Sexism, Minecraft, Candy Crush, Overwatch to Fortnite, all in a mix in Activision deal

Activision, Microsoft deal has brought sexism to the industry, games like Candy Crush, Overwatch, Minecraft, Fortnite in a mix that has huge consequences. Main things:

Microsoft unveiled Tuesday its big plans to buy American video game powerhouse Activision Blizzard, a record gain in the gaming sector. The merger, expected to close next year, would strengthen Microsoft’s muscles in the fast-growing gaming market while leveraging its software and cloud computing strengths.

Here are the most important things to know:

Titans of video games

The merger with Activision will make Microsoft the third-largest gaming company by revenue, after Tencent and Sony, according to analysts.

China-based Tencent is a huge player in the Asian market, investing in game studios outside its home country.

Tencent owns Riot Games, creator of the battle royale hit “League of Legends”, and has interests in both French game star Ubisoft and Activision itself.

The Japanese behemoth of consumer electronics Sony is increasingly relying on its PlayStation consoles and games for revenue – as Sony studios release titles to play on its hardware.

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Meanwhile, Microsoft has expanded its game studios as it invests in Xbox consoles and the trend of streaming games directly from the cloud.

“To borrow from the company’s proprietary jargon, Microsoft’s goal is to empower people to play games anytime, anywhere, with anyone,” Baird Equity Research analyst Colin Sebastian said in a note to investors.

Forming the ‘metaverse’

The hot buzz of a future where people live, work and play in an immersive virtual realm called the “metaverse” is seen as a natural evolution of video games.

Game platforms Roblox, Minecraft and Fortnite have created universes where play is just one of many.

“There’s an entire generation growing up where their social connection to the world is through video games,” Microsoft Games Unit chief Phil Spencer told The New York Times, referring to young people meeting online after school.

By investing in games, Microsoft can thus position itself on the future of the Internet in general.

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“Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in his statement on the deal.

Engaging sexism

A merger would put Activision’s problems regarding the treatment of women in the workplace at the feet of Microsoft game chief Spencer.

Activision has faced official investigations, lawsuits and employee outrage over allegations that female employees are being harassed and discriminated against at the predominantly male company.

Spencer said in a Times interview that the company has learned from its own mistakes, including having girls dancing at a game developer conference six years ago.

“That was a painful moment in our Xbox history,” he said. “I believe we are stronger now because of that event, not that I would choose to repeat that event if I had that choice.”

Content remains king

Content is still the king of the video game world.

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An Activision acquisition could help Microsoft strengthen its vulnerabilities in mobile games and esports.

“After the acquisition, Microsoft will gain a dominant position in esports, a growing theme where it has struggled to make a mark in the past,” said GlobalData’s lead analyst, Rupantar Guha.

“In addition, Activision is a leader in mobile gaming with plans to launch more mobile titles in the future.”

Activision’s lineup of games includes “World of Warcraft,” as well as the color-matched mobile hit “Candy Crush” and the esports-focused “Overwatch.”

Arun Agarwal
I am Arun Agarwal, a passionate blogger and gamer. I love to share my thoughts on games and technology through blog posts. I’m also an avid reader of books about history, philosophy, science-fiction, and other genres as well as an anime fan. I like reading books that give me new perspectives or help me think differently about the world around us.