Xie Ruolin

  Just after the 20th birthday of the Xbox game console, Microsoft made a big move.

On January 18, Beijing time, Microsoft will buy Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion in cash at $95 per share.

  In the past 20 years, the host competition between Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony has never stopped.

From the perspective of historical results, the top 5 best-selling consoles are Sony PS2, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Game Boy, Sony PS4, and Sony PS, while Microsoft's best result is Xbox360, which only ranks ninth.

  In this context, Microsoft will naturally be "tempted" by Activision Blizzard, which has a high-quality IP inventory.

In fact, Microsoft's desire for a content company has been from beginning to end. In 1999, Microsoft also tried to acquire Nintendo. At that time, the plan was "We are responsible for the hardware, and you are responsible for the game", which was later rejected by Nintendo.

But Microsoft has never been stingy about acquiring game studios. In the past 20 years, Microsoft has acquired 41 game studios, 23 of which are still in operation today.

  However, the author believes that Activision Blizzard is in a mid-life crisis, active users of old games have been declining, new games are "difficult to give birth", and it is difficult to pose a threat to Sony in the short term. The key in the future depends on whether Microsoft can reawaken the new life of the old IP.

  Looking back on the history of Activision Blizzard, it was once the overlord of the PC gaming era. It has produced classic games such as "Diablo", "Warcraft", "Call of Duty", among which "World of Warcraft" is even more popular.

However, the company's current situation is not optimistic. Not only has it been caught in several lawsuits involving gender discrimination and harassment, but the business level has shown signs of decline, core executives have left, and the life cycle of the old IP has come to an end. Strong force, active users fell by 11 million in three years.

In November, the company also delayed the release of two high-profile games, Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4.

  This makes people have to sweat for Microsoft. In the face of this acquisition, the author's initial concern is, can Activision Blizzard save Microsoft's declining host status?

But if you think about it, maybe you should ask, can Microsoft help Activision Blizzard return to its former glory?

(Securities Daily)