Sony's response to the Microsoft Activision Blizzard acquisition is, well, lackluster
Major studio acquisitions are almost always big news, but the recent Activision Blizzard acquisition by Microsoft had the world looking towards Sony for a response. After weeks of waiting, Sony finally responded to the acquisition and it was, well, less than what many fans expected. However, with such a large deal bringing up questions regarding console exclusivity, Sony's reactions could cause major shifts in the game industry.
Activision Blizzard Microsoft Deal
Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard was a landmark occasion costing the company $68.7 billion. The CEO of Microsoft Gaming, Phil Spencer, announced that Call of Duty, Overwatch, Diablo, Warcraft, and Candy Crush had all become a part of Team Xbox. "We all know that gaming is the most vibrant and dynamic form of entertainment worldwide and we've experienced the power of social connection and friendship that gaming makes possible," wrote Spencer on the official Xbox blog.
One immediate result is that many Activision Blizzard titles may be finding their way to the Xbox Game Pass, but gamers are concerned about one larger factor. With the massive studio being acquired by Microsoft, what does this mean for PlayStation fans and what will Sony respond with?
A Fear of Exclusivity
Many PlayStation fans had a single concern - will Activision Blizzard properties shift to become an Xbox Exclusive? While there is no way to know for sure until 2023, when the deal finalizes, Sony has provided some insights in a recent response. Sony has stated that it fully expects Microsoft to honor any existing agreements that the company has with Activision. This will "continue to ensure" that Activision games do not become exclusive and continue to be released on their platform.
It should be noted that even after Bethesda's acquisition, many Sony exclusive contracts remained in place. Deathloop was released as a PS5 exclusive, and Ghostwire: Tokyo is expected to follow suit.
A Developer Arms Race
Shortly after the announcement of the Activision Blizzard deal, Sony announced that they were acquiring Bungie. While exclusivity may not be the final concern of fans, many studios are now sitting in limbo as both Microsoft and Sony rush to gain ground in this new developer arms race. Meanwhile, Nintendo is expected to continue on its standard course while the two tech giants battle it out for game studio control.
For Indie companies, this is a perfect opportunity to launch an innovative title and rise to the occasion as the dust settles throughout the industry.