games, not less“. Words to which they added the following statements:
When I think about where people are going to play and how many devices we have, we have the xCloud, PC, Game Pass as well as our console base, that I don’t have to ship these games on another platform than the ones we support to make it work for us. Whatever that means.
More than a war of consoles, it is a content war that Microsoft seems to deliver to the whole world. And his ambitions have changed a lot in three years. Not very interested in acquiring publishers at the time, Microsoft nevertheless signed yesterday the biggest agreement in video game history. This deal, stratospheric, should also allow Microsoft to reach other frontiers. In a letter to employees, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella declares the acquisition of Activision Blizzard while justifying his decision:
Today it is (the video game) the largest and most growing form of entertainment. As the physical and digital worlds merge, it will play a key role in the development of multiverse platforms.
It’s hard to say if he’s just talking about a multiverse (parallel universe within a single universe, like the SpiderVerse for example) or if “multiverse platform” refers to metaverses : these alternative virtual universes to reality, a new fad of the tech giants. Epic Games (Fortnite), Roblox, Tencent and of course Meta (Facebook) have already stated their ambitions in this regard.