CEO Nadella: Microsoft Aims to Encourage Greater Competition Among Game Makers

Satya Nadella, CEO of American tech giant Microsoft, has stated that the company hopes to increase competition among video game publishers as it faces an antitrust investigation into its $69 billion offer to acquire Activision Blizzard.

A European Union (EU) investigation has been launched over the potential acquisition due to the concern that Microsoft may restrict access to Activision’s console and PC video games, including internationally popular titles like Call of Duty

Mobile Gaming Presence

Microsoft has mostly focused on the video game console and personal computer markets, with the release of the Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, which provide access to hundreds of titles.

Its mobile gaming profile, which is virtually missing, may be bolstered by Activision Blizzard. 

Blizzard is an American game publisher behind famous franchises like Call of Duty, Warcraft, and Candy Crush.

Microsoft CEO and Chairman Satya Nadella told CNBC’s Tanvir Gill on Thursday, Nov. 17, that the company’s overarching mission is to increase competition across gaming platforms so that players have more choices.

If the Activision Blizzard deal goes through, Microsoft will have a stronger competitive position against other game publishers such as Tencent and Sony. 

Tencent released the massively popular mobile game Honor of Kings, while Sony established PlayStation mobile gaming unit and acquired two mobile game developers.

When questioned about his thoughts on the EU investigation, Nadella pointed out that, like any significant agreements, the authorities should analyze them.

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Market Performace

According to CNBC, Microsoft reported in July that its gaming revenue was down 7% for its fiscal fourth quarter. 

This decline was due to a decrease in Xbox sales. There was also a drop in engagement and monetization, negatively impacting content and services sales. 

However, this decline was partially offset by growth in Xbox Game Pass subscriptions.

Earlier this November, Microsoft’s Xbox CEO Phil Spencer explained how the firm is adjusting to price increases caused by the economic crisis. 

He said that the company loses between $100 and $200 on every Xbox device sold, whether it is Series X or Series S.

Spencer said in a previous interview that the company would make up for the sales losses by selling more game add-ons and games.

Long-term Ambition

In response to a question on Microsoft’s long-term goals in the gaming industry, Nadella said, “Microsoft isn’t a conglomerate, I want to be very clear. It’s not about sort of gaming here and productivity here.”

The central concept, according to him, is the core technology they developed to enable them to operate in different companies while providing tangible benefits to the customers.

“What can Microsoft uniquely do for gamers and game publishers? I believe there is plenty we can do,” he told CNBC.

“We have been in games for decades,” Nadella remarked when asked what would happen if the Activision Blizzard merger fell through. In the near future, he said gamers can still find them in the gaming industry.

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Written by Trisha Kae Andrada

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