Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition concerns some indie developers

Multiple indie developers have spoken about their concerns with the major deal

The recent Microsoft purchase of Activision Blizzard is causing concern for smaller game developers

Last month it was announced that Microsoft was acquiring Activision Blizzard for around £50billion, followed by news at the end of January that Sony would buy Bungie for £2.6billion.

Now multiple indie developers have spoken to the BBC about their concerns with the Microsoft acquisition, and what it could mean for them.

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Director at Kitfox Games Tanya Short – the developer of Boyfriend Dungeon – said: “This Activision acquisition strikes fear in us because it makes it so much more obvious – maybe they could dominate the rest of the year and then what do we do?”

Call of Duty Vanguard
Call of Duty: Vanguard. Credit: Activision

“Conceivably, indie games outside of these services might lose engagement as subscribers focus most of their attention on games they can access for free within the service,” adds Yura Zhdanovich, founder and director at Sad Cat Studios.

The Federal Trade Commission is set to investigate the deal and whether or not it would harm the competition. FTC Chair Lina Khan is an advocate for a more assertive approach when handling deals. She thinks that deals like the Microsoft one are possible because a huge tech company can use it’s dominance in one field to control another.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has said he doesn’t think the deal will end up being blocked. “At the end of the day, all the analysis here has to be done through a lens of what’s the category we’re talking about, and what about the market structure?” said Nadella.

“Even post this acquisition, we will be number three with a low teens (market) share, where even the highest player is also in the teens (for market) share. It shows how fragmented content creation platforms are. And so, that’s the fundamental category. Yes, we will be a big player in what is a highly fragmented place.”

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In other news, Lost Ark is already having pre-load trouble ahead of its full release.

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