Stock in Sony plunged overnight by 13%, equating $20 billion lost in the company, in the wake of Microsoft's announcement that it will be purchasing Activision Blizzard (opens in new tab).
According to Bloomberg (opens in new tab) and Eurogamer (opens in new tab), this the largest fall in stock price in Sony's history since 2008.
Meanwhile, shares in Japanese companies, such as Capcom, Square Enix, and Konami, jumped by about 5%. Ubisoft's stock prices also went up by 11%.
The deal between Microsoft and Activision is worth $68.7 billion, which is nearly 10 times more what Microsoft paid to acquire Bethesda. The deal won't be finalized until 2023.
Sony's response? Preferably not its own buy out
This is undoubtedly one of, if not the biggest business deal in the games industry's entire history. Naturally, people are wondering how Sony will respond to the news, especially now that it has lost money as a result.
The obvious suggestion is that Sony make a major acquisition of its own. It's certainly no stranger to snapping up studios. In 2021, it bought out the likes of Housemarque and Bluepoint Games. However, neither are on the same level as this Activision one and both studios already had very close working relationships with Sony.
This idea has also been met with criticism from those who see Microsoft's deal as further consolidation of the industry and an act that doesn't benefit consumers or developers at all.
Our own Callum Bains said "The acquisition also represents the further monopolization of the gaming industry. With some of the world’s biggest games studios now held under one roof, answering to the same commercial interests, players, as much as developers, should be worried about what this deal means for the creative direction of the industry. Games aren’t just entertainment, they’re a business. And now a single business has control of a startling proportion of the industry’s output."
There's even speculation that the deal could violate anti-monopoly laws, which would result in the deal being rendered null and void. However, just as many suspect that it will sail through with little issue.
It's also unclear how much this deal will affect Sony in terms of game releases. The obvious assumption is that all of Activision's IPs (Overwatch, Diablo, Crash Bandicoot etc.) will become Xbox exclusives.
But Xbox Gaming CEO Phil Spencer has said "It’s not our intent to pull communities away from [the PlayStation platform] and we remained committed to that," which could suggest at least some of them will still be multiplatform.
Many believe this will apply to Activision's biggest IP, Call of Duty. The series has always performed well on PlayStation platforms, something that could be extremely beneficial for Microsoft if it could turn that tide.
Fans should prepare themselves for future Activision games to be Xbox only releases anyway. After all, this is what has happened with Bethesda (opens in new tab), with the likes of Starfield so far only confirmed for Xbox and PC with nary a sign of a PlayStation 5 release.
- Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard - everything you need to know