So what games don’t Microsoft own now they have bought Activision Blizzard?
Much like all restaurants are Taco Bell, all games are now Microsoft
At the time I was spending £3 on a sandwich Microsoft was dropping $70 billion on Activision Blizzard in a monumental Meal Deal. But after snapping up Bethesda (and the likes of Skyrim and the forthcoming space ’em-up Starfield) what does this mean for, well gaming, now that the Seattle giant has added IPs such as World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Candy Crush, Diablo, and even Call of Duty to the shelves.
The very fact that all the CoD games might end up on Game Pass is a punch to the ribs for Sony who are clinging on to their Ratchet and Clanks for dear life right now.
What we have seen here, as we suspected we might after the Bethesda acquisition, is Xbox Game Pass becoming close to a one-stop-shop for gaming.
Don’t have an Xbox? Doesn’t matter, just stream the games with Xbox Cloud Gaming
What doesn’t Microsoft own (yet)?
Well FIFA and Madden are still safe, although the deal with EA PLay means you can still get at them via your Xbox app on the PC and also access a load of EA games for free as well, so you can’t 100% count them.
What else? Assasin’s Creed? Yes! Ubisoft has so far avoided the clutches so Far Cry can also keep itself to itself, but is there that much else?
Chris Roberts and his Star Citizen crew still have their own minds as well, but that’s probably what Notch thought before the offer came in to buy Mojang and Minecraft.
If you are Sony you have to start thinking about how they are going to fight this. Microsoft might not be forcing all future Activision Blizzard games as Exclusive to Xbox but they haven’t done this for cheap thrills. We already know things like Starfield are going to arrive first for Xbox and if you want to play them elsewhere you are going to need a Game Pass. Clever, clever.
So what happens next?
Well, the fuss is unlikely to die down but if the Bethesda gig is anything to go it won’t be long before we see large swathes of back catalog appearing on Game Pass. The story is only just breaking, and perhaps broke even earlier than it is supposed to do, so for a while at least, before we concentrate too much on the ramifications for the gaming world, let’s have a little fun with this one.
Watch this space.
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