S3E1: Microsoft Set to Acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 Billion

Daygon07 

What’s up game geeks and tech junkies. Welcome to A Gaming Moment, a weekly podcast about everything gaming and streaming related, including the news, tech, and software behind it. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram so you can engage with us as well as find out when we’re streaming the podcast and get a first listen before it goes out across all of your favorite podcasting platforms. I’m Daygon07 and with me as always, WildTwinsFan. What’s going on Wildy? It’s been a It’s been a minute…

WildTwinsFan 

Yep, yep, excited and we had to just jump into it today because there’s some big news came out and we got to be in on that. So we were going to cap it off this week anyways. But here we are tonight, and we’ve got to talk about a huge story with Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard King games.

Daygon07 

Yeah, this is big man. They’re set to acquire Activision Blizzard for basically 95 dollars a share which is valued at a grand total of 68.7 billion dollars. Which once this is all said and done, will make Microsoft become the world’s third largest gaming company by revenue only behind Tencent and Sony. So, the planned acquisition includes franchises from Activision, Blizzard and King’s Studios, like Wildy said, so basically Microsoft’s gonna own Warcraft, World of Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty and Candy Crush. That’s just to name a few. There are so many more classic Activision titles like Crash Bandicoot Spyro, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and then other Blizzard titles like Starcraft, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm.  Some of the lesser-known stuff, but the diehard Blizzard, the diehard World of Warcraft people, the diehard Warcraft people know these types of games and man, I don’t know what this is, like I said, this is huge

WildTwinsFan 

Yeah, I mean now Microsoft’s moving in now to third largest gaming company and by revenue. With Tencent, I think Tencent is probably the leaders I don’t know the market share at the moment.

Daygon07 

Yeah, I think they’re the leaders because of all the mobile games and all the micro transactions that they have through that mobile game.

WildTwinsFan 

They kind of got their fingers in every little piece of every little thing, you know. And then Sony, obviously so I think it’s a good move. I’m excited for this. We’ve talked about in earlier episodes of you know that Microsoft was growing their gaming division and we talked about the previous acquisitions. Not super surprising, but this is still pretty surprising because that’s a big big company for them to take.

Daygon07 

It’s a big chunk of change too.

WildTwinsFan 

Big chunk of change, so they think they’re going to make some money on this and one of the talking points I had seen I’m talking about a little bit is just that mobile element and we’ve talked about Xbox and Microsoft has always been kind of weak on phone games and their store and stuff like that.  I think they’re buying the presence. They’re buying King games and that’s a big big developer, and I believe that they are actually the most profitable division of this acquisition because you got everyone that’s got a phone and everyone that can do microtransactions and not everyone’s got a console. Not everyone can still get a console. We’re still talking about that in season 3 about people not being able to get a console, so it is what it is. But people got phones and I think that access is those microtransactions. Those watch an ad for something to give some microtransactions and stuff like that. There’s a lot of money in those scraps. If you can get daily, people engaged and people spending little bits daily. It’s a massive cash cow.

Daygon07 

It’ll add up quickly. What I’m hoping is that they listen to like a lot of the console and even PC gamers. You know, since Activision owns a lot of rights to Call of Duty, maybe we’ll see Call of Duty end up on the Xbox cloud. So that way you know we’re not having to install 120 – 130 gig games on our devices. whether it’s a console or PC. And then you know I know for PC when we have to update it takes up like 60 to 70 additional gigs when the update happens and then it kind of clears it up after the update. But you know you still need you still need quite a bit of real estate on a hard drive just to update the game, so I’m hoping they move a lot of this to the Xbox cloud to where we don’t have to install the games anymore. Hopefully, they’re thinking about that throughout this acquisition.

WildTwinsFan 

Yeah, it’d be interesting to see where they go with that. I mean the Xbox Cloud’s pretty neat already. We were on tonight playing Golf with Friends, and a couple of people that didn’t even have the game but they had the Xbox ultimate pass and they’re able to just go cloud play the game. Didn’t have to worry about downloading it or any of that stuff. And you know it’s not really that fast pace of game right now. They were able to just log in and join our friends that had the games installed on our hard drives and play with them.

Daygon07 

It’ll allow people that have like you know potato computers to run these games at decent settings and whatnot, and it could only benefit them. And you know we might see a bigger adoption of CoD. There’s a lot of people bailing out on CoD because of everything, but you know, I think the biggest reason why Microsoft is purchasing Activision Blizzard is because of the issues that the company has been having lately with what is it? Sexual misconduct, allegations, and all that other stuff like it’s not necessarily what’s going on in the gaming world. It’s actually like just what’s going on within the company that’s causing a lot of turmoil within the company. And now you know, I think Microsoft’s coming in and trying to, you know, basically buying it for pennies on the dollar you know we’re talking about like less than 10 dollars a share. I don’t know what Microsoft. What Activision stock prices right now. Let me let me pull it up really quick.

WildTwinsFan 

I got Microsoft’s way up today. Microsoft jumped like 25 percent, but you talk about all the controversy, but you got Bobby who’s in that. He’s in charge of Activision and he’s going to continue his role and he’s been right in the thick of a named person. That’s been allegations or you know allegations have been lodged against, so I don’t know if we’re going to see any real changing in the guards, but I think Microsoft has a stronger ethic, corporate ethic. You know they’re not going to tolerate shenanigans, and I don’t think they will hesitate to wield a little bit of power if need be, so it’ll be interesting to see if Bobby how long he holds off or if he does hold off or whatever, but they’re saying with the power that he wields that there’s no way he didn’t sign off on this deal. He’s not signing off on his meal ticket, you know he’s deeply involved. I think they’re going to cash him out, probably here at some point. Which probably you know how it’s going to go anyways. 

Daygon07 

I was just about to say that you know they’ll probably give him some sort of severance incentive package to step down from his position and resign from the company that way. Microsoft’s kind of notorious for those type of things, but I do anticipate a changing of the guard, at least within the year after the transition period. They definitely need to get the bad apples out and hopefully we’ll see a better product an end product from Activision Blizzard, you know. Hopefully, the Call of Duty games, you know we’re CoD fans. Hopefully the Call of Duty games will be better. Maybe they’ll help work on the cheating issues and the hacking issues and just the overall quality of the game. I mean, I know, since the new warzone map has come out, there’s been a lot of issues here and there, and you know I think they’ve kind of taken care of a lot of them over the past few weeks, but you know there still are issues there.

WildTwinsFan 

I think we saw some cleaning house there too, on the Activision side where they’re kind of thinning the herd already. with with developers and stuff, and that kind of makes sense with the writing on the wall for for this acquisition and stuff like that. But overall, I think you’re going to still have Ethel Spencer up on top of all these in Phil. He’s proven to be a standup guy, a gamer, a man of his word. I don’t know anything ever bad set about Phil Spencer. He seems like a good guy and everything since he’s stepped in in the gaming world, you can tell he’s made everything better and he’s an ambassador is the leadership that the gaming needed so I’ll be interested to see what what Phil can kind of do, or what power he can wield to make these companies better or profitable or stronger.

Daygon07 

On top of all this, you know there’s some interesting dynamics here with some of the games, right? I don’t know if many of you guys know, but what was it? 4, 4, 3, or 4, 5 years ago Call Of Duty had an agreement with with Microsoft with Xbox to release like new maps and stuff, like a month early before it came out to PC and Playstation. And then right around that time period that I just just stated, like what was it? 3 or 5 years ago they switched it over to Playstation now. Is that going to change? And then, you know, are we going to see games like Crash Bandicoot and Spyro? Those are Playstation only games. Are we going to see Xbox versions of those games are we going to see  join the classic list where like Banjo and Kazooie are on the Xbox game pass? There’s you know, are they going to bring these classic games over to Xbox and then are we going to see like a new guitar hero game? We might actually see Spider Man, depending on how Sony… Sony I think still own spider man most of the rights to Spider Man, so I don’t know if we’re going to see a spider man game for Xbox now.

WildTwinsFan 

I mean, I think the one thing I think going on is you know I don’t know what we don’t know what contracts they got behind the scenes I can expect to see Microsoft or Xbox come into the competitive scene because right now competitive games are played on him on PS4 PS5, so I expect that to switch over to the Microsoft world that’s going to carry a little bit of weight.  It’s gonna hurt Sony a bit to the kind you know Microsoft was the better 360, the PS2 version. The PS3 was better than the Xbox One, and now you see the Xbox carrying that that power again and they’re not sitting back. They want to be the top dog. They want to be the console in your house and they’re spending money and they’re acquiring like we’ve been talking about from the history of this podcast that Microsoft is going to take that stuff. So, they’re going to be able to wield a lot of influence with gamers and such, so…

Daygon07 

Like you said they’re not afraid to spend. I mean they did go out and buy Mixer, you know or Beam.io what what it was called before it was Mixer and then went out and spent the money to get like Ninja and Shroud over to the platform. And then of course you know they kind of did a set it and forget it kind of thing with mixer and it kind of failed on them. So, they had to drop that project and you know, hopefully we won’t see the end of you know a lot of these Activision and Blizzard titles that hopefully they don’t go the way of Mixer and I don’t think they will because there’s too much of a following for games like World of Warcraft like they’re going to make a ton of money off World Warcraft. Let’s just put that out there right now. You know you have I don’t know how many people paying 15 dollars a month just to play this game, and then you know all of the micro transactions from CoD and Destiny for skins and weapon skins and stuff like that. So, I mean I think they really did kind of buy a cash cow, and I think all they’re going to need is the right leadership to write the ship on this and you know they’re going to sit back, laugh all the way to the bank and the other thing like you said when it comes to the competitive scene is Activision was huge in the eSports market. Right, so they own a lot of a lot of sports rights and a lot of tournament rights.

WildTwinsFan 

The Overwatch league’s huge, you know. It’s not as probably as big here in the states, right? But it’s big worldwide. You know, and so it’s like you know, I think people take a little bit of that stuff less serious, but that’s a big series that suffered a lot of fallout from the accusations and stuff, and I think Microsoft’s got got the right attitude and the right persona whatever, to right the wrongs hopefully. To conduct business appropriately, to gain a little bit of that momentum back to get those sponsors back.

Daygon07 

And yeah, there’s going to be a lot of mending that they’re going to have to do. I think they understand that, and you know it just comes with the territory. And to have a name like Microsoft to reach out to these sponsors. I don’t think it’s going to be any problem at all for them to get that clout back and everything that they need. I think for us gamers, especially like us, PC gamers one of the things that I’ve been thinking about is will the battle net app go away and lieu the Xbox app. Are they going to integrate all of these games into the Xbox app? Which I would like because that’s one less app I have to have on my computer to launch a game. I think there needs to be some unity between a lot of these apps and developers and stuff.

WildTwinsFan 

That’ll be a big changing of the tide too, right? Because Microsoft again, they flounder with their stores. They flounder with their stores everywhere. If they do converge those two together, you’re gonna have more people that are going to be buying games on platform, right? They’re kind of setting themselves up to kind of start to, maybe you know, get a little piece of Steam, little piece of Epic, GLG. I don’t think they’re going to get a piece of them, but you know there’s other launchers out there, you know they’re already kind of in bed with EA  too.

Daygon07 

Yeah, you still have to use to use the launcher to launch some of the EA games. It’s kind of a pain in the ass at the end of the day, but you know they’ll eventually get that squared away. I think the Xbox app in general with game pass Ultimate and stuff is still pretty new. They’re still trying to iron out some bugs. Maybe they’ll get those ironed out before they try to take on merging battle net and the Xbox app. You know when they do when they do, I think it’ll be good, but I think it’s going to be at least a couple of years before they do that. But the thing is, you know, just get it done eventually. Just you know the the gamers hate having 6 or 7 different launchers because they want to play different games like I hate having the epic store launcher and I hate having the soft launcher and you know the Steam launcher and Xbox launcher. And you know this launcher and that launcher and it’s a pain. It’s a pain…

WildTwinsFan 

It’ll be interesting, you know. When they get this, I think cross platform is getting stronger. All the time too, so there’s always that communication piece when I’m playing with my CoD friends. Are we talking in game or are we in the Xbox app? The Xbox app. Part of me that doesn’t want to like it, but there’s a part of me that respects it because it works really good and you’re able to sort your inputs and outputs. You’re able to individually mix them. It’s well done.

Daygon07 

There’s a lot of beauty in it.

WildTwinsFan 

It’s not so far off from actual Discord in a lot of ways. If you can get that with, you know, I think this you know, I think really the mobile piece is going to be really interesting to see because I think that’s a lot of what they bought here too was that mobile market and the CoD mobile market. CoD Mobile’s big and there’s a lot of people playing that too. So yeah…

Daygon07 

Just like PUBG mobile. It’s like when it comes to Fps or third person shooters on mobile, it’s really those two games, but when it comes to like other games like it’s candy crush, like when you’re when you’re thinking about mobile games, it’s candy crush or cod, mobile or PUBG  mobile, or if you watch a lot of YouTube, there’s a lot of youtubers, you know. I forget I forget the one that the boys do all the time like that they’re always plugging? Shadow Raid Legends. I could see Microsoft partnering up with like a company like razor to get into like the mobile gaming space like Razor has a legit mobile phone like gaming mobile phone, and we know how the Microsoft phones went like you don’t You don’t really see them anymore. I don’t even know if they’re really a thing

WildTwinsFan 

They’re not. They’ve adopted android and then they kind of skin it Microsoft style.

Daygon07 

So, I mean maybe they get back in the mobile phone market. Maybe they don’t. I think they need to get into the mobile gaming market and like I said, partner with somebody like Razor who’s already making a really good gaming mobile phone, mobile device. And really try to push it mainstream, but you know you have your housewives and stuff that are still playing candy crush while sitting on the toilet so you can still go out with those people.

WildTwinsFan 

Played a little candy crush my day…

Daygon07 

On the toilet.

WildTwinsFan 

Yeah…

Daygon07 

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WildTwinsFan 

So, hey guys, we also like to really engage the community, and this is a pretty hot topic and go-ahead guys and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and tweet us and message us. And what’s your take on this story? Is this going to be good? Is this going to be bad here? Where’s the problem for you? I’ve seen a mix of reactions from people. A lot of people are just not big Microsoft fans and I get it I’ve always said I prefer Microsoft over Sony because I’ve always said they are inherently less evil. Lesser evil… Yeah, so it’s just one of those things, but reach out to us. Let’s talk about it and where the problems going to be. I’d like to hear some more some more points on this, and this is going to be a big topic for a while a while. Activision’s been a polarizing group here for a while now with with CoD and some of the allegations and Overwatch and and stuff like that.

Daygon07 

Yeah, you know personally. I’m just kind of at the sit and wait position. I mean, we haven’t really seen much come from the Bethesda acquisition that happened not too long ago. You know we haven’t seen any like “Oh, this is Xbox exclusive content or Oh we’re releasing Xbox exclusive Dlc or Microsoft exclusive Dlc.” So, you know, for all we know this could just run like business as usual. They’re really just coming in to clean up from the top down and try to write the ship from all these allegations and everything.

WildTwinsFan 

I think they’re just coming in to line their pockets. They’re going to put a little polish on it. But I don’t think their intent is to really mix too much stuff up with these

Daygon07 

They’ve been working right?

WildTwinsFan 

They’re working. They’re making cash fat cash. The investors like it people wouldn’t be buying Microsoft stock if they didn’t believe in this. I think it’s going to be a good thing, so I’m excited for it.

Daygon07 

Yeah, I’m super stoked. Like I said, as long as they do, as long as they don’t change much like give us better support CoD. When we have issues like a little bit more responsive on the cheating or the hacking accusations. And you know a review system. Maybe do something like PUBG does where you have a peer review system where you can have a group of people go in and review the footage and stuff that people submit and then submit a vote, and then after you know so many votes, you know that account gets temporarily banned or permanently banned, depending on how egregious the accusation is. I think that’s I think that’s the best way to go about it. And hopefully, you know Microsoft will listen to the community when they make recommendations. Now I know there’s some crazy recommendations out there, but for the most part we as a community… We know what we want out of a game, and you know we’re telling these developers what we want out of a game. And Microsoft usually does a pretty good job at listening to their user base. At least you know, when it comes to the window side and the office 365 kind of things and you know they’ve done a really good job. These games are now going to have the ability to be on the Azure platform to have a stable cloud system or a stable storage system.

WildTwinsFan 

I mean, there you go, Microsoft’s cloud and their Xbox live and stuff has been the best system really out there and stuff like that. There’s a good backbone there. CoD struggled a couple of times, struggled in start the app. The excuse me Cod struggled in the start of the pandemic with just overall sheer flow of gamers. I remember queuing up for games for 15 — 20 minutes to play CoD. And even the Xbox was some of that stuff too. So yeah, this’ll be good.

Daygon07 

And you know they still do the games with gold stuff, so maybe we’ll start seeing some of the old CoD games come out on games for gold. You know God bring back modern warfare. Just let me play modern warfare, two again and I’d be so happy. I sold the disks. I’m not too happy about that, but I don’t have just let me play it. That’s all I want. Just bring it back. Bring it back and they might sink money in because they know people want people want these, they want modern warfare 2 remastered. They haven’t done a modern warfare two remastered. I don’t think like they did with…

WildTwinsFan 

I think it’s coming I think there’s some strong rumors saying that there’s going to be a modern warfare two to follow up this next season here and that’ll be good because modern warfare, modern warfare, the current modern warfare best CoD yet.

Daygon07  It was good. The storyline was good, just yeah, because well for me because it built on the storyline of modern warfare one, the OG modern warfare, Modern warfare two like it had. Well, it didn’t build on it. It was the prequel to all of that, but you know it built on that entire story. It gave us more more juice to the story, and as a person who enjoys a good story out of a game That’s what I really enjoyed out of it. That’s the reason why I played grand theft auto was for the story. The multiplayer online mode it’s cool, but the story mode, like being in depth with those characters and doing the missions with those characters and everything. That’s what I enjoyed. But that’s gonna be it for this episode guys. Let us know on social your thoughts on what you think is going to happen now that Microsoft is going to own the Activision Blizzard. Next week we’ll get back to our regular format starting off by talking about our favorite game PUBG, and how going free to play has changed the dynamics of the game or has it? And thank you guys for listening in consider our patreon to support the podcast and also by going to merch.agamingmoment.com and picking up some really really cool gear that we have and be sure to subscribe to us on your favorite podcasting platform and as always, be sure to leave us a 5 star review of the podcast and check back weekly for the next episode. And until next time, guys keep grinding