Sony would not be the only multinational to take a dim view of Microsoft’s takeover of Activision. Nvidia and Google would also be very worried.
Almost a year ago, Microsoft announced the takeover of Activision Blizzard – an earthquake estimated at tens of billions of dollars. Today, it is still not validated and, worse, is threatened with blocking by the FTC (the American competition authority). It also raises questions in Europe. According to a Bloomberg article published on January 12, the deal could take a further lead in the wing due to concerns expressed by Google and Nvidia — two competitors of Microsoft in key sectors.
Until today, it is above all Sony, Microsoft’s main rival in the video game market, which has been particularly critical with this acquisition. The Japanese firm fears that flagship licenses will become exclusive to the Xbox ecosystem. She quotes call of duty as the main example. To defend itself, the Redmond firm has multiplied reassuring words, and has even reached out to Nintendo and Valve.
Why would Google and Nvidia be worried?
Concretely, Google and Nvidia, if they are really worried, could testify during the lawsuit launched by the FTC and provide arguments supporting the blocking. The two companies have reason to fear the worst with this merger, given all the brands recovered at once by Microsoft. Nvidia, in particular, would be afraid for its GeForce Now service, an alternative to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass.
Microsoft would gain too big an advantage in the cloud, services and mobile gaming segments. Nevertheless, according to Bloomberg sources, Nvidia would not be formally opposed to the takeover. The company would rather need reassurance about the availability of games for its own catalog, fearing that the Xbox Game Pass is becoming too powerful in terms of choice. A priori, it would be enough for Microsoft to promise titles like call of duty on GeForce Now so as not to have one more enemy. The Redmond firm would have every interest in doing so to protect its interests, as it has already done with Nintendo and Valve. We recall that she also offered a ten-year contract to Sony.
If we understand the position of Nvidia, which is a challenger to Xbox Game Pass in the field of cloud gaming, that of Google is a little more cloudy in the sense that its Stadia service will close in January. In reality, we have to look wider: Google competes with Microsoft in the field of cloud services (the gaming component is one of them), and we must not neglect mobile video games. Android remains a platform that generates billions of dollars each year through the sale of games. Again, the Xbox Game Pass, if it finds itself too reinforced by important licenses, could crush everything.
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