When news broke this week of a $70 billion deal to acquire the company through Microsoft, folks had a ton of questions. One of the most common things asked revolved around exclusives. With Microsoft likely to push many of the classic Activision Blizzard games onto Game Pass and Xbox consoles, Sony might have been left behind.
We now have an answer to this from the company itself. The response comes from an employee Q&A filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In a question asking how the merger between Activision Blizzard and Microsoft will impact existing partner agreements, the company stated, “We will honor all existing commitments post close. As with Microsoft’s acquisition of Minecraft, we have no intent to remove any content from platforms where it exists today.”
Microsoft took a similar approach in its acquisition of Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax last year. While games such as Dishonored have remained on PlayStation’s digital stores and are still available for purchase, the franchise has been a big feature of Xbox and PC Game Pass. With all of the new IPs that Microsoft just acquired, it’s a big deal that these franchises could make a comeback. Although the Redmond firm has yet to unveil which Activision Blizzard IPs will make the switch, it’s likely that some game franchises will end up on Game Pass.
Activision’s hugely lucrative Call of Duty franchise is one that has a bit of an uncertain future. This shooter franchise has been a huge force in AAA gaming, and it’s not going anywhere.
Other Blizzard franchises like Diablo will also likely change in a certain way in the future. While it’s unlikely that Sony will lose out on all of the major releases, some games could be pushed onto Xbox and PC in Microsoft’s effort to recoup that $70 billion price tag. We will have to wait and see what that means in the future. But for one thing, Sony has already felt a bit of a sting.
w Sony stock fell by $20 billion dollars in the days following the announcement, signaling investor nervousness over the future of these franchises as it relates to PlayStation.
The company did announce some bad news though, depending on who you ask. Despite the public and investor pressure, Bobby Kotick remains as CEO, reporting to Phil Spencer instead. And all of this came after the mass reprisal and walkouts that the company has become rather infamous for.