Phil Spencer claims the Activision Blizzard deal has motivations beyond power
A lot of folks are still processing Microsoft’s industry-shattering move to acquire Activision Blizzard for a whopping $68.7 billion in a landmark deal, though many are also concerned that this might constitute a trend of consolidation that’ll tighten the control of bigger companies over the games industry. According to Xbox boss Phil Spencer, that’s hardly how the software company sees these matters.
It all started when both Sony and Microsoft started to acquire gaming studios to set the stage for competition in the ninth generation. Those deals generally boded well for the developers themselves, but when Microsoft surprised everyone by buying out Zenimax (parent company of Bethesda Softworks) for $7.5 billion, the green team sent a message to the market: No company is quite out of our reach.
Now, one doesn’t need to look any further than the recent $68.7 billion deal to realize this statement is true, but Spencer is saying that for Microsoft, the process is much more delicate than an aggressive takeover as a power move.
“That’s something well beyond anything I’ve ever done. I don’t know that I’m equipped to do it, and the responsibility for that definitely hits home,” Spencer told Axios in a recent interview. He further added:
“I do not feel like we’re in a position, assuming this deal gets closed, to start to uniquely, on our own, shape policies around video games. I want to stand for things that make teams better and people feel safe. I think we’ve been public about those things, but I would push back that we’re in some kind of hyper power position that is unfettered. I don’t believe that.”
Spencer isn’t exactly reassuring us that the company will stop buying large studios now, but being a veteran of the gaming industry, at least they know what they’re doing – as opposed to other conglomerates who have been trying to pry their way into the market to no avail.