Very good article
The sheer scale of Microsoft's acquisition shouldn't distract from how risky and difficult it will be - and some major questions won't have answers for years
The price tag is only one facet of the scale of the deal, though; Activision Blizzard is also a huge company in other respects, with roughly 10,000 employees and a large number of internal studios, several of which would be pretty decently-sized companies in their own right.
Why Microsoft needs to be careful:The scale and complexity of what's being attempted with this acquisition -- with the full complexity only really starting at the point where the deal itself closes -- makes it into a genuinely risky proposition. There's an obvious temptation to read it as a major competitive broadside aimed at Sony and thus to present the deal as a huge coup for Microsoft, but that obscures just how difficult the task ahead for Microsoft actually is, and the many ways in which an acquisition like this can actually fail, ultimately delivering far less value than the acquiring company was hoping for.
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In truth, mergers and acquisitions fail to deliver real value all the time; we need look no further than close-to-home examples, like EA's various studio acquisitions or Microsoft's own expensive buyout of Rare, for instances where acquisitions ultimately underdelivered on expectations.
Such failures can be due to a cultural mismatch, poor management of the merger, badly calibrated expectations on either side, or a host of other reasons ranging from internal politics to simple bad timing.
Why Sony won't be rushing to respond:Microsoft is still in the process of really trying to get its first-party game studios off the ground, so it's not like there's a well-established studio system and product pipeline that Activision Blizzard's various studios can be integrated with. And Microsoft is still in a process of integrating its last major gaming acquisition, Bethesda, which remains in the "hugely promising" pile regarding its contribution to the Xbox platform and is unlikely to actually start delivering major first-party titles for quite some time.
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Sony will be perturbed by this deal, but also keenly aware of the complexity of what Microsoft is undertaking and the risks involved, and thus wary of making any rushed or panicked moves in response.
Sony is a little less vulnerable to a rival buying up third-party publishers than it used to be. Microsoft buying Activision a couple of console generations ago would have been a devastating blow to PlayStation, but all Sony's work on building up its first-party exclusives now cushions that blow significantly.