Author Topic: Microsoft Enters Into Agreement To Acquire Activision Blizzard For US$68.7bn  (Read 2482 times)

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Offline ThePerm

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probably could just play it on your PC. Don't need an xbox. I bet the next xbox will have expandable ram and hard drive capability.

They should seriously just call the next Xbox "Xbox 6" because just skip a number.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2022, 11:43:32 PM by ThePerm »
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Offline Adrock

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More indifferent than sad.

I’m curious about the impact of acquisition. Does it necessarily help Microsoft, hurt Sony, or not move the needle much in either direction? Yesterday, Phil Spencer tweeted Microsoft’s intent to “honor all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard and our desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation.” Even if that wasn’t case, I wonder how many current and assumed future PlayStation owners would be driven to Xbox/PC. All their friends, all their past gaming purchases are on the PlayStation ecosystem. That’s hard to give up.

Offline ThePerm

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I don't think Microsoft is buying all these franchises to make them hardware exclusive eventually. I don't think Microsoft fundamentally believes in hardware exclusivity. They do believe in Platform exclusivity. And the plan is that Xbox platform is going to be on all hardware in the future. Like Windows. Banjo Kazooie is coming out on Switch today.

As far as changes go. 2 things. 1. A lot of the type of games they absorbed is already the type of game they make. 2. They pretty much bought all the old PC game companies.

One thing I have to say is Microsoft pissed away Rare since they bought Rare in 2002. So, that sucked. But, maybe there will be some crossover between Spyro, Crash, and Banjo Kazooie. Maybe they learned some lessons. But I guess we wont know until Fallout 5 and the next Elder Scrolls comes out.
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Offline broodwars

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I don't think Microsoft is buying all these franchises to make them hardware exclusive eventually. I don't think Microsoft fundamentally believes in hardware exclusivity. They do believe in Platform exclusivity. And the plan is that Xbox platform is going to be on all hardware in the future. Like Windows.

Bullshit. All the Bethesda stuff is Microsoft exclusive now, and funny how Microsoft waited to announce that till after the sale got approved by all the regulatory bodies. Phil's pulling the same trick with Activision Blizzard, saying "Oh we'll honor all existing contracts and of COURSE we'll still support PlayStation". He HAS to say that right now because if he doesn't, Microsoft could be looking at anti-trust suits. The moment this sale gets approved, watch him change his tune.
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Offline Adrock

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Bullshit. All the Bethesda stuff is Microsoft exclusive now, and funny how Microsoft waited to announce that till after the sale got approved by all the regulatory bodies. Phil's pulling the same trick with Activision Blizzard, saying "Oh we'll honor all existing contracts and of COURSE we'll still support PlayStation". He HAS to say that right now because if he doesn't, Microsoft could be looking at anti-trust suits. The moment this sale gets approved, watch him change his tune.
You’re not necessarily wrong as I’m sure that’s the intention. Probably more procedural than anything. I have far less faith in this country’s ability and desire to regulate anything other than women’s bodies. This is the same country that after a bunch of grade schoolers got shot, decided to cater to and baby gun owners and manufacturers. Sure, why not?

More relevantly, if the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice were actually going to do their jobs and review any antitrust anything, Amazon never would have gotten so big, Google/Alphabet never would have gotten so big, Facebook/Meta (straight up stealing an existing company’s name) never would have gotten so big etc. etc. For every one time it blocks mergers like Staples/Office Depot, it lets 47272664 through such as Office Depot/OfficeMax like three years prior. Over 20 years ago, a court ordered Microsoft to be split into two entities. Microsoft appealed and the DOJ was like 🤷‍♀️

I wonder how many people are aware of all the IRL Bond villain **** Nestlé has pulled for decades. This government’s response has been “Abortions for some; miniature American flags for others!”
« Last Edit: January 21, 2022, 01:45:43 PM by Adrock »

Offline Ian Sane

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I wonder if people have gotten too used to the post-PS3/360 era where most of the games appear on both Playstation and Xbox consoles so they don't get the concept of exclusives.  Exclusives used to be the whole bread and butter of console gaming.  You secured exclusives specifically so people would buy your system instead of the other guy's in order to play those games.  With the 360, MS was kind of the de facto choice over the PS3 for Western gamers but Sony made due because they had Japan.  Last gen the Xbox One felt like a non-factor as the PS4 seemed to be the default choice and XB1 wasn't different enough to justify as a second purchase.  Having two systems that are almost identical isn't fun if you're the less popular one.  I suspect MS felt that and realized they needed to make their console an essential purchase as a first, second or third choice (though they would prefer first of course) and the best way to do that is lock-in exclusives.

Offline ThePerm

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I don't think Microsoft is buying all these franchises to make them hardware exclusive eventually. I don't think Microsoft fundamentally believes in hardware exclusivity. They do believe in Platform exclusivity. And the plan is that Xbox platform is going to be on all hardware in the future. Like Windows.

Bullshit. All the Bethesda stuff is Microsoft exclusive now, and funny how Microsoft waited to announce that till after the sale got approved by all the regulatory bodies. Phil's pulling the same trick with Activision Blizzard, saying "Oh we'll honor all existing contracts and of COURSE we'll still support PlayStation". He HAS to say that right now because if he doesn't, Microsoft could be looking at anti-trust suits. The moment this sale gets approved, watch him change his tune.

You're not thinking four dimensionaly.  And you're thinking conventionally.

One day people are going to turn on their Playstation and load up the Xbox app and then play Quake 5. Or it might even be some Chinese console from a Chinese company that as of today either doesn't exist or we've never heard of that's 100 cheaper and just as powerful as the competition. Or maybe it'll just be an app you can access from your smart TV. Sony will resist this idea until they can't, and then they'll realize that this is the future. And they may already be of this mindset.

The hardware wars are over. Nintendo won. By not being in them. Iwata predicted that it could only go so far. Hardware is only a means to sell software. Hardware is often sold at a loss by both Microsoft and Sony. By making your platform hardware agnostic then you can get your platform to more people.

Let me ask. Do you use a Netflix box? A Hulu Box? A Disney+ box? A Youtube box? No, all of those apps are available on every hardware. Each one of these is a portable platform. You pay a monthly fee. They get 200 million subscribers then that means they get 2 billion dollars a month or at least 24 billion dollars a year. Alternatively, without a monthly fee you can still buy content to use whenever you want.



Also, Think about how the chip supply shortage seriously limited Sony's ability to get hardware out. If you didn't need the hardware then you are in a better position.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2022, 04:28:26 PM by ThePerm »
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Offline Adrock

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We used to talk about a One Console Future® except the reality is that with the way technology has advanced, it’s more like a One Service Future® now. With Game Pass, Microsoft is so far ahead of everyone else because it looked at Netflix and leaned into the (perceived?) importance of being first in a space. Netflix has the least amount of exclusive content aside from Apple except it beat everyone in the streaming space by several years and is now so pervasive that the major film and TV distribution companies keep licensing their content to Netflix, essentially aiding the competition. If you can’t beat them, you might as well make money off them.

That’s what Microsoft is trying to do while also attempting to get ahead of the we-don’t-have-enough-exclusive-content problem. It still doesn’t, and buying Activision Blizzard doesn’t really get Microsoft all that closer. It’s risky to apply the same thinking to games because they’re really not all that similar to movies and TV. If there was an app that had everyone on it including Sony and Nintendo, that’d be something except that’s never going to happen. Microsoft still thinks this is the right path forward. It’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it plays out for ‘em.

Sony bought Gaikai in 2012 and subsequently launched PlayStation Now. It had every opportunity to do what Microsoft is doing now then stopped. Sony clearly doesn’t see the same path forward.

Nintendo is dabbling in this with Nintendo Switch Online. It may never hop on the Game Pass-like service train because maybe it doesn’t need to. It’s the only console manufacturer with a user experience that isn’t easily be replicated (though Valve sure is trying, kind of). Nintendo seems content existing in its bubble of profitability. It can and has supported its own hardware largely on its own and is approaching 40 years of exclusive software. That’s the kind of longevity and sustainability money can’t buy. Everyone knows you can’t get Nintendo games anywhere else.

This is the problem Microsoft is going to keep running into no matter how many third party publishers it buys. For people already in Microsoft’s ecosystem, it has given them more reason to stay which is good. PlayStation owners probably aren’t going to jump into Microsoft’s ecosystem because it now owns Call of Duty. They’ll just stop buying Call of Duty when it becomes inconvenient to do so. Rinse/repeat for all the other IPs Microsoft now owns. Additionally, Microsoft is emboldening EA and Take Two to fill that Call of Duty shaped hole. Rinse/repeat for all the other IPs Microsoft now owns.

Offline broodwars

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I don't think Microsoft is buying all these franchises to make them hardware exclusive eventually. I don't think Microsoft fundamentally believes in hardware exclusivity. They do believe in Platform exclusivity. And the plan is that Xbox platform is going to be on all hardware in the future. Like Windows.

Bullshit. All the Bethesda stuff is Microsoft exclusive now, and funny how Microsoft waited to announce that till after the sale got approved by all the regulatory bodies. Phil's pulling the same trick with Activision Blizzard, saying "Oh we'll honor all existing contracts and of COURSE we'll still support PlayStation". He HAS to say that right now because if he doesn't, Microsoft could be looking at anti-trust suits. The moment this sale gets approved, watch him change his tune.

You're not thinking four dimensionaly.  And you're thinking conventionally.

Oh really, Doc Brown? So where's Starfield on PlayStation?

https://www.polygon.com/e3/22532074/starfield-release-date-bethesda-softworks-xbox-pc-e3-2021

How about Redfall? Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2? Avowed? Perfect Dark? Oh hey, how about Psychonauts 2 on PS5? After all, Series X has a comparable version. How about a version of Doom Eternal on PS5 that supports the PS4 version's saves, rather than forcing players to lose all their progress?

Oh darn. It seems Microsoft bought Bethesda and all these other companies to keep their games off other platforms after all (the 2 timed exclusives Sony arranged pre-buyout & the contractually-obligated Kickstarter game, notwithstanding).

We may get to a point where Microsoft starts shipping their games around to other platforms AS a software platform of its own, but we are very; very; very; very; VERY far away from that day, and their history so far shows that any pretense they give to it being any closer is smoke and mirrors.
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Offline ThePerm

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I think Nintendo could offer different services on different platforms. Nintendo might have exclusives on future Switch successors, but maybe offer certain evergreen games and retro games on other hardware platforms. Wii remakes might do well on VR platforms. Though Nintendo could just stay the course and as long as people keep buying their stuff then they have no problem.
Though I think Nintendo is a lot more forward thinking then people give them credit for.



Microsoft can always offer classic games on their service too. There are no shortage of classic games they just bought. Activision has been around since the Atari days. Their whole existence was started as an insurgency of unlicensed 3rd party games on the Atari Platform. They also probably triggered the 80s gaming crash.

There is no doubt all the companies will have less diversity of content moving forward. Some studios are going to become specific game franchise houses. Though they might revive some dead franchises. Blizzard hasn't made a new RTS Warcraft game since 2002. Warcraft became an MMO series. Microsoft however has continued to make Age of Empire games. Simple solution: have the age of Empire team make a new Warcraft RTS game. Flip that around and maybe there will be an official Starcraft MMO game.

Sony looks bad at the moment, but that is only because of the comparison. I have a ps4 for a reason over an Xbox One. The exclusive content on ps4 was just something I preferred. Though 360 was more appealing the previous generation. Sony has a good stable of internal studios, and good third party support. Activision Blizzard was just one large studio. There are still plenty of multi-billion dollar studios like EA, Take Two, Ubisoft, Square Enix, Capcom, Sega, Bandai Namco, Roblox, CD Project, and Konami.
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Offline ThePerm

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We may get to a point where Microsoft starts shipping their games around to other platforms AS a software platform of its own, but we are very; very; very; very; VERY far away from that day, and their history so far shows that any pretense they give to it being any closer is smoke and mirrors.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/xbox-game-pass/id1374542474
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Offline broodwars

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We may get to a point where Microsoft starts shipping their games around to other platforms AS a software platform of its own, but we are very; very; very; very; VERY far away from that day, and their history so far shows that any pretense they give to it being any closer is smoke and mirrors.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/xbox-game-pass/id1374542474

Did you even read that App's description? It's an App that connects to your Xbox. Sony has one of those, too, for PlayStation. Even Nintendo has an App like this, kinda, and they barely believe the internet exists.

"Download the Xbox Game Pass app to search, browse, and download new games to your console when you’re on your mobile device.

How does Xbox Game Pass work?

- Join and play over 100 great games including new award-winning Xbox exclusives the same day they’re released

- Use the Xbox Game Pass app to browse and download games to your Xbox One so they are ready to play when you are. Set your console to “Instant-On” to allow game downloads when you’re away. Find this in the Power & Startup menu in Settings

- Receive notifications about new games coming to Xbox Game Pass, and start playing the moment your game is available when you pre-download it to your Xbox One.

- Save up to 20% on Xbox One game purchases from the existing Xbox Game Pass catalog, plus 10% off any Xbox One game add-ons

For help, please visit support.xbox.com"
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Offline ThePerm

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« Last Edit: January 21, 2022, 07:12:40 PM by ThePerm »
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Offline broodwars

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no

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1yGIiJiGuY

Congratulations: Microsoft discovered cloud gaming (no word yet on whether it still has "infinite power"), which Google's failed to sell for years and Sony for even longer. Next you'll tell me that VR is gonna be big. Which reminds me, how did Hololens work out for Microsoft? Oh right...

And yes, I am mocking both Sony and Valve for their obsession with that boondoggle when both could be putting their money towards games people actually buy.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2022, 07:23:31 PM by broodwars »
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Offline ThePerm

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I remember a time in 1999 when I spent 1 and a half hours downloading a maybe 4 minute Pokémon stadium video off IGN. There was a time when streaming video wasn't a thing because it just didn't work. Then that stuff got better.

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Offline broodwars

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I remember a time in 1999 when I spent 1 and a half hours downloading a maybe 4 minute Pokémon stadium video off IGN. There was a time when streaming video wasn't a thing because it just didn't work. Then that stuff got better.

Sure, but you're banking an awful lot on GamePass being not only sustainable but so monumentally successful that it supplants dedicated hardware in an awfully optimistic future. Right now, Microsoft is basically running the thing as a loss leader to get their foot in the door, and who knows how long they can keep that up. I really wonder how popular GamePass will be once Microsoft starts actually charging what the service costs to run and developers start hiking up the cost of their bribes accordingly.

You only have to look at the 3 ring circus that is the dedicated TV/movie streaming services arms race right now to see how bad that service can get: constant rate hikes as providers struggle to shovel more and more content most people will never care about onto services increasingly impossible to sift through.

I know, I also just described Steam and the Nintendo eShop.  ;)
« Last Edit: January 21, 2022, 07:52:50 PM by broodwars »
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Offline ThePerm

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No, Im banking on companies to give up on caring about a lot of old anti-competitive bullshit that will become irrelevant when they can't keep up on the hardware. They could make more money if they stopped giving a crap about hardware.

The user base of the Xbox One was somewhere around 51 million users. The user base of the PS4 was around 116 million. The combined user base is more than both of those(some people are the same people)
The more people that have access to your platform the better. If your platform is software then you can give it away free without taking that loss.

Microsoft and Sony don't really make their own hardware. They're just AMD boxes with their logo plastered on them. It's nothing more than branding. It's like when Donald Trump puts his name on some hotel he doesn't really own.

https://www.windowscentral.com/sonys-microsoft-azure-powered-cloud-service-will-be-playstation-exclusive

And i don't think this is going to all be cloud gaming. Some of it is going to be local storage. Steam paved the way for all of this. If Sony has games on Microsoft and Microsoft has games on Sony then they're even. It's a fair trade-off putting them in a stalemate.

https://www.theverge.com/2021/12/3/22816087/sony-playstation-5-game-subscription-service-xbox-games-pass-now-spartacus

It's also probably going to be internationally illegal to block app stores from your app store very soon.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/30/eu-says-apples-app-store-breaches-competition-rules.html

https://www.justice.gov/archive/atr/public/press_releases/1998/1764.htm


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Offline Bungle4

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Interesting discussion. Who knows what the long term will bring, but it seems clear Microsoft will buy up more third parties in the next few years. My prediction for the next acquisition is WB Games. If I were Phil Spencer I would be thinking of getting the next GTA as an XBox exclusive.

Offline broodwars

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Interesting discussion. Who knows what the long term will bring, but it seems clear Microsoft will buy up more third parties in the next few years. My prediction for the next acquisition is WB Games. If I were Phil Spencer I would be thinking of getting the next GTA as an XBox exclusive.

I don't think Take 2 ever sells. They know what they have in Rockstar.  WB Games is a possibility. Lord knows that AT&T has been trying to shed themselves of the entire Warner division of late.

I think we're going to see a bunch of smaller acquisitions by the other big hunters, like Tencent and the quiet Zerg Swarm that is the Embracer Group. Seriously, just LOOK at this list of developers Embracer owns: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embracer_Group#Subsidiaries

I think we're going to see some smaller acquisitions like Sumo Digital; Quantic Dream; etc. I could see someone try to buy Konami, but the Yakuza would never sell.

I've been saying for years that I could see Sony scooping up Square Enix. It's such an obvious partnership, and they've been moving towards it for years. Sony doesn't have the money to outright buy them, so I could see there being some sort of merger (much like the one that created Square Enix to begin with). I could also see Capcom hooking up with someone. I don't see Sega or Namco Bandai (or is it Bandai Namco these days?) going anywhere. They have their roots in too deep with other things.
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Offline Adrock

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Beyond that, though, Sony just flat out doesn't have those kind of resources to make a big bid for one of the big Japanese powerhouses like Square Enix; Capcom; or Sega, especially with Microsoft driving up the price by overbidding on the likes of Bethesda and Activision Blizzard. There's a reason all their acquisitions last year were modest investments in small studios they had a great working history with. The best they could hope for would be a Squaresoft/Enix-style merger with Square Enix, and I don't see THAT mobile-obsessed entity abandoning the most lucrative dedicated gaming handheld market in Japan. Do you?
I've been saying for years that I could see Sony scooping up Square Enix. It's such an obvious partnership, and they've been moving towards it for years. Sony doesn't have the money to outright buy them, so I could see there being some sort of merger (much like the one that created Square Enix to begin with). I could also see Capcom hooking up with someone. I don't see Sega or Namco Bandai (or is it Bandai Namco these days?) going anywhere. They have their roots in too deep with other things.
What changed in the last four days?
Interesting discussion. Who knows what the long term will bring, but it seems clear Microsoft will buy up more third parties in the next few years. My prediction for the next acquisition is WB Games. If I were Phil Spencer I would be thinking of getting the next GTA as an XBox exclusive.
Depends on who’s better at predicting the future. Microsoft thinks it’s services and the cloud. Sony thinks it’s still in dedicated hardware.

WB Games may be available. However, what does WB Games have that Microsoft wants? NetherRealm Studios and Rocksteady Studios probably have the most value, but I don’t know if either are on Microsoft’s radar. The main issue with buying WB Games is that it doesn’t come with the Warner Bros. IP that Microsoft would want except maybe Mortal Kombat.

Ubisoft would be the kind of splashy move that’s more in Microsoft’s wheelhouse. It successfully fought off a hostile takeover by Vivendi several years ago. Now though? Ubisoft, like Activision Blizzard, was hit with controversy last year so maybe it’ll let Microsoft deal with that too. This still wouldn’t get Microsoft much closer to being the Netflix of video games.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2022, 07:59:04 PM by Adrock »

Offline ThePerm

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Ideally someone buys Konami. We can all agree. They used to be one of my favorite third parties, but whoever inherited/retirement funded Konami needs to replaced. I'd like Sony to buy Konami and put Kojima on the board. I would say have him become the CEO, but he already has his own company. Konami is worth about 6 billion. Which, compared to other game companies is small. There are a few over-valued tech companies in the space now.

As much as I like Metal Gear, I'd rather see an epic Goemon game. A rebooted version of Silent Hills would be nice.
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Offline broodwars

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Beyond that, though, Sony just flat out doesn't have those kind of resources to make a big bid for one of the big Japanese powerhouses like Square Enix; Capcom; or Sega, especially with Microsoft driving up the price by overbidding on the likes of Bethesda and Activision Blizzard. There's a reason all their acquisitions last year were modest investments in small studios they had a great working history with. The best they could hope for would be a Squaresoft/Enix-style merger with Square Enix, and I don't see THAT mobile-obsessed entity abandoning the most lucrative dedicated gaming handheld market in Japan. Do you?
I've been saying for years that I could see Sony scooping up Square Enix. It's such an obvious partnership, and they've been moving towards it for years. Sony doesn't have the money to outright buy them, so I could see there being some sort of merger (much like the one that created Square Enix to begin with). I could also see Capcom hooking up with someone. I don't see Sega or Namco Bandai (or is it Bandai Namco these days?) going anywhere. They have their roots in too deep with other things.
What changed in the last four days?

Nothing. I could see it happening, but it's a long shot due to Square Enix's success and Sony's lack of money, and would still require a merger. If we saw anything happen with the Japanese companies, it would be that. It's unlikely, but I could see it happening due to all the exclusivity deals Sony's been making with Square Enix of late. It might very well have been in the plans for some time, but we were still nowhere near it getting to that point.
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Offline ThePerm

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Square Enix seems to be good at playing both sides nowadays. They used to be at least someone second party at some point but they're better at being more fluid then they used to be.

Other than Mortal Kombat and Gauntlet I don't know what franchises WB/NetherRealms has. I don't know which old Midway franchises they still possess. WB makes a lot of decent movie tie-in games. Mad Max was one of my favorite games last generation.  Though, that was developed by Avalanche. The WB thing is interesting because Discovery just bought WB off of ATT&T or something. While, i don't think they particularly care that they have a games division I think they like owning the associated IP like Mortal Kombat. Acclaim and Midway used to be the big 2 third party developers in the US. Midway evolved into WB games and Acclaim evolved into Retro.

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Offline Adrock

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I could see it happening due to all the exclusivity deals Sony's been making with Square Enix of late. It might very well have been in the plans for some time, but we were still nowhere near it getting to that point.
I wouldn’t take that as anything more than Square Enix likes money, and if Sony is willing to pony up a lot of it to make console exclusivity worth its while, it will gladly take that money.

Offline Bungle4

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WB Games may be available. However, what does WB Games have that Microsoft wants? NetherRealm Studios and Rocksteady Studios probably have the most value, but I don’t know if either are on Microsoft’s radar. The main issue with buying WB Games is that it doesn’t come with the Warner Bros. IP that Microsoft would want except maybe Mortal Kombat.

If I were poaching IPs, then GTA would be high on my list. Imagine GTA 6 being an XBox exclusive. I think that would be significant.