The Activision-Blizzard deal, as you’re probably tired of hearing this late into the year, has taken another twist. Although this one is nowhere near as massive as the FTC’s landmark lawsuit to block the acquisition it is nevertheless an interesting story.
Multiple outlets are reporting that a group of ten gamers have filed a lawsuit against the acquisition in San Francisco, arguing that it would lead to an unfair monopoly of the gaming industry by Microsoft.
Although this suit, as many have pointed out, is unlikely to go anywhere significant in blocking or impeding the Activision-Blizzard acquisition it’s still interesting to see some of the points being made. For example, The Gamer in their reporting says “The suit argues that Microsoft would gain too much of a share over PC, cloud-based, and mobile gaming, not just the console market.”
That’s what we’ve been saying
As we’ve pointed out in our previous coverage, a major part of the Activision-Blizzard acquisition is in-fact in the mobile element. Microsoft has very little presence in the mobile gaming space and has admitted as much. Therefore, to see other groups mention the mobile element in their reporting indicates awareness is growing that this isn’t just about World of Warcraft or Call of Duty, but also about King’s massive catalogue of mobile titles.
With Activision-Blizzard becoming mobile first in terms of revenue, it seems inevitable that in just the sheer weight of numbers mobile will be a major if not the most important consideration for this acquisition. In the mobile gaming industry, many independently owned studios thrive, for better or for worse as major companies step into the arena they use their already established presence to snap up these studios to bolster their existing presence.
Will this lead to a greater diversification of the industry and healthy competition, as Microsoft keeps saying? Or will it lead to the monopoly others are warning about? Only time will tell.
King have recently decided to shutter one of their mobile games, Crash Bandicoot: On the Run, in a surprise announcement on their Facebook only a few days ago.