Many saw the power move made by Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda as the greatest of its kind in the gaming world. For better or worse is all dependent on your stance on console exclusive content. And while many saw this to be the last of Microsoft’s major conglomerate moves as far as expansion via acquisition… think again.
Xbox is about to add a whole new developer to the fold. One that is responsible for not only one of the greatest FPS franchises to date, but also one of the most prolific RPGs out there. Activision Blizzard.
That’s affirmative. Xbox has announced a deal to buy Activision Blizzard, the company behind Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and many other major gaming franchises. The price tag, as one would expect, is a sexy one. Well, one times $68 billion. All-cash acquisition, mind you. Quick maths.
Now with Xbox’s track record thus far with Bethesda, creating Xbox exclusives from games that was once promised to all gamers no matter the console or PC, it would not be a far stretch to see Xbox take a similar stance with the newly acquired Activision Blizzard publisher.
The question is, however, does Xbox allow its now most popular franchise under the Activision banner remains playable by all, or by Xbox gamers only post-acquisition. Or World Of Warcraft for that matter. Phil Spencer has always been quick to say the question of console exclusivity, and thus game supremacy, would be made on a case-by-case basis.
However, intuition tells me anything that garners cult followings and thus drives dollars, will be the main motivation behind decisions. As such a move to console exclusivity will ultimately be a mild annoyance to the most virtuous fans of high-earning franchises, and smaller outings will reach out to the wider eco-system of other gaming consoles to recoup.