Six studios defend the Activision Blizzard acquisition, does PlayStation stand alone?
The CMA has shared the views of several developers on this major industry purchase, who have released games on Xbox consoles and other platforms.
The UK Competition Commission has published the statements of six studios regarding Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard. All of them have agreed to defend the deal, which still needs to be approved by antitrust authorities in various countries.
4J Studios, the developer that brought Minecraft to consoles, had this to say: During that period, which lasted several years, Microsoft has honoured every element of the agreements that they inherited and also extended our relationship significantly to cover new formats, like Nintendo Switch, as well as many other content enhancements."
The second study, which remained anonymous, pointed out that consumers have different tastes and preferences in video games, genres, and platforms. "As such, we do not believe that any title can be considered a ‘must have’ in the interactive entertainment market. In the context of this dynamic, and considering Microsoft’s stated commitment to make certain games available on all platforms, we do not believe the proposed transaction will negatively impact consumers.”
What if it were acquired by Tencent?
The following developer is an indie studio that has worked with Sony, Microsoft, and Activision. In the words of its CEO, Microsoft has honored its agreements every time. If Microsoft is prevented from acquiring Activision, would the UK consumers be better served if they were acquired by Tencent instead?"
Another company, a triple-A developer that releases its games on all major consoles, admitted that it is difficult to predict the impact of the acquisition. However, they do not expect "any significant impact" on their business. “In particular, we do not expect the Merger to pose any risks to the distribution of our own games on Xbox or other consoles."
The fifth company markets multiplatform games. On PlayStation, they have found that their sales have stagnated with each release, believing that while Sony's consoles enjoy more players and consoles sold, titles from major publishers or companies that pay for space appear mostly on the PS Store. "On Xbox, the opposite has come true over the last several years. There are numerous means of players finding your game on Xbox, including in special sections on the store, and through the Xbox Game Pass service."
The company's verdict is as follows: "“The acquisition will not all of a sudden make Xbox the dominant platform.” For them, it may help balance the difference between Xbox and PlayStation, something they consider "necessary" because "PlayStation needs better competition."
The sixth and final study defended its view that the arguments against the acquisition were "slightly exaggerated". On the other hand, they have stressed that blocking the acquisition could prevent "real competition" or innovative and consumer-friendly initiatives. Regarding the sexual and labor abuse cases within Activision Blizzard, the company believes that joining Microsoft can improve the Call of Duty giant's corporate culture.
PlayStation has been adamantly against the deal. According to an Activision Blizzard employee, the Japanese do not want to sign a deal.
Source | VGC
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