Microsoft and Sony Acquisitions: Will This Be Good for Gaming?Feb 5, 2022 | 2 Votes
Recently, Microsoft made industry shockwaves by acquiring Activision Blizzard for a whopping $68.7 billion which complemented their acquisition of Bethesda some time ago. This means massive franchises and household names like Call of Duty, Overwatch, and The Elder Scrolls are now under Microsoft’s umbrella of possible exclusives. We’ll surely see them on PC and Xbox, but maybe never or on a delayed basis, on PlayStation 5.
Not to be outdone, Sony acquired Bungie, the studio behind the Destiny franchise, for a smaller yet still staggering figure of $3.6 billion. This won’t be the gaming giant’s last purchase since there are rumors of future buys, with Konami’s name thrown into the fray.
These events will surely snowball into trillion-dollar companies buying out smaller studios to secure IPs and make games exclusive on their respective platforms. In turn, this raises the question: will it be good for us gamers and the entire gaming industry in general? Let’s dive deep into the many possibilities.
The console wars will intensify
When we say “Console Wars,” we don’t mean the competition between the three major console developers: Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. We refer to the internet arguments and “discussions” of their fans.
Personally, I thought this was over, thanks to game exclusivity being a thing of the past. Nowadays, PlayStation exclusives like Horizon: Zero Dawn and God of War, as well as Nintendo’s Octopath Traveler, are available on Steam, while most Xbox exclusives are available on PC. It should have been dead, but thanks to the recent events, it’s alive and kicking. Xbox fans have started to populate forums and Facebook threads taunting PlayStation fans, with the latter replying they already have amazing exclusives of their own.
It’s going to be a fun time, much like how it was back in 2013.
Exclusivity drives competition, but it deprives gamers
If you think about it, exclusivity is a good thing. It drives competition between studios and companies, making them evolve and innovate to trump their rivals. Many franchises stagnated because they failed to move forward, delivering the same old experience fans are tired of. For example, though Call of Duty had a significant resurgence with the newest iteration of Modern Warfare, the new game, Vanguard, wasn’t exactly well-received.
Microsoft will undoubtedly improve the Call of Duty franchise, leaving us excited for its future iterations. After all, it wants to offer an experience better than most of Sony’s exclusives, and yes, PlayStation doesn’t exactly have its own exclusive FPS, which may change with the acquisition of Bungie. We may see the third iteration of Destiny being a PS exclusive, or, considering the studio’s credentials, they may create their answer to Halo.
Although exclusivity can be a good thing, it deprives gamers who won’t buy their respective consoles. Sure, HZD and God of War are now available on PC, they only appeared years after their initial release.
Ample support for studios
It’s no secret that Activision Blizzard has been under the microscope in the past couple of years, thanks to allegations of unhappy workers and harassment. This has released a wave of toxicity in the gaming industry, rendering some bigwigs to leave the company. We could also safely say that thanks to this, the player bases in Overwatch and World of Warcraft are slowly dwindling.
Since Microsoft now owns the company, there could be massive changes in the near future and a general purge of the toxic culture that has dominated Blizzard. The influx of money could also see studios enjoying a larger degree of creative freedom, delivering fresh ideas and new innovations, thanks to the better work environment. This is already the case under Sony’s umbrella of studios. Thanks to a certain degree of autonomy, developers like Santa Monica Studios and Guerrilla Games created timeless masterpieces.
All these acquisitions will drive up the quality of games in the future, and with the evolution of improved tech, the prospects are nothing short of exciting.
Will this be good for gaming in the long-run?
Perhaps. All these acquisitions will drive up the quality of games in the future, and with the evolution of improved tech, the prospects are nothing short of exciting. Exclusivity will also pressure Sony to release more games on PC with lesser turnover time because we may see Activision Blizzard’s games solely become Xbox exclusives in several years. After all, this will urge Sony to look for other sources of income.
As long as one company doesn’t monopolize the entire industry, we’ll be golden.
This will definitely signal a new age in gaming, and we have lots of reasons to be fairly optimistic. In your case, what do you think? Will it be good for video games, or should be wary of what is to come?