While it may seem like it is distancing itself from Sony, Microsoft’s acquisition could strengthen its position relative to other deep-pocketed tech giants like Amazon, Tencent, and Google, which have all shown their intention to invest more in the lucrative gaming business.
Buying Activision is “partially defensive” because “you’re doing it so others don’t buy it,” said Joost van Drunen, a games investor, consultant and New York University professor of video games business.
“They are raising the bar on purchasing costs,” he said. “You’d better bring your wallet if you want to be at the table.”
It’s unclear how having more shooter, role-playing, and strategy video games helped Microsoft get to this point, although Microsoft initially exaggerated the deal as an introduction to the meta-universe. Spencer and Bobby Kotick, Activision’s embattled CEO, gave a more plausible explanation in interviews.
Mr. Kotick said your goal is “the most engaging, the most engaging, the best games on the devices people are playing games on today, whether it’s phones, consoles, computers, or other displays with microprocessors.”
After all, the game may be what popularized the metaverse. Daniel Ahmad, a senior analyst at game research firm Niko Partners, said that Activision regularly develops games like Call of Duty, updating them with new content and engaging with the gamer community. He said this could be “a piece of the puzzle for creating these metaverse experiences.”
But such ideas are still quite far away.
Erin Woo and Karen Weise contributing reporting.