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Game-Changing Microsoft-Activision Merger: How Will It Revolutionize the Gaming Industry?

Game-Changing Microsoft-Activision Merger: How Will It Revolutionize the Gaming Industry?

The recent deal between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard has raised questions about the future of gaming, particularly regarding the popular franchise Call of Duty. Sony fans will be relieved to know that it will be 2038 before the game could potentially become an Xbox exclusive. This is because Ubisoft has secured “cloud gaming” rights for all Activision Blizzard games, past and future, for the next 15 years. Cloud gaming allows people to stream games over the internet, similar to a “Netflix for games” service. Currently, subscription services like Ubisoft+, PlayStation Plus, and Xbox Game Pass dominate the gaming market.

In a recent announcement, Activision Blizzard stated that it expects to add its titles to Xbox Game Pass starting next year. This means that the new Call of Duty game, among others, could be playable on Xbox from its release date. Previously, Sony had exclusive access to Call of Duty, including early access, testing, and bonus features. However, with this deal, Microsoft has the potential to make blockbuster games available on Game Pass on the first day of release. Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda, the developer of Starfield, also exemplifies their strategy of making games exclusive to Xbox and PC.

Although games may still be available on PlayStation, Microsoft stands to benefit significantly from in-game purchases, or microtransactions. According to Statista, Activision Blizzard generated over $5.89 billion in 2022 from microtransactions, downloadable content, and royalties, surpassing the $1.6 billion from game sales. Sony typically receives a 30% cut from in-game purchases, meaning that purchases made in Call of Duty on PlayStation will now directly fund a rival.

Fan opinions on the deal vary. Some believe it will expand the gaming market and provide more funding for games, while others prioritize accessibility and simply want good games to be available to everyone. Ultimately, it is up to gamers to decide whether buying games or subscribing to services like Game Pass is a better deal for them.

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Akash Osta