Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition is about to come to an end

Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard is the largest acquisition in the history of gaming. This historic acquisition not only attracted the attention of players around the world, but also aroused the vigilance of regulatory agencies and competitors in various countries. With the passage of time and Microsoft's efforts, there are fewer and fewer obstacles standing in front of Microsoft. Even the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority), the main opponent of the acquisition, has relaxed.

According to The Verge, after Microsoft sold Activision Blizzard’s cloud gaming services to Ubisoft, the British regulatory agency CMA initially approved Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard and will make a final decision next week. Microsoft expects to officially end all acquisition processes on October 13.

But the "battle" between Microsoft and regulators will not end with the successful acquisition. The US regulator FTC is still appealing to the Court of Appeal, and the final ruling will be made in early December. Assuming the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal closes on time, the FTC may also seek to undo the deal.

"Microsoft will acquire Activision Blizzard for a total price of US$68.7 billion." This 2021 news broke the acquisition record in the gaming industry – the record originally belonged to Take-Two. The company once acquired Zynga for US$12.7 billion, and Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard for 5.4 times that amount.

What does $68.7 billion mean? According to estimates by the British media GameIndustry.biz, the total revenue of the global game market in 2022 will be 184.4 billion U.S. dollars. In addition, the Chinese game industry report shows that the domestic game market revenue in 2022 will be 265.884 billion yuan (approximately 36.955 billion U.S. dollars).

Based on this rough calculation, the total value of Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition amounted to 37.21% of the total revenue of the global game industry last year, which is equivalent to the total revenue of the Chinese game industry for one and a half years.

Such a large-scale acquisition naturally aroused the vigilance of regulatory agencies, because this acquisition has a strong possibility of monopoly. Activision Blizzard owns many popular and popular game series such as "Call of Duty", "Diablo" and "Crash Bandicoot". Combined with Microsoft's own influence, Microsoft will have excessive competition in the game market. Advantage. This creates a situation where one company is the only one, which is what regulators do not want to see.

In order to dispel the doubts of the outside world, Microsoft has repeatedly stated in public that it will not monopolize Activision Blizzard's games for at least 10 years, and has signed relevant agreements with many companies including Sony and Nvidia. The sale of Activision Blizzard's cloud gaming service to Ubisoft is also to get rid of the CMA's accusation that Microsoft "monopolizes the cloud gaming market."

The reason why Microsoft is unwilling to give up Activision Blizzard is that it has always been not optimistic about the console market position. Microsoft has been making acquisitions over the years in an attempt to increase sales of the Xbox series consoles. However, the results are not obvious. According to VGChartz statistics, the total sales volume of the Xbox series is 23.23 million units, ranking third among the "Royal Three", while the total sales volume of the first-place Switch is 129 million units.

Although the Xbox Game Pass subscription service launched by Microsoft has been well received and has even changed the consumption model of the console market to a certain extent, the lack of high-quality exclusive content makes it difficult for the Xbox console to be attractive to players, let alone consumers' interest in the Xbox console. The impression is still at the stage of "PC replacement".

The addition of Activision Blizzard can ideally make up for Microsoft's weaknesses. You must know that Activision Blizzard's "Call of Duty" series has the reputation of "the best-selling series in gaming history." The combination of "the largest acquisition in gaming history" and "the best-selling series in gaming history" means that at least in this acquisition, Microsoft has made enough gimmicks.

After the acquisition is successful, whether Microsoft uses this to get rid of its perennial third-place status in the console industry or uses it to monopolize the game market, this is a historic moment for Microsoft's competitors to be wary of.

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