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Microsoft makes a big bet on video games, and even if you’re like me and don’t really play them, they’re worth considering.
Microsoft said on Tuesday Activision would buy BlizzardMakes video games like Candy Crush and Call of Duty. Microsoft will pay the game maker close to $70 billion, a lot of money even for such a wealthy company. Activision is getting into Microsoft’s other video game businesses, including the Xbox game console and video game makers like Halo and Minecraft.
But Microsoft’s acquisition also shows that video games are no longer just entertainment. They have become the weapons that today’s tech giants use to try to shape our future in their preferred direction.
I’m talking about”metadata store“The dreaded acronym technologists have adopted for the internet vision of a broad future that will further blur the lines between online life and real life, and between humans and computers.
Metadata storage is difficult to define. (We could call it the next phase of the internet, but I guess that’s pretty boring.) Tech companies now believe video games are a gateway to a more immersive future of the internet, and they dictate what that will be. What will it look like and who will be the winners and losers?
Wanting to shape the future of the internet is a reason for Facebook changed its name to Meta and Oculus has shown a lot of interest in virtual reality glasses and video game-like virtual business meetings. This is also one reason why Apple designed face computers and Amazon and Google used cloud computing services to make people’s work easier. to stream sophisticated video games online.
For a long time video games have been a glimpse into what’s possible. Even before we camped out on Facebook and YouTube, game designers created worlds that didn’t exist but seemed real. Video games were among the first consumer products to prove that people would pay for virtual things like guns, clothing or tractors in FarmVille. Gamers already live in the metaverse, and tech companies essentially want to bring that imagination to every aspect of online life, including friendships, shopping, and live theater.
I don’t know if any of these Big Tech companies know exactly what they want a more immersive internet to look like. Nor do I know if we want Mark Zuckerberg or Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to dictate the future of virtual human interactions.
But the money circulating in video games and other immersive tech shows that tech giants are both excited about the future and afraid they’re going to miss it.
A side note: There is another less sexy explanation for Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision. This is what happens when crisis meets opportunity, when meaningless meets money.
Activision might not have sold without the claims. sexual misconduct in the workplace and other mistreatment of employees who have offended the company in the past year. A significant number of its employees, as well as regulators and some of the company’s investors, said that Activision had allowed problems to fester for too long. These allegations hit the stock price, making it a cheaper buy for Microsoft than it was a year ago.
Money means nothing – Microsoft and most other tech giants have tons of cash and stock prices in the stratosphere and can borrow money practically for free. This makes even standout commercial acquisitions like Activision less crazy than they seemed a few years ago. (Microsoft’s stock price dropped a bit on Tuesday morning, a sign that investors are questioning the rationale of the purchase or the high price.)
Video games are a cultural force and big business today, if not for the imagination of the meta-universe. Creates video games much more income from the global film industryand games are by far the most popular and lucrative smartphone apps in the world.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision is a waste, now and in the future.
Before you go …
Amazon wants more electric delivery trucks. AND HE WANTS THEM NOW. My colleagues Karen Weise and Neal Boudette to explain why are mostly young electric vehicle manufacturers unable to meet Amazon’s insatiable needs?
Local government app that challenges Uber: Tech news publication Rest of World writes that residents of Rio de Janeiro are more. skip Uber rides for traditional taxis. The local government has invested in developing a taxi referral app, and officials have mostly kept taxi prices the same, while Uber fares have risen due to higher fuel prices and driver shortages.
The “Squid Game” was not an accident. Bloomberg News explores Netflix’s strategy More South Korean programming on the air including last year’s hit “Squid Game” series. Netflix takes entertainment ideas that are so unusual for Korea’s TV industry and is gaining fans worldwide. (Subscription may be required.)
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