Microsoft has announced that it’s acquiring Activision Blizzard, which means the company will soon be brought into the Xbox fold in a deal worth a whopping $68.7 billion. Having completed a $7.5 billion acquisition of Bethesda last year and wrapping up this deal by next year, Microsoft has raised several questions about the impact of the Activision deal, and many have raised concerns about how this could affect industry-wide competition.
According to Xbox boss Phil Spencer though, that’s not a concern at all. Speaking in an interview with CNBC, Spencer downplayed concerns of the Activision Blizzard deal being anti-competitive, saying that one of its primary purposes is to help offset the dominance that Apple and Android assert in the mobile space.
“This is an incredibly competitive marketplace in the gaming space,” Spencer said. “The truth is the largest gaming platforms on the planet are the mobile devices out there, distribution on those contents, control on those devices. It’s controlled by two companies. So you look at a company like Microsoft, and we’re bringing together content and intellectual property to offset the, the distribution capabilities we don’t have on mobile devices. This is our opportunity to fight to compete on the largest platform out there in gaming, which is mobile devices, that’s critically important to us.”
Spencer also went on to say that with games being developed by such a large number of companies, from major publishers to smaller studios, the gaming market is “incredibly vibrant” right now, with little concerns of whether or not there will be enough competition.
“We have more creators on our platform than we’ve ever had,” he said. “We have games coming from all, we have games coming from big publishers like EA and Activision and Take-Two. But you also look at a lot of homegrown games from small teams that are able to reach global scale because of the distribution that they’re finding on PC and gaming consoles. It’s an incredibly vibrant space right now.”
Microsoft is expecting the Activision Blizzard deal to be finalized halfway through 2023, so until then, there’s going to be a lot of unanswered questions- from whether or not Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will stick around following the acquisition to how Microsoft will handle exclusivity of future releases.
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