▷ Game On(line), commentary on Microsoft by Heidi Rohde

19.01.2022 – 20:30

Stock exchanges newspaper

Frankfurt (ots)

It was a matter of time before a player with deep pockets would reshuffle the cards at the table. With the takeover of Activision Blizzard for 75 billion dollars, Microsoft is not only tackling the biggest deal in its own history, but also by far the biggest in the gaming scene. The premium of 50 percent over the previous closing price seems lavish for a company that has long been struggling with a full-blown workplace sexual harassment scandal. However, it remains below the 65 percent that Take Two Interactive offered when it acquired Zynga last week.

The companies are buying entry into that part of the gaming universe that is primarily reached via mobile devices and that has been growing faster for years than the area of ​​classic consoles such as XBox or Playstation. Unsurprisingly, Sony shares immediately lose 10 percent, because without a doubt, Microsoft jumps ahead with the purchase of Activision Blizzard in mobile gaming.

The developer of Warcraft, Call of Duty and Candy Crush already has a market share of a good third, while Sony, Nintendo and Ubisoft are still in the single digits. For Microsoft, the acquisition is also another attempt to finally establish itself as a platform operator and thus join its arch-rivals Apple and Google, which are still light years ahead of the Gates Company.

Microsoft was late in recognizing the growth opportunities (and dangers) of the mobile internet and failed miserably in its attempt to set up a third system platform in the smartphone market. The attempt to further develop the core product Windows as a platform is also rather sluggish. With the gaming division, the company is now making a new attempt to scale in the private customer market. The division has so far only accounted for 9 percent of group sales and still lives on the traditional software industry business model of lavish but sometimes erratic license sales. With the stronger focus on mobile gaming, Microsoft is now also opening up to new, more constant revenue models, which, in return, are likely to eat away at XBox revenue. In the long run, the Activision deal should still pay off. Financially, the purchase is not a challenge for the software giant. At the end of September, $130 billion was in the till. There are hurdles elsewhere. Antitrust authorities now look twice at M&A by tech giants.

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Original content from: Börsen-Zeitung, transmitted by news aktuell


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