Is Microsoft Eyeing Activision As a Possible Purchase
In what could become a major event in the gaming world, reports are out in the wild that Microsoft may be a possible suitor for Activision if it goes up for sale by Vivendi. It sounds a little crazy on face value, but the reports are there that Microsoft, along with Tencent and a few others are looking at Activision as a potential bid.
Take a deep breath and step back for a second to look at the points behind this news. We know for a fact that Vivendi, the majority owner of Activision, is looking to unload the gaming unit due to financial strains in its other business lines. The Vivendi board have hired outside help to look for potential buyers and line up a sale of the Activision unit. We also know that the Call of Duty brand is strongly identified with the Xbox 360. Yes, Call of Duty games come out on PlayStation 3, the PC and even the Wii, but it tends to be a huge breadwinner on the Xbox 360.
So taking that all in, it is easy to see why Microsoft would be looking at Activision as a buy. Right now, their internal brands are less than stellar, with only a scant few first party titles coming out of Microsoft Games Studio. Having Activision, and the core brands they fly as exclusives could be a huge deal for them in the long run. Could you imagine a world where if you want to play Call of Duty, you need to have an Xbox 360? It seems crazy, and who knows, Microsoft may still keep those brands multiplatform, if only for anti-trust reasons, but it is a strong reason to buy. Also, having Blizzard in that mix is a potential win. Think of Diablo III as a console exclusive to Xbox 360. Or if they can ever figure out a way to do it, World of Warcraft as an console exclusive to Xbox 360.
The potential of Microsoft owning Activision would be a rather big deal, and it could cause some headaches in the short term, but there is a lot of upside for the purchase of the brand. Of course, Tencent could be a hiccup in all of this, as they have money to burn, and recently signed a huge deal to bring a Free to Play Call of Duty title to China, so that could factor in as well. And don’t count out other potential suitors like Time Warner, another company that would love to have the Activision moniker under its brand.
All I know is that this story will only get more interesting as the days go by and more fuel is thrown onto the fire with this potential Activision sale.