8 Biggest Xbox Risks (That Totally Backfired)

4. Buying Activision-Blizzard

xbox rare

Did you hear that Microsoft is buying Activision-Blizzard? You probably did, it's been everywhere.

What Microsoft probably hoped would be an open-and-shut case wound up becoming the headline that wouldn't go away. Because of the nature of such a huge purchase, that sees Xbox jump to the biggest game company in the US, there was intervention by governing bodies like the Competition and Markets Authority. The buyout was stalled.

And, as the months rolled on, it meant more and more time for folks to examine it from every angle. There was discussion about how the whole thing was a perfect way for Activision-Blizzard to push it's workplace harassment allegations out of the headlines. There was talk that it was harmful to the entertainment industry.

The whole thing became a platform for Xbox, Sony and whoever else to show just how childish they could be. When the UK Government took the side of the CMA, temporarily blocking the deal, in an angry tirade Microsoft vice chair Brad Smith called the move "bad for Britain".

Obviously, the games industry is a business, and it's all about that bottom line. But putting this deal under the microscope has really illuminated the issues with both Microsoft and Sony striking exclusive deals with independent studios. Exclusivity is important, but so too is a healthy industry that feeds on competition over creating a monopoly.

More than this, it was just a lot of press that Microsoft probably could've done without. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X have both had a rather rough couple of years since launch due to a lack of hardware availability and underwhelming releases. However, Microsoft gobbling up Call of Duty for GamePass like a cosmic horror business mogul has become the unshakeable image for the brand in the last year.


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