Microsoft’s big acquisitions aren’t likely to hold PC gaming back

After gobbling up Minecraft, The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom, and more, Microsoft just became the future owner of Call of Duty, Diablo, Overwatch, and Warcraft. Xbox boss Phil Spencer’s consolidation of game studios is starting to look a little like the congealing of the film industry that led to Disney’s simultaneous control of Marvel, Star Wars, and James Cameron’s Avatar, its crown jewel.

For now, I’d put my feelings about Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition somewhere on par with the discovery that Purina Dog Chow and Cheerios are both made by Nestlé: a slight discomfort that slides into resignation. It’s true that Disney’s Star Wars and Marvel movies basically feel the same, but is that a consequence of Disney’s ownership, or a consequence of them being the sort of enormous mass-market phenomena that only a mass-market company like Disney could own? It’s hard to feel worried that Spencer will somehow violate the sanctity of Call of Duty and Overwatch in a way that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick wouldn’t. Would Cheerios be better if General Mills made them?

It’s not as if Activision Blizzard is on a moonward trajectory at the moment.

The amount of PC gaming’s legacy and game development power that Microsoft now owns does present some concerns. There is a danger that decisions from the top of Microsoft will now be so overrepresented in PC gaming that they push it in directions we won’t necessarily like, subtly homogenizing the whole scene. What kind of post-release monetization schemes will Microsoft prefer, for instance? Will it have a different attitude about WoW addons?

WoW Classic

From the outside, it seems like the biggest World of Warcraft commotion in recent years has had to do with WoW Classic, a celebration of the MMO’s past. (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Again, though, I don’t want to overreact. It’s not as if Activision Blizzard is on a moonward trajectory at the moment. I don’t think even World of Warcraft diehards would claim that it’s in the prime of its life, and Call of Duty’s big Warzone success was a second attempt (after Black Ops 4’s Blackout battle royale mode) to follow a trend someone else started years earlier. No one knows what the next big thing is, and up against competition like Riot, Epic, EA, newcomers such as Amazon, which now has its own MMO hit in New World, and the indie devs and modders who will continue coming up with wildly new and exciting concepts, Microsoft is going to have to manage its acquisition well for it to be worth the $69 billion it’s paying.

Source link

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply
      Reset Password
      Compare items
      • Total (0)
      Shopping cart