Xbox’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard has captured the vast majority of headlines in recent days, and understandably so. With an acquisition of this scale, there’s no shortage of questions being asked about a number of things. Many of these, unsurprisingly, have to do with Activision Blizzard’s future releases and the franchises that Microsoft could choose to bring back once they’re under new ownership.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer has previously said that Microsoft has long-term plans with Activision Blizzard, and that newly appointed studios will be allowed to work on a variety of franchises, as opposed to their current situation, where they’ve all been pulled in to feed the Call of Duty machine. It’s not just the Microsoft side that’s thinking about the potential impact of this deal though.
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick – who himself is at the center of many questions where this acquisition is concerned – recently spoke about the Xbox deal in an interview with VentureBeat, and talked about some franchises in particular that could really benefit from being under Microsoft ownership, where they could be able to succeed in ways they haven’t done in recent years- such as Guitar Hero and Skylanders.
“You look at all the opportunities that we get with a company like Microsoft,” Kotick said. “I’ll give you one great example. Phil and I started riffing on things for the future. I’ll give you three that are really compelling. I wanted to make a new Guitar Hero for a while, but I don’t want to add teams to do manufacturing and supply chain and QA for manufacturing. And the chip shortages are enormous.
“We didn’t really have the ability to do that. I had a really cool vision for what the next Guitar Hero would be, and realized we don’t have the resources to do that. And Skylanders too. One of the great disappointments of my career is that other people came in and they came out with crappy alternatives. And they dumped all of these crappy alternatives in the market, and basically destroyed the market for what was a really cool future opportunity. If you look at Skylanders, with its hardware and manufacturing and supply chain, there are the same kinds of things that we can’t do but Microsoft can.”
Xbox’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard isn’t going to be finalized yet until well into 2023, so there’s probably quite some time before any plans are put into place, and even longer before they materialize. Of course, there’s plenty of other questions that need answering as well- like how Microsoft will handle the exclusivity of future Activision Blizzard releases, especially where Call of Duty and PlayStation are concerned.