A five-day hearing in the case between the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Microsoft over the latter’s plans to acquire Activision Blizzard had a ripple effect – it revealed some of the inner workings of the usually secretive gaming industry according to Game Rant and CNBC.
The hearing held closing arguments Thursday, with a judge now determining whether the arguments are plausible enough for a federal court to grant a preliminary injunction against the deal. Either way, some big revelations have been made regarding the gaming industry as a whole.
The acquisition of Microsoft indeed seems to be mainly intended to find mobile customers for Xbox and to develop in this market which is growing faster than income from PC or console games. Microsoft reportedly considered several others like Zynga, Sega and Square Enix before settling on Activision to acquire.
While Microsoft publicly offered a ten-year extension to Sony over the ‘Call of Duty’ franchise, Xbox head Phil Spencer reportedly initially offered a five-year commitment which Sony Interactive’s Jim Ryan dismissed as not addressing concerns. wider regarding the agreement. Spencer was then sworn in on day two of the ongoing trial to keep the “Call of Duty” franchise on PlayStation.
On the final day of the hearing, the FTC reportedly managed to get witnesses to show that Microsoft was evaluating ways to try to reduce the availability of Activision Blizzard content on Sony’s PlayStation.
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick indicated that Activision Blizzard had experimented with putting games into subscription libraries, he didn’t believe they would lead to “sustainable long-term business” and he “couldn’t imagine anyone offering trade terms that would be favorable”.
Regarding cloud gaming, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reportedly said, “The feedback so far is that it’s just not good enough as a — you know, certainly as a substitute for one of the platforms. -current forms.” He adds that it might “break through at some point,” but neither the economy nor the content are there yet.
Another reveal was that Bethesda’s Indiana Jones game, which was going to be cross-platform before the Xbox acquisition, will be an Xbox exclusive. The lawsuit revealed that Bethesda originally had more PlayStation-related projects than Xbox and Xbox was so worried about losing “Starfield” in particular to PlayStation that it became one of the deciding factors that made it acquire Bethesda’s parent company, ZeniMax.
After that, Microsoft canceled PlayStation versions of all upcoming games from Bethesda that weren’t tied to pre-existing exclusivity deals with Sony. Spencer adds that platform exclusivity decisions are made on a case-by-case basis at Microsoft.
Spencer also suggests that ‘The Elder Scrolls 6’ is at least five years away and will most likely only be a crossover or next-gen title by then – so don’t expect it to be in stores. before a PS6 was available. expects this to happen in 2028.
The tech giant also told the FTC that it’s certain Sony’s Project Q handheld, allowing people to stream PS5 games to a handheld in their home, will be priced below $300. $.
Sony meanwhile has signaled its intention to keep Activision out of the PlayStation 6 creation loop if Microsoft manages to acquire the “Call of Duty” maker, as it can’t risk sharing its future hardware with the PlayStation subsidiary. his fiercest rival. It was reportedly revealed that Activision has helped Sony with PlayStation hardware development in the past.
Finally, these poorly redacted documents revealed the cost of AAA games these days with “Horizon Forbidden West” costing an estimated US$212 million to make – created by 300 employees working on the game for five years. About 200 people worked on “The Last of Us Part 2,” which also ran for five years and cost $220 million.
District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley said Thursday she was unsure when she would rule on the preliminary injunction, but was aware of the dates set because Activision Blizzard and Microsoft have agreed to terminate the deal if not. is not done by July 18. Thus, if a preliminary injunction is granted, the case is likely dismissed.
Sources: Game Rant, Games Hub and CNBC