The UK government has blocked Microsoft’s takeover of Activision Blizzard, something Sony is no doubt happy about after PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan lobbied against the merger for months. However, not every company in the gaming industry is so invested. EA CEO Andrew Wilson has said he is “indifferent” about whether the merger is ultimately successful.
“That’s a question I get asked a lot, I’m almost never allowed to answer that question as it turns out,” Wilson said in a Q&A after EA’s latest earnings call (thanks, VGC). “I would say I don’t know what’s going to happen with Activision and Microsoft.
“Again, we continue to be Microsoft’s biggest partner — I think we’re the number one publisher on their platform — so whether or not this deal works out is not a big deal for us overall.”
In general, Wilson spoke about the future of the industry and specifically about acquisitions. We’ve seen more and more in recent years with Microsoft acquiring Obsidian, Bethesda and Mojang, Embracer Group acquiring Crystal Dynamis, Eidos Montreal and several others, while PlayStation bought out Insomniac, Bluepoint Games and Bungie.
“In the long run, will there be industry consolidation?” Wilson said. “Is there going to be a broader consolidation of entertainment? If I were to predict the future in the long term, I’d say it’s almost certain at some level. I’d like to [EA] have the scale to be a significant consolidator in this space. I think we have a tremendous amount of resources in terms of the future of entertainment. But as it stands now, I don’t think we care if [Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard] it goes through or it doesn’t.”
Interestingly, Wilson mentions that he wants EA to be able to similarly acquire studios. Last year, it was reported that Amazon was interested in buying the company, but this was quickly denied. According to the story, Wilson stated that EA is in a position to be “the largest independent independent developer and publisher of interactive entertainment” in the world (thanks, GameSpot), so perhaps it’s looking to grow even more instead of being broke. from another publisher.
While the UK has blocked Microsoft’s takeover, both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard are still pushing for a takeover. In the immediate aftermath of the ruling, Activision said the block was “a disservice to UK citizens” and has since hired a former lawyer for Queen Elizabeth II to fight the block. and Boris Johnson. Whether both will succeed in overturning the verdict remains to be seen.
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