Blizzard is Dead – Microsoft to Acquire ActivisionThe Dark Herald
That’s it for Blizzard. Microsoft is buying out Activision/Blizzard for damn near $70 billion. This isn’t that much of a surprise. Blizzard is in such bad shape that a buyout was the only way out. (don’t click on the link, it’s from The Verge.)
Microsoft is acquiring Activision, the troubled publisher of Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Diablo. The deal will value Activision at $68.7 billion, far in excess of the $26 billion Microsoft paid to acquire LinkedIn in 2016. It’s Microsoft’s biggest push into gaming, and the company says it will be the “third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony” once the deal closes.
Microsoft plans to add many of Activision’s games to Xbox Game Pass once the deal closes. With the acquisition of Activision, Microsoft will soon publish franchises like Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty, and Candy Crush. ‘Upon close, we will offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard’s incredible catalog,” says Microsoft’s CEO of gaming Phil Spencer.’
‘We’re investing deeply in world-class content, community and the cloud to usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first and makes gaming safe, inclusive and accessible to all,’ says Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.”
Yeah, Microsoft is going all-in on the Woke. They intend to control all access to include universal block lists of players guilty of wrong think. They have said as much. And they are working towards it. It was Phil Spencer who explicitly said Xbox “is not a free speech platform.” Points for honesty I guess.
Activision/Blizzard was definitely vulnerable to a buyout. In truth, it was their only way out of the mess they had gotten themselves into. The only question was, who was going to buy the company? And now we know.
The big issue is that replacing bro-culture with Woke-culture isn’t going to fix any of Blizzard’s fundamental issues. Blizzard did nothing to look after the communities that had been built up around their games. Rather than try to keep the faithful playing WOW/Overwatch/Starcraft, the attitude clearly became, so what if the old players leave? We’ll just lower prices and bring in a fresh crop of new ones, just like our MBA textbooks tell us to do. The few noobs that showed up didn’t stick around. Only 5% of players in the Korean PC Bangs are playing Overwatch and that is currently the highest of any of the Blizzard games in those venues. The rest of their games are well below Overwatch. Compare that with League of Legends that was at 50% last time I checked.
Blizzard’s worries have nothing to do with an inability to throw cash at a problem. The real issue is that Blizzard has such a bad reputation with everyone at this point that people have stopped playing their games on general principle.
People used to like Blizzard because it was the company run by gamers for gamers. Then it became a business run by MBAs for themselves. Now it’s going to be a globalist conglomerate run by the Woke for the Woke.
Microsoft is getting a bunch of titles but they are getting a bunch more problems. And these are problems that they are culturally unable to address.
Except for one thing. Look for the Blizzard nameplate to be quietly put to death in the next three years.