Microsoft defends its acquisition of Activision Blizzard by claiming that none of the studio’s games is a “must-have” experience in the gaming industry.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard may finally be over. However, before the deal is closed, all competent authorities still have to sign off. With such a large and complex acquisition, there are quite a few complications that the software giant’s lawyers have to untangle.
In its latest attempt to defend its acquisition of Activision Blizzard from detractors, Microsoft has said that the publisher’s library of Call of Duty, Diablo, World of Warcraft and various other intellectual properties don’t actually have must-buy games. This information comes from Microsoft’s letter to the New Zealand Trade Commission as justification for the acquisition as a whole.
From the beginning, there was no shortage of criticism and scepticism surrounding Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. In fact, Blizzard shareholders have sued Microsoft to try to block the deal, although that doesn’t seem to have led to anything so far. With regard to the NZCC, the main concern appears to be whether the acquisition constitutes a breach of the antitrust laws, and much of Microsoft’s argument is based on rebutting this proposition.
In addition to the fact that Activision Blizzard games are optional titles, Microsoft also pointed out that it would continue to offer the affected titles on many platforms. Interestingly, the document also mentions that AAA-class capital is not required to produce a desirable, well-performing video game, the prime example of which is low-budget mobile games that eventually go viral. In general, the document appears to be aimed at addressing criticisms such as the US senators’ letter of concern regarding Activision Blizzard and the deal’s closing.
Of course, it’s worth noting that Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is under investigation for insider trading, and the US Federal Trade Commission doesn’t seem too happy about the close to $70 billion deal. Broadly speaking, it appears that almost all relevant authorities are critical of Microsoft’s approach to the matter at hand because of the sheer size of the deal.
While Activision Blizzard’s acquisition price has certainly skyrocketed, Microsoft could stand to benefit immensely if the deal goes through. Diablo Immortal, for example, earned more than $100 million in eight weeks on mobile platforms alone. Adding Call of Duty, Candy Crush and other highly rated Activision Blizzard properties would effectively make Microsoft one of the most comprehensive gaming companies in the world, a daunting prospect for some.