Having grown up on Gaming and grown out of it sometime around 2014. Microsoft’s recent series of acquisitions hit quite close to home so thought I would do a write-up on it.
The major reason for getting disillusioned with the industry was not one of the usually cited reasons that Gaming is a time-sink, or a form of escapism, or low hanging dopamine. That is all present in a hundred other things as well.What it actually was, is that Gaming had over the years turned from something created as a labour of love, to a penny pinching, cash-grabbing, playing it safe industry.
Just like movies, tv shows and other forms of entertainment. Gaming had become a corporate sport, which focused on the lowest common denominator and optimised for that. The final nail in the coffin being the rise of mobile games, which set the benchmark so low, there was no going back ever again. (End of Rant.)
Gaming since has done insanely well as an industry. It is larger than all forms of entertainment industries combined. It can call upon the entire human population as its user base thus the room to grow is still very large in size.
Some Facts behind the deal:
The $200+ billion gaming industry is the largest and fastest-growing form of entertainment.
In 2021 alone, the total number of video game releases was up 64% compared to 2020 and 51% of players in the U.S. reported spending more than 7 hours per week playing across console, PC and mobile.
~3 billion people globally play video games today on one of the various platforms, which is expected to grow to 4.5 billion by 2030.
Microsoft will acquire Activision Blizzard for $95.00 per share, in an all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 billion, inclusive of Activision Blizzard’s net cash.
When the transaction closes, Microsoft will become the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.
Previously Microsoft acquired ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion in cash through which it ended up the Elder Scrolls, Fallout and other big revenue generating IPs and of course Minecraft in 2014’s blockbuster deal of $2.5 Billion, which has paid many times over since.
Here is the list of every single Gaming Studio Microsoft now either directly or indirectly owns : Every game and studio Microsoft now owns | PC Gamer
Microsoft’s deal with Activision could raise eyebrows over anti-competitive fears. How that will play out is yet to unfold. So far, no one has attempted to build a monopoly in gaming by throwing money to buy out rivals so this is new even for regulators.
Preparation for Metaverse ?
Well, why even say anything about now when “Non-Metaverse Gaming”, whatever that means, is already such a productive cashcow. But yes, if it came to that, Microsoft would find itself with something of a first mover advantage. Personally I don’t think the tech is ready or accessible for the visions of the meta-versa. This idea has been done to death in sci-fi since the beginning of the genre, and yet all we have to show for it in 2022, is wearing a bulky box around and do everything you can do on a screen with extra steps. But yeah, come 2040 or something we can finally have ourselves ultimate escapism. The joys of forgetting that life is hard and requires effort while talking to strangers about who has more memecoins. Works.