The internet pretty much exploded the day Microsoft announced its intention to buy Activision Blizzard. The Xbox integration isn’t expected to last until sometime next year, and it still has potential hurdles to clear up first. However, the posting of a new job from Microsoft seems to confirm that the company is eyeing more acquisitions. As spotted by the Video Games Chronicle, the job posting is for “Manager, Gaming Strategy & Development,” and makes several references to the company’s purchase of Bethesda Game Studios, and its stated purchase of Activision Blizzard.
“The Games Development and Strategy team serves as the corporate strategic function of Team Xbox. We partner closely with the Games Leadership team to identify and assess transformational growth opportunities. Our charter includes helping answer Microsoft Gaming’s most challenging business questions, leading the games M&A program (eg Activision Blizzard, ZeniMax, Double Fine, etc.), identify and understand key industry dynamics,” as stated in the job listing.
Nothing in the post explicitly indicates that Microsoft plans to make more purchases, but the company is clearly looking at additional opportunities to do so. Likewise, PlayStation has teased that it plans to make more acquisitions after its purchase of Bungie, so it makes sense that Microsoft would also need to keep looking for opportunities. These types of acquisitions also provide an opportunity for Microsoft to boost the volume of games offered through Xbox Game Pass, and this is clearly the company’s biggest hardware draw.
Hopefully any such acquisitions will be a good thing for players and the industry. These types of purchases can have a negative impact on competition and consumers, but there are potential benefits as well. The cost of developing AAA games continues to rise, and companies like Sony and Microsoft can help smaller studios reach a wider audience. For now, gamers will only have to wait to see what the future holds, but it’s clear that the arms race for acquisition isn’t slowing down any time soon.
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