Just about ever gamer knows there’s a ton of drama surrounding Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard merger. Now, it’s really the FTC vs Microsoft vs Sony and the CMA. Both the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and the CMA (Competition Market Authority of the UK) want to block the merger.
Both basically borrowed talking points from Sony on why it should not happen. As a PC gamer, I’m looking forward to this.
Microsoft’s Redemption Arc
I truly hated Microsoft when they released the first Xbox. After all the excitement I had for the Halo demo I watched on PC, Microsoft stole it for their big Xbox console launch. Obviously, it was a system seller and the rest is history. To me it felt like a betrayal of PC gamers who helped make Microsoft Windows into such a success. I did eventually play the PC port, but I still hated that they forced me to wait that long.
Fast forward to recent years and I’m now a big fan of Microsoft and Xbox. No surprise that’s due to the fantastic value of PC Game Pass. Microsoft’s new commitment to release their games on PC and Xbox (now even Xcloud) day one sold me. Treating PC gamers like a part of the community instead of an afterthought is a big change from the early Xbox days.
Sony could still learn that lesson. They release games on PC now, but years after thy Playstation exclusive releases. I hope the PC money is eventually too good for them to delay their PC ports so long.
Microsoft’s Merger with Activision-Blizzard
Now that the FTC’s attempted block of the deal was denied (twice) and the CMA wants to negotiate, the deal is as good as done. Sony and many PlayStation fanatics are livid. Most Xbox and PC gamers, on the other hand, are excited. Like the Bethesda acquisition, this Activision-Blizzard merger guarantees day one access for PC, Xbox and XCloud.
No timed PlayStation exclusive games, skins, mission, etc.. Sure PS loyalists are salty about losing that advantage, or possibly access to new game IPs. As PC gamer though, I say it’s about time. I understand first party games being exclusive only to console, but those deals keeping third party games off PC is a bit too far.
Access is important, but Game Pass is the killer app behind all this. Day one access is great, but being able to play new releases with that monthly subscription is key. Now it’s inevitable that Call of Duty games new and old will come to Game Pass. I loved Modern Warfare and Black Ops, but then fell way behind newer titles due to typical life stuff.
I’m looking forward to playing some of those I missed without shelling out a ton of extra cash. What I’m really excited for is the real possibility that this Microsoft Activision-Blizzard merger moves away from yearly Call of Duty releases. That extra time could improve both future COD titles and awaken some of Activision Blizzard’s old IPs.
Just imagine a modern reimagining of King’s Quest, Zork, Pitfall! or so much more. I didn’t even mention that Diablo IV, a possible GOTY contender, is also in the cards. I know, I’m way behind. I’m excited and I hope other PC gamers are too. Game Pass Day One FTW.