Is Sony Obliged to Respond to Microsoft’s Staggering $69 Billion Acquisition of Activision Blizzard?
The video game industry is buzzing with speculation about whether Sony needs to react to Microsoft’s massive investment in its quest to catch up in the gaming market. In a major move, Microsoft has successfully acquired the company behind popular games like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush. Now, the focus is on integrating Activision Blizzard into the Microsoft ecosystem.
Although Xbox executives have stated that Activision Blizzard games won’t be available on platforms like Game Pass until next year, Microsoft’s position in the console war, which it openly admits to having lost, is expected to rise.
Every Video Game Franchise Xbox Owns After Acquiring Activision Blizzard
Despite the success of the PlayStation 5 and record-breaking sales of its first-party games, Sony cannot match Microsoft’s spending power for mergers and acquisitions. However, Sony has made significant investments in recent years, acquiring Destiny maker Bungie for $3.6 billion and Insomniac, the developer of Spider-Man 2, for what now seems like a bargain at $229 million.
Does Sony now need to respond to Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard with more acquisitions of its own? This is a question raised by CNBC to Eric Lempel, the head of Sony Interactive Entertainment. Lempel made it clear that PlayStation is still actively seeking partners to collaborate with, but not necessarily with the intention of acquiring them outright.
Lempel stated, “We have various approaches to this. Our focus is on great content. We have done more mergers and acquisitions in the past decade than ever before. We are always looking to collaborate with new partners, whether as external providers or by working with developers along the way and potentially acquiring them later.”
Lempel mentioned Insomniac as an example of this strategy. Sony initially partnered with Insomniac as a “second-party” studio before eventually acquiring it. In 2021, Sony acquired PC port specialist Nixxes, Housemarque (developer of Returnal), VR developer Firesprite, and Bluepoint Games (known for their remasters and remakes). Last year, Sony acquired Haven Studios, the developer of Fairgame$, and this year they acquired Firewalk Studios.
As the industry speculates on whether Sony will continue its spending spree, another question arises: Is Microsoft finished, or will other major video game companies be targeted next?