Microsoft has once again said it is confident that the acquisition of Activision can be completed by June, however the verdicts that will arrive from various regulatory bodies such as the CMA and the European Commission are still all to be verified, while the FTC has already openly sided for the business interruption.
According to Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision-Blizzard, the various antitrusts who are considering the negotiation they don’t know enough about the gaming market and its evolution in recent years, which has led it to give more and more space to mobile productions. Although PlayStation and Call of Duty have often been discussed, Kotick explains that the negotiation has the primary objective of expanding into the mobile field, as Phil Spencer had previously stated.
“Over the past 10 years, the business has evolved to move primarily to smartphones, which are much more accessible,” Kotick told CNBC. “So I think people will continue to play, mostly free games, and the question is how much premium content they will consume, and I don’t think they really get it“.
Kotick said he believes regulators reviewing the deal have failed to pinpoint the issue and are somewhat “confused” about who is competing with whom in the gaming business: “Whether it’s the FTC or of the CMA or ofUE, they don’t know our industry, so they’re trying to catch up and understand it better. I don’t think they fully appreciate the fact that it’s a business free-to-playthat the Japanese and Chinese companies dominate the sector. You look at Sony, you look at Nintendo, they have these huge intellectual property libraries. Sony studios go back 80 years, Nintendo has the best characters that exist in video games. The best companies in the world right now are companies like Tencent and ByteDance, and they all have protected markets. We’ve been struggling to enter the Japanese market, we can’t enter the Chinese market without a joint venture partner, so the competition is not really between European companies, American companies, it’s really about those companies in Japan and China.”
Jeremy Hunt, the UK’s chancellor of the exchequer, recently said he wants to turn the country into the “new Silicon Valley of the worldbut blocking the deal could have the opposite effect, Kotick said: “If you’re in the UK and you have an incredibly educated workforce, lots of technical talent, places like Cambridge where the best AI and machines are learning, I think you will accept a transaction like this where everyone will see the creation of jobs and opportunities. And actually there is no mention of the Sony or Microsoft platform, it really is about the future of technology. If deals like this can’t go through, they won’t be Silicon Valley, they’ll end up being Death Valley.”
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