Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard in $68.7B gaming deal

13

Comments

  • Reply 41 of 76
    techconc said:
    This is the type of acquisition that Apple really needs to make.  Apple just doesn't get the gaming market or simply has no interest in it.  Small indie games in Apple Arcade are fine, but Apple's platforms need A list games.  Apple has great hardware with the M1 Max but a poor gaming selection.  Ironically, Mac sales are at record levels now, but gaming on the Mac is worse than any time in history.  Sad.  
    Even Apple buy half of AAA list games on the market, I don’t expect to see people will rush to buy a Mac just to play these games. Hardcore gamer has a long history of dislike/hate Mac/Apple. They might just not to play these games anymore if it is a Mac only.
    edited January 18
  • Reply 42 of 76
    elijahg said:
    If Apple was taking Apple Arcade as seriously as they are AppleTV+, they'd have bought Activision Blizzard. Blizzard have been brilliant to the Mac platform going back 25+ years. They are one of (possibly the only) game studios that always keeps updates concurrent with their PC counterparts, always releases games on Mac and Windows concurrently, uses and supports the latest Apple tech, and even kept updating Starcraft 1 (from 1998!) so that it works on the latest macOS. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the end of such great Mac support, which would be a huge loss to the Mac platform (unfortunately and yet another thing that makes Mac users second-class citizens). 

    Gaming is massive, streaming was worth $245bn in 2018, gaming was roughly $150bn. Gaming is 70% of the revenue of the App Store. Apple needs to get some young blood in the upper management that understands this, as none of the ageing VPs gets it at all - and they're missing out big time.
    Maybe Apple can file objection asking AB to be split? 
  • Reply 43 of 76
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,586member
    red oak said:
    This screams anti-trust if they have any intention of making Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox and PC.    Half of company’s revenue is generated on PlayStation and mobile.I don’t see the point in Microsoft buying it.

    Microsoft has a horrible M&A record.  It is where company’s go to die 
    Did you even READ the article!? IF this deal goes through, it would put them into THIRD place. As for exclusivity, that's how it works. Did you harp about how all the Sony exclusive content!? What about Sony limiting Spider-Man games to the Playstation only? This is how IP works.
    Hoarding and refusing to license that IP is what causes antitrust cases. "That's how it works" isn't actually how it works. Microsoft wanted the Internet to be Explorer only, with MS proprietary extensions and IP, look how that turned out.
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 44 of 76
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,586member
    tomahawk said:
    techconc said:
    This is the type of acquisition that Apple really needs to make.  Apple just doesn't get the gaming market or simply has no interest in it.  Small indie games in Apple Arcade are fine, but Apple's platforms need A list games.  Apple has great hardware with the M1 Max but a poor gaming selection.  Ironically, Mac sales are at record levels now, but gaming on the Mac is worse than any time in history.  Sad.  
    The M1 Max is not "great hardware" for gaming because the GPU only performs between the level of an Nvidia 3060 and 3080, which are available in x86 machines that cost under $1000. Yes Mac sales are at record levels ... but at a market share (depending upon whether you believe Gartner, IDC, Canalys) that 7.5% to 8.6%, making it third in share behind Windows and ChromeOS. 

    The only path into AAA gaming for Apple is to emulate Microsoft and create their own gaming console. The problem: the AAA console gaming market is in turmoil right now, which is precisely what Microsoft is taking advantage of by snapping up beleagured studios left and right. And - as I mentioned above - currently if you combine the efforts of Microsoft, Nvidia, Google and Amazon and you have 42-45 million cloud gaming subscriptions. It would take Apple 3 years at minimum to launch a console gaming platform; who knows how many cloud gaming subscribers there will be in that time. 
    Apple doesn't need its own console.  Nintendo showed some time ago you don't have to have the best hardware or graphics to be successful.  Apple needs to figure out a way to bring some truly great games to the AppleTV and push that capability.  They also would need to market the platform as having that capability.  At this point Apple Arcade is an interesting concept, but I'd say their execution is lacking.  Do the same thing they're trying to do with AppleTV+, go get some content!

    This should have been Apple.  They need to push having a few top games available on iOS, macOS and AppleTV.  They need to push low-cost controller availability, etc.  Make the AppleTV the family gaming platform, one that a lot of people already have in their home. Go for the market the Wii filled, and promote all of your subscriptions at the same time.
    Apple already has its own console, and it's in at least a few people's homes already - the AppleTV. For casual games it's fine, they could have a "pro" with a beefed up GPU which would be more on the level of a PS5/Xbox.

    I fear they've entirely missed the boat on this as a concept though. They watched the mobile (phone) gaming market get invented under their feet but have ignored it until recently with AA, and even then just dipped their little toe in. Apple needs to get back to it's old nimble self, to "skate where the puck is going", rather than this lethargic behemoth Cook has created. When it jumps in with both feet, it redefines a market - but they'd need to buy up a big studio to do that now they've left it so late.
    9secondkox2patchythepirate
  • Reply 45 of 76
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,586member
    viclauyyc said:
    techconc said:
    This is the type of acquisition that Apple really needs to make.  Apple just doesn't get the gaming market or simply has no interest in it.  Small indie games in Apple Arcade are fine, but Apple's platforms need A list games.  Apple has great hardware with the M1 Max but a poor gaming selection.  Ironically, Mac sales are at record levels now, but gaming on the Mac is worse than any time in history.  Sad.  
    Even Apple buy half of AAA list games on the market, I don’t expect to see people will rush to buy a Mac just to play these games. Hardcore gamer has a long history of dislike/hate Mac/Apple. They might just not to play these games anymore if it is a Mac only.
    That was the same consensus before the iPhone and iPod though. The majority of people didn't like Apple for no real reason than seeing them as overpriced. That slowly changed when the iPod became popular, because it was fairly cheap and worked well. If Apple had a decent machine that wasn't as overpriced as the Mac Pro is, and showed gamers that they can too join in making decent hardware that wasn't extortionate (as they did with iPod and iPhone) enough gamers would eventually change their minds. Apple's only got themselves to blame for the ire of gamers - plus the hardcore gamers are a fairly small faction (think the types who go to gamer cons) compared to those gamers who are more casual but still like AAA games, and those IMO would be more open to Apple. 

    I have friends who have switched back from Mac to PC because they wanted to game, and Apple just didn't have a decent offering without paying through the nose. Their refusal to use Nvidia GPUs (attributable to a childish spat years ago) means we are/were stuck with slow and hot AMD GPUs. The Pro Vega 48 in my iMac is crap compared to the 2080Ti, which came out at the same time and for the same cost - the Pro Vega 48 gets 11500 benchmark, the gets 18600. Again Mac users get jilted because of Apple's stubbornness.
    viclauyyc
  • Reply 46 of 76
    uroshnor said:
    red oak said:
    This screams anti-trust if they have any intention of making Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox and PC.    Half of company’s revenue is generated on PlayStation and mobile.I don’t see the point in Microsoft buying it.

    Microsoft has a horrible M&A record.  It is where company’s go to die 
    If they are the third largest game company after this then it’s somewhat hard to see where the anti-trust complaint would be. They aren’t a gaming monopoly so it would need to be some other provision of the Sherman Act. Not really a cartel since it is all one company. Perhaps product bundling depending on what they do in the future. Simply nixing COD for PlayStation wouldn’t quality. Game exclusives exist already and there is nothing inherently illegal about that. 
    If you are the 3rd largest OS vendor (Windows installed base being smaller than Android and iOS), and the 3rd largest game console vendor, and they you buy in via acquisitions to become the 3rd larges game vendor ... all you have to do for it to become an anti-trust issue, is redirect the games you acquired (which are honestly one of the more cross platform vendors), to on future versions and releases, to only run on the platforms and services you already had. They've done this many, many times before, and its not unreasonable to expect Blizzard to go the way of Bungie as an example (for those of you not old enough to remember, Bungie were Mac exclusive with a couple of contracted ports, until bought out by Microsoft who then removed Mac as a client OS from Bungie products). Its a real testament to the skill of Microsoft's government relations teams that they've avoided anti-trust action in the last 5-10 years.

    You don't have to be the largest player in a market to for anti-trust issues to surface, you just have to be "big enough" and to leverage power in a one market to improve your sales & revenue in another.
    The Sherman anti-trust act lays out what is considers anti-trust behavior and what you are describing isn’t in there and really isn’t an uncommon practice. 

    Further purchases are subject to regulatory approval. If there was anti-trust concerns the purchase would be blocked or subject to conditions.
    edited January 18
  • Reply 47 of 76
    Activision is a great company, but boy, I hope Apple would never make such a lazy move 
    williamlondon9secondkox2
  • Reply 48 of 76
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,983member
    elijahg said:
    If Apple was taking Apple Arcade as seriously as they are AppleTV+, they'd have bought Activision Blizzard. Blizzard have been brilliant to the Mac platform going back 25+ years. They are one of (possibly the only) game studios that always keeps updates concurrent with their PC counterparts, always releases games on Mac and Windows concurrently, uses and supports the latest Apple tech, and even kept updating Starcraft 1 (from 1998!) so that it works on the latest macOS. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the end of such great Mac support, which would be a huge loss to the Mac platform (unfortunately and yet another thing that makes Mac users second-class citizens). 
    Not always.  Overwatch.
  • Reply 49 of 76
    danoxdanox Posts: 837member
    techconc said:
    This is the type of acquisition that Apple really needs to make.  Apple just doesn't get the gaming market or simply has no interest in it.  Small indie games in Apple Arcade are fine, but Apple's platforms need A list games.  Apple has great hardware with the M1 Max but a poor gaming selection.  Ironically, Mac sales are at record levels now, but gaming on the Mac is worse than any time in history.  Sad.  
    Apple has never had a interest in computer games of any type over the years….
    kiltedgreen
  • Reply 50 of 76
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,292member
    red oak said:
    This screams anti-trust if they have any intention of making Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox and PC.    Half of company’s revenue is generated on PlayStation and mobile.I don’t see the point in Microsoft buying it.

    Microsoft has a horrible M&A record.  It is where company’s go to die 
    I would be shocked if Microsoft made Call of Duty an exclusive title. Sure they would gain more Game Pass users and sell more Xbox consoles, but those gains wouldn't outweigh the loss of millions of Playstation COD players. Call of Duty is a money making machine. In my opinion, Microsoft will go the route they did when they bought Mojang Studios (Minecraft). They never made Minecraft an exclusive title. I don't think anything will change with COD Warzone, but I can see timed exclusives like maps on the yearly COD release.
    aderutter
  • Reply 51 of 76
    danoxdanox Posts: 837member
    techconc said:
    This is the type of acquisition that Apple really needs to make.  Apple just doesn't get the gaming market or simply has no interest in it.  Small indie games in Apple Arcade are fine, but Apple's platforms need A list games.  Apple has great hardware with the M1 Max but a poor gaming selection.  Ironically, Mac sales are at record levels now, but gaming on the Mac is worse than any time in history.  Sad.  
    The M1 Max is not "great hardware" for gaming because the GPU only performs between the level of an Nvidia 3060 and 3080, which are available in x86 machines that cost under $1000. Yes Mac sales are at record levels ... but at a market share (depending upon whether you believe Gartner, IDC, Canalys) that 7.5% to 8.6%, making it third in share behind Windows and ChromeOS. 

    The only path into AAA gaming for Apple is to emulate Microsoft and create their own gaming console. The problem: the AAA console gaming market is in turmoil right now, which is precisely what Microsoft is taking advantage of by snapping up beleagured studios left and right. And - as I mentioned above - currently if you combine the efforts of Microsoft, Nvidia, Google and Amazon and you have 42-45 million cloud gaming subscriptions. It would take Apple 3 years at minimum to launch a console gaming platform; who knows how many cloud gaming subscribers there will be in that time. 
    Apple is by far the most profitable PC maker, marketshare means nothing, if games are made for any Apple device that is actually, better and has great game play, they the players will come, however the current direction of market (crappy games all around as the norm) there is no payday for Apple.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 52 of 76
    danoxdanox Posts: 837member
    YP101 said:
    Well, Apple just buy Nintendo will solve the problem. Nintendo gets M1 CPU will resolve the current hardware limitation.
    Apple will receive all retro games on Apple TV.
    We went through this 5 years ago when people thought that NIntendo was dead (couldn't keep up with Microsoft and Sony in specs, their "family-friendly" focus meant losing out to the iPad etc.) so people claimed that Apple should buy Nintendo in order to bring the Mario, Zelda etc. games to the iPad and iPhone. Nintendo said: "We are not for sale and never will be" followed by "even if we are sold it will never be to a foreign company." 

    As for Sony, yeah as if the antitrust regulators would allow that. It would give Apple:
    A. a smartphone and tablet manufacturer (Android)
    B. a TV (again Android), DVD and premium audio manufacturer 
    C. the world's #1 gaming console platform
    D. the Columbia movie studio (Spider-Man, Ghostbusters, Jumanji, Bad Boys, Karate Kid, Men In Black and a bunch of other franchises, and that doesn't even include Sony Japan's extensive film, TV, music etc. properties)

    So the Japanese government is going to let the company that killed off the Walkman (and indirectly the Blu-Ray by creating the streaming era) and mobile gaming (seriously degrading Sony, Nintendo, Sega etc. in the process while creating a boom for competing Chinese and South Korean tech companies like Tencent, Xiaomi, LG and Samsung) buy Sony? Yeah, totally not going to happen. 

    Dumb American thinks everyone is for sale certain companies in Germany, Japan, China, and Korea will never be up for sale to Americans for any price…..
    ionicleviclauyyc9secondkox2
  • Reply 53 of 76
    danox said:

    Apple has never had a interest in computer games of any type over the years….
    Not completely true, but pretty darned close.  As much as a subset of Mac users would like the various Mac iterations to be better at gaming, the fact that Apple hasn't gone in that direction tells me that they don't feel like they need to do so.  The Mac isn't intended to be a gaming machine, and that lack of intent is deliberate.  In complete fairness to Apple, that strategy is working for them.  They're one of the richest companies in the world, without gaming.

    As for this MS acquisition, MS has repeatedly stated that such acquisitions as this one are intended to bring exclusive content to platforms where game pass exists.  That's almost a direct quotation from Phil Spencer concerning the Zenimax buy.  They will obviously honor existing contractual obligations as part of the sale, and those include continued support for games contracted to be present on other platforms, e.g. Sony and Nintendo.  Those games that are not currently on other platforms will very likely remain exclusive, and new games from these studios will almost certainly be exclusive.  It remains to be seen whether new versions of existing games will be exclusive.  I could honestly see that one going either way, depending on the game.  Making, for instance, COD and Candy Crush exclusive seems like a really stupid move, but other games, not so stupid.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 54 of 76
    Ask yourself this question: if AAA style games are such a good fit for Apple's devices, why haven't 3rd parties been porting AAA games like crazy to iOS/iPadOS?
  • Reply 55 of 76
    Activision is a great company, but boy, I hope Apple would never make such a lazy move 
    They bought Beats, which was purely redundant and lesser than Apples already established music platform. 

    In comparison to that, Apple purchasing a combination of AAA gaming studios looks genius. 

    And it would really add quality, must have games. Not the mobile car that passes as games on Apple TV, iPhone, etc. 

    the reason why people shell out for an expensive Xbox or ps5 is due to the quality of the graphics, scope, audio, story, controls, etc. 

    Apple has the entire package to just walk in and take the crown without much of a fight at all. The hardware, software, infrastructure, delivery, security, payments, and a pent up audience who would love to game on an Apple made high end gaming system. 

    After using apple products you get spoiled for quality and trust. Moving on to Microsoft and Sony, you feel a little slime leaking in. 

    The only thing Apple would need to do is actually decide to get in it to win it. 

    Do they need to do this to be s successful company? Clearly not. They are the most successful company in the world. 

    But Apple has been the company to walk into other markets snd dominate. Two curious missteps are with Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade. 

    In both cases, Apple refused to make the big investments and partnerships. And then companies like Disney came in snd took big steps like purchasing Marvel. And boom. Instant success for them. If Apple did that instead, they’d be up there. But they didn’t. The best they can give us is “Ted Lasso” which I can’t even watch because my nieces are over so often and the language and subject matter is very clearly adult only. 

    Then there is Apple Arcade. They had a couple interesting games on there at first with beyond a Steel Sky the most immersive among them - and the title that seemed to herald some hope for the platform. But then it went and was followed by pure shovel ware. 

    Apple is into games. They just aren’t into being good at games yet. 

    I say it’s time. This new generation of consoles are having a rough time. Apple can come right in snd dominate. But they have to want to. Hopefully that desire shows up soon. 
    williamlondonelijahg
  • Reply 56 of 76
    elijahg said:
    viclauyyc said:
    techconc said:
    This is the type of acquisition that Apple really needs to make.  Apple just doesn't get the gaming market or simply has no interest in it.  Small indie games in Apple Arcade are fine, but Apple's platforms need A list games.  Apple has great hardware with the M1 Max but a poor gaming selection.  Ironically, Mac sales are at record levels now, but gaming on the Mac is worse than any time in history.  Sad.  
    Even Apple buy half of AAA list games on the market, I don’t expect to see people will rush to buy a Mac just to play these games. Hardcore gamer has a long history of dislike/hate Mac/Apple. They might just not to play these games anymore if it is a Mac only.
    That was the same consensus before the iPhone and iPod though. The majority of people didn't like Apple for no real reason than seeing them as overpriced. That slowly changed when the iPod became popular, because it was fairly cheap and worked well. If Apple had a decent machine that wasn't as overpriced as the Mac Pro is, and showed gamers that they can too join in making decent hardware that wasn't extortionate (as they did with iPod and iPhone) enough gamers would eventually change their minds. Apple's only got themselves to blame for the ire of gamers - plus the hardcore gamers are a fairly small faction (think the types who go to gamer cons) compared to those gamers who are more casual but still like AAA games, and those IMO would be more open to Apple. 

    I have friends who have switched back from Mac to PC because they wanted to game, and Apple just didn't have a decent offering without paying through the nose. Their refusal to use Nvidia GPUs (attributable to a childish spat years ago) means we are/were stuck with slow and hot AMD GPUs. The Pro Vega 48 in my iMac is crap compared to the 2080Ti, which came out at the same time and for the same cost - the Pro Vega 48 gets 11500 benchmark, the gets 18600. Again Mac users get jilted because of Apple's stubbornness.
    The M1 changed things.  The fact that Nvidia wanted to get their hands on ARM showed just how much a game changer the M! was.  If all Nvidia wanted was the instruction set they could have paid a royalty like Apple does>. Another option would have been to go with the totally open source RISC-V.  It didn't help Nvidia's efforts ticked off not only the FTC but the UK's Competition and Markets Authority and the EU as well

    edited January 19 williamlondon
  • Reply 57 of 76
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,260member
    red oak said:
    This screams anti-trust if they have any intention of making Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox and PC.    Half of company’s revenue is generated on PlayStation and mobile.I don’t see the point in Microsoft buying it.

    Microsoft has a horrible M&A record.  It is where company’s go to die 
    Did you even READ the article!? IF this deal goes through, it would put them into THIRD place. As for exclusivity, that's how it works. Did you harp about how all the Sony exclusive content!? What about Sony limiting Spider-Man games to the Playstation only? This is how IP works.
    Sony made two Spiderman games since 2016. Activision had the exclusive rights to make Spiderman video games from 2000-2014, they lost interest after the Amazing Spider Man game in 2012 and allowed the rights to expire in 2014.

    Call of Duty has been cross gen since Call of Duty 3 that released in 2006. It would be a total dick move to the community and people in the Sony ecosystem to pull this game to one console exclusivity after this many years. It would also leave a lot of cash on the table with sales of the game and in game purchases over the next few years.

    There are a LOT of PS4 and PS5 in the wild that would need to be replaced in order to play this game.. I don't see that happening... Especially with how hard it has been to even get a new console no matter who makes it over the last couple of years.

  • Reply 58 of 76
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 1,072member
    Activision is a great company, but boy, I hope Apple would never make such a lazy move 
    They bought Beats, which was purely redundant and lesser than Apples already established music platform. 

    In comparison to that, Apple purchasing a combination of AAA gaming studios looks genius. 

    And it would really add quality, must have games. Not the mobile car that passes as games on Apple TV, iPhone, etc. 

    the reason why people shell out for an expensive Xbox or ps5 is due to the quality of the graphics, scope, audio, story, controls, etc. 

    Apple has the entire package to just walk in and take the crown without much of a fight at all. The hardware, software, infrastructure, delivery, security, payments, and a pent up audience who would love to game on an Apple made high end gaming system. 

    After using apple products you get spoiled for quality and trust. Moving on to Microsoft and Sony, you feel a little slime leaking in. 

    The only thing Apple would need to do is actually decide to get in it to win it. 

    Do they need to do this to be s successful company? Clearly not. They are the most successful company in the world. 

    But Apple has been the company to walk into other markets snd dominate. Two curious missteps are with Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade. 

    In both cases, Apple refused to make the big investments and partnerships. And then companies like Disney came in snd took big steps like purchasing Marvel. And boom. Instant success for them. If Apple did that instead, they’d be up there. But they didn’t. The best they can give us is “Ted Lasso” which I can’t even watch because my nieces are over so often and the language and subject matter is very clearly adult only. 

    Then there is Apple Arcade. They had a couple interesting games on there at first with beyond a Steel Sky the most immersive among them - and the title that seemed to herald some hope for the platform. But then it went and was followed by pure shovel ware. 

    Apple is into games. They just aren’t into being good at games yet. 

    I say it’s time. This new generation of consoles are having a rough time. Apple can come right in snd dominate. But they have to want to. Hopefully that desire shows up soon. 


    Yes the posters here don’t get it, the console will not be a mod of the AppleTV but the upcoming VR device.

    And then all the naysayers will forget their comments today.

    Apple bids it’s time and waits till things are ripe.  

    Apple does not make big moves by acquisition.  

    People have short memories, can’t see the big picture and have trouble reading the tealeaves.
    edited January 19
  • Reply 59 of 76
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,573member
    In case you're interested, Phil Spencer sent out a letter to employees this morning.  This part stood out to me:

    "As Satya mentioned, I am now CEO, Microsoft Gaming. This change is a reflection of the incredible work each of you [is] doing to create the best entertainment ecosystem anywhere."

    Smart move.  Right now, everything software, services, & entertainment related is under Eddy Cue.  If Apple is serious about all areas of entertainment, be it music, movies tv, gaming, it might be a good idea to branch out entertainment into its own division and have one person laser focused on that.  Call that division Apple Entertainment or Apple Studios.

    You can read the whole thing here;

    https://www.thurrott.com/forums/microsoft/xbox/thread/phil-spencer-email-to-employees-about-the-activision-blizzard-acquisition

    Edit:  Satya's email to employees regarding the acquisition

    https://www.thurrott.com/forums/microsoft/xbox/thread/satya-nadella-email-to-employees-about-the-activision-blizzard-acquisition

    "
    Gaming has been key to Microsoft since our earliest days as a company. Today, it’s the largest and fastest-growing form of entertainment, and as the digital and physical worlds come together, it will play a critical role in the development of metaverse platforms."
    edited January 19 elijahg
  • Reply 60 of 76
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,586member
    crowley said:
    elijahg said:
    If Apple was taking Apple Arcade as seriously as they are AppleTV+, they'd have bought Activision Blizzard. Blizzard have been brilliant to the Mac platform going back 25+ years. They are one of (possibly the only) game studios that always keeps updates concurrent with their PC counterparts, always releases games on Mac and Windows concurrently, uses and supports the latest Apple tech, and even kept updating Starcraft 1 (from 1998!) so that it works on the latest macOS. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the end of such great Mac support, which would be a huge loss to the Mac platform (unfortunately and yet another thing that makes Mac users second-class citizens). 
    Not always.  Overwatch.
    True. Not sure why they didn't on that one. Maybe they didn't see the small Mac gaming market a profitable venture with their new engine, as they'd need to use MoltenVK and maybe they deemed it not worth it. Of course if Apple used Vulkan instead of Metal it'd be much easier to port games, but that's another matter. 
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