So last week a thing happened where Microsoft sauntered down to a vending machine, rubbed its chin for a minute, popped in $69 billion in quarters, and punched up C10 — the code for Activision Blizzard.
We all witnessed one of the world’s largest software giants gobble up yet another (rather large in its own right) gaming firm, and now we’ve got Elder Scrolls, World of Warcraft, and Halo all under the same corporate umbrella. Everyone, of course, has Opinions, although mine will probably be less interesting than most.
Partially it’s because apart from the historical significance of this acquisition, there’s not a lot to make me care with this. I didn’t have any strong feelings, pro or con, in regards to Microsoft, and I don’t have any emotional investment in Blizzard these days. It’s certainly interesting to see that the huge scandal of last year may have well led up to this moment, and there are all sorts of hopes and dreams that it will improve the sinking prospects of many of Blizzard’s titles. Right the ship, clean house, start fresh, and all that.
Bobby Kotick, who I’m sure has a reptilian face under that creepy human facade, is most certainly out at the end of this deal, and nobody will shed a tear. Of course, he’ll make out like a bandit and doesn’t really care about your or my feelings on the matter, so again, it doesn’t really matter on our level. He needed to go anyway, and it will be interesting to see how Microsoft structures Activision Blizzard’s management in Kotick’s wake.
There are always other possibilities. Microsoft may push Blizzard to push out products and releases faster, or make WoW 2, or dump everything to focus on the mobile market. It may leave things be and let business go on as usual. Long gone are the days when Blizzard got to call its own shots, and so it must now dance for its many overlords.
So we’re left in a state of uncertainty in relation to Blizzard and its properties, and I can’t imagine that sits well with any current players and fans who have already endured a rather traumatic year of accusations, legal entanglements, and much delayed product rollouts.