Google and NVIDIA have concerns about the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard acquisition
This really shouldn’t come as a surprise, and it doesn’t. But, before we delve into the details, I’d just like to express my own concern about Google. Why are we allowing a company that essentially has a stranglehold over the mobile market to voice concerns over monopolization? Does Google not understand that it, along with Apple, controls the mobile entertainment industry? Is that not more of a monopoly than Microsoft-Activision Blizzard would have?
Rant aside, the story is thus: Google and NVIDIA have jointly become the latest major tech stakeholders to voice concerns about the planned merger between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard. The pair joins a thoroughly unimpressed Sony in the pouting corner, even though Microsoft has already assured Sony that it would not lose access to the Call of Duty franchise - the only part of the acquisition Sony really cares about.
Sort of related: Microsoft planning to invest $10 billion into OpenAI
Wait till you hear why Google and NVIDIA have run into the authoritative arms of the FTC; it’s a real lark. Google has its algorithms in a knot because it feels that with the acquisition, Microsoft stands to gain too much of a foothold in the cloud, subscription, and mobile gaming sectors. I kid you not; Google, the company with one of the largest stakes in mobile entertainment, is concerned about Microsoft gaining a foothold.
NVIDIA’s GPU is overheating because it believes that everyone should have equal and open access to major gaming titles such as Call of Duty. See? I told you that’s the only game that this disagreement is actually about.
The facts are that Microsoft would be the best place for Activision-Blizzard to thrive. We need only look at gaming franchises like Mojang’s Minecraft for proof. Before Microsoft acquired Mojang, the game was fairly decent, but it was purely optimized for PC, and there was only one mainline game. Subsequent to the acquisition, the franchise has two spin-off titles, Minecraft Legends and Minecraft Dungeons, a much larger, but equally as passionate and dedicated team, and the game is playable on nearly every platform.
On the point of platforms, there’s the issue of exclusivity. While Microsoft increases the availability of the franchises it acquires, Sony does not. For instance, God of War, Bloodborne, and Shadow of the Colossus are what are termed ‘PlayStation exclusives.’ This means that Xbox players can’t play them. Referring back to NVIDIA’s concerns over equal and open access, who is better positioned to provide that access than Microsoft? Of course, NVIDIA isn’t talking about gamers having access here, unless it hasn’t been paying attention to how Microsoft operates. It must be referring to other companies within the tech sphere.
Gamers are the entity that should take precedence here. If the deal is to result in more players having access to more games on more platforms, let it go through. If the deal is to result in a wider franchise with more opportunities for enjoyment, let it move forward. But, don’t hand in anonymous complaints about monopolization if you already essentially have one. I’m talking to you Google.Advertisement