We are only two months away from the release of Diablo IV and the hype is growing among gamers… Especially because it is increasingly likely to be released on Xbox One Game Pass and Xbox S and X Series. But before you gloat and start picking your class and preparing your strategy against Lilith, keep in mind that it’s not entirely clear. And the problem is not Xbox’s or Activision Blizzard’s, who are looking forward to it, but that each country has to approve the acquisition individually.
Nihon ga saisho ni yatta!
On October 7, 2022, Brazil was the first relevant country in the industry to approve the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which would make Microsoft the third largest video game company in the world. However, it was a somewhat pyrrhic victory: it was already known that it was not going to be a slam dunk. In fact, Sony president Jim Ryan traveled to several countries to explain that the move would be unfair to PlayStation gamers.
However, it hasn’t quite worked out for him, because now it is Japan that, after Serbia, Chile and Saudi Arabia, has given the go-ahead to spend $69 billion to acquire Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and the Diablo saga, among many others. The Japanese Fair Trade Federation has concluded that strengthening the deal would not noticeably restrict competition in the industry.
It is also true that Xbox accounts for a ridiculous percentage of the market there, so if anything it would encourage a little more competition there. However, the most important body remains that of the United States, whose laws are different from Japan’s but surprisingly similar to Japan’s in this area. The Commerce Commission has already sued Microsoft trying to stop the agreement with Activision Blizzard, but everything seems to indicate that it will come to nothing, giving even more power to the “Yes”.
In fact, analysts believe that by mid-2023 they could have a free hand. And then a new video game giant will be born. How will Sony react? Will Nintendo care at all? We will find out in the next few years, which promise to be exciting. With or without Call of Duty on Xbox.