In a new interview, the CEO of Take-Two Interactive says he believes Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision would be good for the gaming industry.
Take-Two Interactive chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick stated that he thinks the proposed Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard would benefit the gaming industry in a lengthy interview published online. Zelnick’s support for Microsoft comes after Take-Two Interactive acquires Zynga, the maker of mobile game hits like Farmville and Words With Friends, in early 2022.
Since Microsoft revealed its plans to acquire the maker of World of Warcraft and Call of Duty at the beginning of 2022, speculation about Microsoft’s potential acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been rife. International regulators actively watch the proposed acquisition, and gamers are worried that their favorite franchises will switch to Xbox exclusivity. Concerns over PlayStation losing access to Activision games allegedly reached the point where Jim Ryan, the company’s CEO, reportedly met with EU regulators to express his opposition to the acquisition.
Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick expressed his belief that a Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard would be a net positive for the industry by luring more gamers into the overall market in an interview published on YouTube by entertainment and media business site The Wrap. Zelnick asserted that he did not view Microsoft’s games as direct competitors because they did not provide gamers with the same franchises and experiences that Take-Two could, in contrast to the opinions of some industry figures like PlayStation’s Jim Ryan. Zelnick believes that Microsoft’s acquisition plans won’t impact demand for Take-games Two’s given the unparalleled level of hype surrounding Rockstar, a Take-Two developer, for its upcoming game in the wake of the Grand Theft Auto 6 leaks.
When the interviewer challenges the supposition that the Microsoft deal will benefit Take-Two, Zelnick responds by elaborating on the reasons why he believes Take-Two will gain from Microsoft’s increased market share. Zelnick points out that since many of Microsoft’s players have made it clear that they want to play Take-releases, Two’s Microsoft is probably best served by promoting Take-products. Two’s Zelnick believes that more gamers overall means more potential Take-Two customers, regardless of whether that promotion draws attention to Take-Two titles on the Xbox store or allows players to play the most recent GTA game on the rumored Xbox streaming console.
Whatever the final decision on Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, it is becoming obvious that consolidation is taking over the gaming sector. Mergers are frequently happening in the gaming industry, from Sony’s purchase of a larger stake in From Software to Meta’s acquisition of VR developers. While the companies involved in these mergers benefit financially, it may be some time before it is known whether regular gamers also benefit from these agreements.