In just one month, both Microsoft and Sony have made ambitious acquisitions to kick off the 2022 game year in a way that generates a lot of buzz and reaction. Take-Two started off with a surprise acquisition of Zynga for $12.7 billion, but Sony and Microsoft have made surprising acquisition announcements of their own. From Microsoft’s perspective, the company announced the acquisition of controversial publisher Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion just a few weeks ago. Now, Sony has announced repurchase Life and original Halo developer Bungie as a PlayStation studio, but Bungie reiterated that the deal is by no means exclusive.
When major acquisitions like this are made, exclusivity is always the first discussion among gaming industry fans and experts. In a vacuum, it doesn’t theoretically make sense for these companies to shell out billions of dollars just to run business as usual and continue to sell cross-platform games. However, the exclusivity relationship between Sony and Microsoft isn’t nearly so dry, as both companies are taking ever-evolving approaches to what the platform’s proprietary IP does and what it doesn’t. go cross-platform. Sony still keeps the most console-specific IPs, but Xbox may change its tune in the future.
Microsoft’s Careful Approach to Xbox Improvement
From Microsoft’s perspective, it’s an interesting evolution; from the middle to the end of the Xbox One days, until now with the Xbox Series console. After the initial negative reception for Xbox One, Phil Spencer and the team at Xbox has begun a steady and consumer-focused comeback. This led to backwards compatibility on Xbox One, the introduction of Xbox Game Pass, which among other factors contributed to a significant improvement in general perception of the Xbox brand coming to the ninth generation console. However, even outside of the positive changes that have made Xbox so successful in this generation, many criticize the Xbox for its lack of compelling exclusive features.
Okay, this is before release Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5, but even with those games in context, many people still think Xbox pales in comparison to PlayStation. Things like Not detected yet, Our Last One, Spiderman, Belgian Guava, Horizon, God of War, and more that made PS4 the place to play in the last generation of consoles, something the Xbox didn’t have. Microsoft is looking to change this generation and has taken some big steps to do so.
Microsoft is certainly reaching out for additional exclusivity to add to Xbox’s portfolio when it makes sense. In the case of Bethesda (ZeniMax), Microsoft could have taken advantage of the number of Xbox players who played games like SkyrMe or Fallout 4 on Xbox to help inform their acquisition decisions. More importantly, however, Bethesda games are often praised for their mod support on PC, which also means that Bethesda exclusivity isn’t a bad thing as the Windows platform is still included. Even if that means taking PlayStation players out of the equation, do next Elder Scrolls or Starfield to exclude, to expel still benefit both Bethesda and Xbox.
On the other hand, the Activision Blizzard games are still diverse which makes a lot of sense consider the widespread popularity of games like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch. While these franchises are certainly selling brilliantly across the Xbox and PC platforms, the fact that Microsoft cuts off potential revenue from the PlayStation side would be a loss for the studio. Call of Duty In particular, being the highest-selling continuously released game of the past year, will bring in a significant amount of revenue from the remaining cross-platform form. Microsoft wouldn’t want to ignore that consumer base, especially considering how alienating PlayStation players would lead to bad press.
It makes perfect sense for Xbox to get a monopoly on popular Xbox and PC games, even if there isn’t a minority of players on Sony’s platform. Microsoft has been very careful in the selection of its exclusives, although part of the fan base on the PlayStation is bound to be disappointed. Compared to Sony, however, it has a much tighter grip on proprietary IPs than all the others PlayStation-exclusive features that have appeared throughout the life of the PS4.
Tides can change on PlayStation with Bungie
For a while, Sony has been less willing to share the wealth with its blockbuster monopolies, which likely influenced Microsoft’s pursuit of acquiring more studios in the first place. Especially in the last console generation on PS4, Sony has flexed the power of both old and new IP through new entries in hugely popular franchises. The Ratchet & Clank redo helped pave the way for Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart on PS5, Uncharted 4 is the famous swan song of Naughty Dog Indiana Jones– adjoining adventures from PS3, while Our Last One and its sequel has made a strong impression on players, all of which (and more) were completely exclusive to PlayStation for a while.
That’s why the Bungie acquisition is particularly unusual, at least in terms of the language used by both Bungie and PlayStation following the studio acquisition. Bungie has always prided herself on her independence openly, especially after studio splits from Activision for publishing Fate 2 independence. However, even with the question of future PlayStation exclusivity on titles in development, Bungie has made it clear that the studio will “continue to self-publish, creatively independent.” create,” under PlayStation.
From the PlayStation’s point of view, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan also echoed a similar infrequently shared view of PlayStation in general. According to an interview with Ryan at Gamesindustry.biz, this acquisition is justified by the experience Bungie has been able to offer Sony “in the ability to create massive online games, cross-platform, services online, which is something the broader organization is eager to learn from.” Ryan also explicitly stated that this acquisition was never meant to “pull things into the PlayStation world,” but rather an effort. to expand Sony’s plans to pursue additional cross-platform releases for PlayStation Studios games Future.
This is in stark contrast to past PlayStation acquisitions, including such as Housemarque and Bluepoint Games. While these studios have previously produced games exclusively for PlayStation, the acquisition of these studios by Sony ensures that future efforts by these development teams will remain exclusive to the PlayStation platform. . The Bungie acquisition is an attempt by Sony to expand beyond exclusive games, an all-out play that helped define the success of the previous-generation PlayStation. Not only is PlayStation intended to expand its first-party live service offerings, but its emphasis on “cross-platform” support is a welcome surprise from Sony.
Exclusive is not cut and dry with PlayStation and Xbox
Given the level of exclusivity being pursued by both Microsoft and Sony, it’s clear that both companies are looking for ambitious ways to expand without stepping on their fans. Both Microsoft and Sony clearly understand the desire to keep massively multiplayer online games cross-platform, like Call of Duty and Life, will only benefit both PlayStation and Xbox.
PlayStation is likely still interested in keeping its exclusive single-player IPs close to its chest, but even that view is shaking when games like God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn find your way to the PC platform. Microsoft also only benefits from Xbox-PC exclusivity, which underscores the shift from exclusivity between both platforms to just being available to single-player games.
Neither Microsoft nor Sony’s major acquisitions lead to the platform-agnostic future some might expect from video games in the distant future, but it’s a friendly change. consumer friendly. Multiplayer games are still cross-platform, especially with apply more crossgames across multiple AAA game releases, only for the benefit of the player. At the same time, Microsoft’s efforts to achieve more compelling single-player exclusivity bring Xbox closer to Sony’s exclusive single-player offerings on PlayStation. Both Sony and Microsoft are able to deliver immersive gaming experiences without shedding the most popular games from separate platforms.
Especially when difference between PS5 and Xbox Series X (at least at the surface level) is minimal, the dedication to cross-platform support on behalf of both games is a great result. Many would be quick to criticize or worry about a merger, but for now, the acquisitions of both platforms are inherently negative from a consumer point of view. Each platform has selling points that don’t force players to play only a certain way.
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https://gamerant.com/sony-microsoft-comparison-acquisition-exclusivity-multiplatform-business-strategy/ Compare Sony and Microsoft’s Proprietary and Approaches