Microsoft’s $70 billion acquisition of a gaming giant might become a bigger disaster than Nokia

Microsoft just landed a bombshell when it announced its plans to buy Activision Blizzard for approximately $70 billion. And I’m terrified of what this means for the industry as a whole.

Early on, we witnessed Microsoft working up to these large-scale deals by purchasing small, independent studios, followed by the enormous Bethesda acquisition that was completed last year. I had hoped that would be the last time I bought that scale for Xbox, but I was greatly mistaken.

Purchasing Bethesda felt like stepping over a boundary. Xbox already had approximately 20 studios under its belt, so adding a complete publisher seemed like a last-ditch effort to add exclusives and valuable IPs to its portfolio.

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It made me skeptical that Microsoft was attempting to buy success for this generation of consoles, but the most recent acquisition is truly terrifying for everyone, not just Xbox.

Watch out Disney

The company’s ambiguous messaging on exclusives led to a lot of misunderstanding, anger, and concern. This time around, Microsoft will be very clear about the exclusivity of all the additional franchises it recently acquired for more than a billion dollars.

Sony has made a few acquisitions, but nothing of this size. Microsoft, Tencent, and Embracer have been scooping up these studios like the last few slices of pizza left in the box. It’s getting closer to a world where independent publishers are becoming less common.

The problem with all this concentration is that it creates barriers – especially when it comes to access to some of the world’s most popular films and TV shows. As IPs adapted to Disney criteria, the only way to access them came via the Disney+ app – and much of its content began to seem the same.

It’s disgusting that Xbox has the ability to build a possible monopoly by acquiring studios and games from its competitors. That is capitalism at its most heinous.