Yes, that is essential. I am about to throw caution to the wind and do something (optionally extremely stupid) that has never been done before. Yet that is for tomorrow (or the day after). For now we focus on Microsoft. I did not plan this, yet with the article (at https://www.reuters.com/markets/deals/uk-watchdog-further-probe-microsofts-687-billion-activision-deal-2022-09-01/) we get ‘Microsoft’s $69 bln Activision deal could harm competition, UK says’ I keep my voice in the middle in this. You see I always applauded exclusives, in any system. It made Nintendo the behemoth it is today and Sony has had its successes as well, as did Microsoft with its Master sergeant in Halo. All systems had this and even as I hated Microsoft buying Bethesda, it was a brilliant tactical ploy. I did counter it by giving away RPG IP to all Amazon Luna and Sony Playstation developers, but it is a valid ploy. Yet Microsoft keeps on buying companies. It is their funeral. Yet the UK only reacts to Activision? So when I see “Microsoft Corp’s $69 billion acquisition of “Call of Duty” maker Activision Blizzard could harm competition in gaming consoles, subscription services and cloud gaming, and it needs to be investigated in depth” this might be fair enough, but it seems that there is a larger issue here and it is not with Microsoft, I have more questions regarding certain ‘investigators’. Now, as stated before, I am no Microsoft fan for a few reasons and those who have read my articles know what I am about. But here is something more and I was happy that some people had (again) not done their homework. This is seen with ““We want people to have more access to games, not less,” Microsoft President and Vice Chair Brad Smith said. “Sony, as the industry leader, says it is worried about ‘Call of Duty’, but we’ve said we are committed to making the same game available on the same day on both Xbox and PlayStation,” he said.” I am hereby calling Brad Smith a LIAR! You see with the purchase of Bethesda they have clearly stated that the new Elder Scrolls is now an Xbox exclusive. As such we see Brad Smith as the liar and Sony gamers as the victim. But there is another side. Microsoft has been pushing its cloud gaming, and that is the path they will take, to host Microsoft cloud games on other systems, so that they can honestly claim that they service all systems, as long as it goes via their cloud capturing data (a speculation, I admit).
And the cloud solution is seen with “the deal would not be anti-competitive if competitors were given access to Microsoft games, as Microsoft has pledged” It is the ‘access to Microsoft games’ part that is the stage and interestingly enough there is no ‘release on other systems’ part. It is a larger capture and I get it, it is decently brilliant. As such I gave the others a new RPG game, parts of the stage, parts of the story (to get them started) and within a week another nice surprise that will cost Microsoft dearly (if all goes well) and on September 30th several parts become public domain, and only the clever sleuths will be able to find it. A new way to push the industry in a new direction. It is a crazy step and it took me months of pondering, but as I was given the afternoon off, I went to a local internet cafe and activated the timer. It is the start of one hell of a ride that might not go anywhere, but it will make the headlines and show the shortcomings of a few tech players (including Microsoft), yet the article bothers me. You see I believe in exclusivity, as such the quote “Microsoft needs to give a greater deal on assurances and put down in writing certain specifics around exclusivity” bothers me. What specifics? An exclusive game is an exclusive game. That is the case for Nintendo, Sony and as such also Microsoft. They are allowed exclusive games and if they buy Activision for 69 billion, they got the company and the exclusives are theirs. I might not like it, but that is the game, I countered by handing a totally new and unique RPG game to Amazon Luna and Sony Playstation free of charge. That was my choice, and over time I do believe the stupidity of Microsoft will be the death of them (I will be happy to help out though).
And over time we will see shifts, the streamers will make sure of that, but that is the day after tomorrow. For now we focus on today and tomorrow. And here the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) might be an optional enemy. You see, Mario has been a Nintendo exclusive for a long time, for decades but the CMA did nothing there. So what gives now? They did not act on the buy of Bethesda, so what gives now? They are all focussing on “Call of Duty”, there is no mention of Diablo, a franchise no less important. And I get it, they have a case. Microsoft got greedy and now there is an issue. Yet I still feel bothered, because this stage opens the end of exclusives and that is a problem. It is a problem because the games will end up being as good as the weakest system and that is not acceptable. Am I overreacting? Perhaps a little, but there will always be differences in games. And these differences will make a game better on either system A or B, and that is fine. But when a system MUST be there for both one system will lose out more and they will have a game that is less than optimal and that is a larger problem. Gaming must always be at the edge of technology and that makes gaming great. As such not all games will work on all systems. Some games will be better in one location, some will be better in the other place. Exclusives are more than a game on one system. They are the games that uses that system to the maximum of what is possible. It is one reason why we love our exclusives. So I cannot tell if the CMA has a point but from a pure gaming point of view they are on a slippery slope as I personally see it.