TLDR: Microsoft purchased Activision Blizzard, AB would have preferred to sell to Facebook/Meta, Bobby will go away, but takes $350-400 million with him, games will likely continue to support other platforms if the money is right, Guitar hero could return, Xbox Studios roster is massive.
Given I'm but one person(ish) and not a massive media news outlet I thought it wise to let everyone else do the writing and then pick apart what is out in wild and present it here for you - I've read over some of the most popular gaming-related websites as I feel they offer a more focused opinion on the subject matter than the generic media which honestly reports on two things - gaming is evil, massive purchases... that's about it so what do we know?
Facebook / Meta please
First, we know that Activision Blizzard was probably looking to get purchased before Microsoft pulled the trigger, according to Gamerant (here) Bobby Kotick would have rather seen Facebook aka Meta pickup Activision Blizzard rather than Microsoft or 'another large company' but no indication is given to who that other large company is
Gamespot claimed that one of the companies 'in the mix' for the purchase was EA (here), they got this information from Bobby Kotick hinting that a merger of sorts with EA could have been fruitful.
GamesRadar (here) suggests (via Bloomberg) that Activision Blizzard would have preferred a deal with Meta rather than Microsoft why I don't know maybe the attraction of one toxic entity to another.
Bye Bye Bobby
Thankfully everyone basically reported that Bobby Kotick is to step down once the deal is done and completed with Microsoft according to PC Gamer, GameRant, Gamespot and Gamesradar however despite this it does look like he did have plans to address the ongoing issues in the press by buying up the press according to Gamerant he has planned to purchase Kotaku and PC Gamer this stems from "people who know him" talking to a Wall Street Journal interviewer WSJ article here, GameSpot also pretty much quoted the same sources (WSJ) with the same take on the report that has it happened it would have been to repaint a new narrative for Activision Blizzard. Kotaku themselves opted to focus on the real reasons for the sale without the PR spins and usual crap that comes out when massive events such as this happen - you can read all about that here
Got paid anyway
The Kotaku article above also notes just many shares it's thought that Bobby will be holding could end in a $400 million paydays while others such as [Gamerant](https://gamerant.comactivision-blizzard-ceo-bobby-kotick-microsoft-acquisition-earnings/) and GameSpot say the number could be closer to $350 million, either way, that's a lot of money.
I opted to leave out the emails from a breakdown but virtually every outlet covered them so here they are:
Sony takes a hit
Sony - the most obvious direct competitor to the Xbox brand at present seemingly lost around $20 billion off its stock price which if true is a massive amount, it's double what Microsoft paid for Bethesda a giant in its own right. This seems like an obvious 'oh crap' reaction but Sony overall won't be too concerned about the purchase but customers could be concerned about exclusives coming to the Xbox brand
This was also covered by Comicbook and GameSpot
Gameinformer opted to approach the Sony stock slump from the perspective of what next and what now and it seems more and more obvious that the Netflix methodology does work for gaming as Gamepass has been a massive hit racking up 25 million subscribers! However, Sony either has a plan already in motion that they want to see through or they really don't think the games as a service setup (Gamepass) doesn't work as they have resisted many other Xbox norms such as backwards compatibility across the entire console generations...
Xbox Series S|X can play Xbox, 360 and One games, PS5 can play PS4 games and in many cases requires an additional $10 purchase to make a PS4 game use next-gen optimisations - I don't own a PS5 so I correct me if this information is wrong/outdated
25 Million on Gamepass
The deal itself is not all awesome and wonderful as at least two sources 12 have suggested that Sekiro, one of the biggest and most modern games from Activision Blizzard may not be coming over in the deal, a couple of outlets pointed out that From Software holds the IP to Sekiro so while we should see a massive wealth of IP coming to Microsoft, one the more modern and interesting ones will probably not be part of that deal and current trademarks do confirm the rights holder is From Software
Some have suggested that other dead IP's could make a return and one of the most obvious is Guitar Hero which in its day was a huge success, however, due to the declining quality of the game and the ever-increasing prices of the required controllers - Guitar Hero has faded to memory - however, as reported by GameSpot if anyone can get Guitar Hero back into the spotlight it's probably a company like Microsoft that can license the biggest names for the music catalogue but also create some great controllers!
Guitar Hero isn't the only dead IP Microsoft could bring back under A:B or any other of its massive array of studios
- Geometry Wars
While a lot of talks has gone into sequels and bringing games back, Microsoft will also own King, the people that make your moms favourite game, Candy Crush and it's impossible to understand just how massive of a footprint in mobile gaming that gives Microsoft, Microsoft the same people that had windows phone and NO apps now owns one of the biggest if not the biggest mobile game franchises on the planet!
Activision Blizzard themselves paid $5.9 billion for King in 2016 and it's fair to say alongside Call of Duty, Candy Crush makes stacks upon stacks of cash.
Trust / Anti-Trust / Monopoly
I'm not smart enough to debate if Microsoft is now a monopoly in gaming, some are suggesting that is the case and they will struggle to get approval while others have said a few issues to overcome but no worries. I feel like this will probably be approved as while it's a massive purchase Microsoft can easily point to the likes of EA, Ubisoft and many many other big and small studios that are surviving just fine but .. not a lawyer so who knows
Microsoft at the start of this generation was accused of having very few or few launch exclusives and even before the Series S|X it's not like studios were not working on such games but at the time of launch it's a very fair statement but long term you have to look at the Xbox Studios family - even without Activision Blizzard and it's an impressive talent pool a Twitter user made a small infographic covering just the studios
Gamespot also put together a list of the largest IPs to come out of this and we get
- Call of Duty
- Crash Bandicoot
- Guitar Hero
- Spyro the Dragon / Skylanders
- Tony Hawk
- Lost Vikings
- World of Warcraft
- Bubble Witch Saga
- Candy Crush
- Diamond Diaries Saga
- Farm Heroes Saga
- Pet Rescue
So .. that's about it for the purchases, I still feel like Bethesda was a better purchase and while I do recognise some of the titles they have picked up as big, they are just not my jam, however, I do agree with a lot of sentiments put out by some fellow gamers I spoke to that hopefully some of these world-class studios get time to breathe and work on other stuff rather than the yearly COD rush.. and lose the yearly releases, Halo and Gears of war have proven you can be a massive success without that cycle...
If you're a Sony person, wouldn't worry they have plenty of first-party studios but they do need to step up with some kind of subscription service, even the weirdos at Nintendo have one, Apple of all people has one and they are easy for most to work with - pay a fee, download what interests you - play the crap out of it.
PC gamers - you win in this whole thing because Xbox is still under Microsoft, so is windows and Microsoft while it will want Xbox to emerge as this dominant force, it'll not want to lose those PC gamers either so I'd imagine anything that drops for Xbox will eventually if not on day one drop for PC also.