As most of you probably heard by now, Federal Judge Corley issued a decision in favor of Microsoft over the Federal Trade Commission. That essentially means that Microsoft can close on its acquisition of Activision-Blizzard-King, despite a fresh FTC appeal. The acquisition first announced back in January of 2022 took the industry by storm.
Media outlets, content creators, and onlookers were kept on a corpo-legal drama rollercoaster for the better part of 18 months. Now, it seems that the acquisition is closer to closing than ever before. Especially since the UK’s CMA is working directly with Microsoft and Activision to find solutions and remedies.
Some have vehemently celebrated the news, while others were more cautious in their reactions. Here are LOGNET’s thoughts about Microsoft’s trial victory over the FTC.
A Cautionary Reaction to the Microsoft FTC Case – David Shallert, Writer
I know from many quarters there is much rejoicing about this deal by people who hate Activision/Blizzard for reasons I agree with. I am as angry as anyone about the leadership of that company and the environment they have cultivated for years. But I can’t see how this helps the workers there or punishes the perpetrators. The worst people will get rich off the deal, and the innocents’ jobs will be in danger, like with all mergers.
And that’s not even touching on the evils of companies endlessly combining into vast conglomerates. If Microsoft does not already count as a dangerously colossal company, I don’t know what does. This is just another step in a worrying trend for the hobby and the country, no matter what short-term benefits it might have for consumers.
A Mixed Bag – Daniel May, Associate Editor
A Win for Gamers – Chris Jones, Senior Writer
Overall this is a complete win for gamers in more ways than one. Microsoft and Xbox have the goal they’ve said “Bring the game to where gamers are” and with this deal that is possible. Plenty of games including Xbox games and Game Pass will be on multiple services. Developers that have been stuck in the slog of helping make Call of Duty might have to freedom to make or create something they want.
Then one thing I’m sure people are forgetting is Microsoft said they would acknowledge Raven Software’s Union. As a union representative myself that’s a big win as unions have mostly positive effects when they are properly used. It will be great to see how this works in an industry that’s never had something like this. Dormant IPs might see some revitalization and new iterations. As my very close friend Pong Soul always says, “This is the Golden Age Of Gaming.” And I truly believe it!
An Embarrassment for the FTC – Joseph Repko, Assistant Editor
Outside of the obvious silliness, we bore witness to over the weeks when the trial officially began. As an American citizen, I want to formally apologize for the secondhand embarrassment most onlookers experienced. It is equally disappointing to see the most vocal opposition be mostly absent. I am for one talking about Jim Ryan from Sony Interactive Entertainment. He refused to show up in person and instead was questioned in a pre-recorded video. Hurting not only the FTC’s credibility but Jim Ryan’s even further if the bar could go lower at all.
From a seeming lack of knowledge of the industry as a whole. As well as being almost blindly one-sided when it comes to their nearly non-existent case. The FTC rightfully lost their battle to get the injunction and sadly thinks they have a chance to win their recently announced appeal process. I can only hope this entire acquisition just finishes. It has gotten redundant and only gets interesting when dirty laundry is aired, and I don’t know about you dear reader, but my nose can only handle the stench sparingly.
Microsoft FTC Case: Changing the Landscape and Moving Forward – Mahmood Ghaffar, Editor-in-Chief
My initial reaction to the verdict of the Microsoft FTC case was one of excitement. Excitement for the fact that we can leave the case behind us. For 18 months, the corpo-drama slogged through headlines and took over the general gaming discussions. It almost felt like the industry was on pause for the better part of a year and a half. It seemed as if games took a back seat to the Microsoft ABK acquisition. That’s a shame because games and technology are what drive the industry forward. Hopefully, this means we can all move forward from this and get back to what’s important, games!
I do expect the industry to forever be altered by this acquisition. There is no doubt that the future gaming landscape will see further consolidation. There were even rumors of Amazon looking to acquire EA last year. Don’t be surprised if publishers restructure themselves to be ripe for acquisitions. Similar to what EA, Square Enix, and SEGA have already done.
On another note, my wallet will be happy knowing that many ABK games will hit Game Pass. Though, the word is still out on when that will happen exactly. Knowing that I can save a lot of money from this deal is wonderful, especially as a father of 2 young children, that is a godsend. But because acquisitions usually create redundancies, there will be massive layoffs. And in this dire global economic situation, my heart goes out to those who will be affected and I hope they will bounce back soon. I just hope Microsoft is true to its word and support the unions that formed under much duress during Activision. Time will tell.