On January 18, 2022, Microsoft announced its latest acquisition of Activision Blizzard, a leader in game development in a huge deal worth almost $69 Billion. Microsoft is one of the big techs looking to gain a huge market share in the new internet world of the metaverse and observers believe this is a step in that direction. With over 3 Billion active gamers according to Microsoft, this deal is a timely one that boosts their market share across mobile, PC, console and cloud which provides the building blocks for the metaverse.
Good Deal Or Bad Deal?
Honestly speaking, the deal between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard can only be a bad deal for competitor brands like Nvidia and Sony whose share price plunged 10% in the wake of the deal announcement.
For the direct parties involved, it is a huge moment of success. Firstly for Activision Blizzard whose stock has been on a downward spiral due to scandal and lawsuits.
According To Activision CEO Bobby Kotick “Every company that has significant resources has aspirations for gaming in the metaverse, and so the competition has never been greater,” he says. “And that’s one of the real motivations that we had for this partnership.”
For Microsoft, the Activision Blizzard will go for $95.00 per share which is still a good price point. This deal will enable Microsoft to emerge as the world’s third-largest gaming company in the entire world by revenue, only behind Tencent and Sony. The acquisition will also include Activision and King Studio’s franchises such as Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty and Candy Crush.
For the gaming society, it says a lot about the future of gaming in the coming years.
A War Of Tech Warriors?
Just a few days after Microsoft announced its coming deal with Activision Blizzard, Sony announced its acquisition of Bungie in a deal worth $3.6 Billion. The Microsoft deal came off the back of the announcement of Take-Two, who purchased mobile-gaming company Zynga Inc in what has been a busy January in the gaming industry.
Just last year, Facebook Inc., which had invested billions into virtual reality with its Oculus project and others, changed its name to Meta Platforms Inc. to show its metaverse readiness.
Whether these business moves turn to instant success or not, it is incredible to see contribution to the growth of the gaming metaverse space.
Is Microsoft Metaverse Ready?
While the diplomatic answer would be to say “no one is actually ready”, Microsoft has a lot of advantages ranging from experience, cash flow and networks.
There are different fronts to the word Metaverse. Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg sees it as a single environment of coexistence and virtual existence.
However, any diverse digital existence and participation can represent the metaverse. For digital real estate, we have Sandbox and Decentraland.
In the gaming metaverse, Microsoft may be in a better position than its peers because of its good portfolio in gaming, in addition to its own augmented- and virtual-reality projects.
Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella quoted by saying, “Even before the deal, Nadella had begun to describe Microsoft games as metaverses in their own right. “If you take Halo as a game, it is a metaverse,” he said in October on Bloomberg Television. “Minecraft is a metaverse, and so is Flight Sim”.
The Future of Virtual Gaming
With the massive race to adopt crypto games, especially the P2E model, there is a huge adoption of blockchain via gaming.
There has been a ramp-up in mobile gaming covering nearly 95% of all gamers enjoying gaming over their mobile devices.
Gaming will surely have a huge representation in the metaverse as it offers rewards, existence, engagement and social community opportunities.
It is surely one of the industries for the future.