News in Activision: Shareholder voice, teasing of WarCraft smartphone games

Just a few of the Activision franchises that will become Microsoft properties if and when the acquisition is completed.
Enlarge / Just a few of the Activision franchises that will become Microsoft properties if and when the acquisition is completed.

Microsoft / Activision

On Thursday, Microsoft and Activision-Blizzard cleared the second biggest obstacle left in their plan to implement a $ 68.7 billion acquisition deal: existing shareholder acquisition.

ATVI shareholders have voted overwhelmingly to approve Microsoft’s bid to buy Activision-Blizzard, and a company announcement counted over 98 percent of shareholders’ votes in the “yes” column.

At a dollar-and-cent level, anyone currently holding Activision shares is likely to be interested in the potential cash windfall that will come their way if the trade is completed. Ahead of the shareholder vote Thursday morning, Activision stock prices traded around $ 76 per share, while Microsoft’s terms of purchase include a buyout amount of $ 95 per share.

FTC is next, and critics claim “unnecessary concentration of market power”

This stock price has fallen steadily since an upward rise on January 18, the same day that Microsoft and Activision announced their potential deal. As Bloomberg points out, the gap between the current trading price and the acquisition value is higher than many significant mergers and acquisitions hovering in the US, especially the upcoming Twitter acquisition led by Elon Musk. Such gaps often indicate a lack of market confidence in a proposed deal that survives the regulator’s investigation.

Well enough, Federal Trade Commission approval is the last likely obstacle for Microsoft’s acquisition deal to survive before the deal can begin to take official form, and from press time, reports suggest the FTC will take the lead in conducting an antitrust review of the deal. This follows a statement on January 18 (yes, the same day that Microsoft announced its takeover intentions) that the FTC and the U.S. Department of Justice sought public comment in their efforts to “better detect and prevent illegal, anti-competitive agreements in today’s modern markets.” “

Shortly afterwards, critics of the proposed Microsoft-Activision merger published open letters rejecting the deal and highlighting its antitrust aspects. One such letter, issued on March 1 and signed by 15 advocacy groups, argued that the agreement “could lead to an unnecessary concentration of market power when considered as a vertical or horizontal merger, threaten data protection and security, undermine online consumer protection, violate the consumer’s right to repair and aggravate layoffs and wage repression. ” The letters’ claims about Microsoft’s grip on the video game and cloud computing markets were undoubtedly exacerbated by Microsoft’s bullish financial revelations earlier this week, which pointed to continued jumps in revenue in both of those markets.

Should the acquisition clear all regulatory controls, Microsoft will likely still have significant Activision-Blizzard setbacks to deal with, primarily in the form of ongoing legal pressure over widespread allegations of pay inequality and sexual harassment throughout Activision Blizzard’s network of game studios. That case went into a new, bizarre phase earlier this month when a California state attorney general in the case withdrew in protest, pointing to Governor Gavin Newsom’s decision to fire a senior lawyer in the agency handling the state’s lawsuit.

The games keep coming

Still, Activision Blizzard continues to blow full steam ahead in terms of launches and teasing of new video games. A few hours after Thursday’s shareholder poll ended, the company announced a countdown to a new WarCraft game announcement at 13.00 ET on Tuesday 3 May. The game in question is slated to be launched on mobile phones, and Blizzard has teased “exciting news for heroes from Azeroth who want to take their adventures on the go.”

That language suggests a kind of full-fledged “adventure” in WarCraft the universe, unlike a smartphone-like puzzle or inactive game, but it is not necessarily a clear indication of what is to come. For a better guess, we turn to Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier, who earlier this week suggested on the gaming forum ResetERA that Blizzard is currently working on at least two smartphone games in WarCraft the universe, and those he knows are “one Pok√©mon Go [and] another Clash-ish one, “referring to either clash of clans or Clash Royale.

This news follows the long awaited beta for Overwatch 2 will finally go live on Tuesday if Twitch streams immediately broke viewer records for Blizzard games. Its simultaneous viewership exceeded 1.4 million this week, presumably due to a Twitch promotion that provided free beta keys to viewers as “drops” so they could access the beta on their own PCs during the three -ugers test. And in easily the least surprising Activision-related news, the company revealed as well the first logo and the next tease Call of Duty video games Thursday, baptized Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2apparently a successor to Cod spinoffs 2019 reboot, as opposed to a remaster of the original 2009 sequel (not confusing at all, no).