- Xbox’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard positions it to potentially move ahead of PlayStation in terms of game revenue for the first time, thanks to the inclusion of major franchises like Call of Duty and Overwatch.
- Microsoft’s strategy relies heavily on the subscription service Xbox Game Pass and its presence in the PC gaming space, contributing to its game revenue growth.
- The potential inclusion of Activision Blizzard titles on Xbox Game Pass and reliable live-service games will further boost Microsoft’s gaming revenue, although it remains to be seen how the company will handle exclusivity and integrate the acquisition.
According to one industry analyst, Xbox looks to potentially move in front of PlayStation in terms of game revenue for the first time ever. This leap is largely due to Microsoft officially acquiring Activision Blizzard, a massive player in the gaming industry in its own right. Since breaking into the home console space with the original Xbox in 2001, Microsoft has historically been a step behind its rival Sony. That said, the massive $69 billion acquisition looks to place Xbox ahead of its competition for the first time ever.
The massive acquisition saw one top-ten publisher purchase another. Now, it might even be difficult for the average gamer to keep track of every franchise Xbox owns after completing the Activision Blizzard acquisition. Of course, the major headliners are franchises like Call of Duty, Overwatch, Diablo, and Warcraft joining Microsoft, but the company now owns the rights to other historically massive series like Guitar Hero, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, just to name a few. With this major move in mind, it looks as though Xbox could finally be poised to take the lead over PlayStation.
Games market data analysis firm Newzoo is showing that Microsoft’s game software revenue in the first half of the year would have exceeded Sony’s if Activision Blizzard were included. Of course, Activision Blizzard wasn’t officially under the Xbox umbrella during the company’s H1. Still, if trends continue, Microsoft finally looks to move ahead of Sony in terms of game revenue in the very near future. Notably, even with the acquisition, both companies are vying for second place as Tencent is far and away in the lead. Without Activision Blizzard, Microsoft sits in fourth place behind both Sony and Apple.
Microsoft’s strategy is a bit different from Sony’s as it is more reliant on the subscription service Xbox Game Pass, and less so on its Xbox Series X/S consoles. That strategy looks to continue to pay off as Starfield helped Xbox Game Pass reach a new subscription milestone. Not to mention, Microsoft’s presence in the PC gaming space has also been key to the company’s game revenue.
It’s already being speculated that the Xbox Series X/S has a better 2024 lineup than the PS5, but surprise titles could drastically alter those forecasts. That being said, the inevitable inclusion of Activision Blizzard titles on Xbox Game Pass is sure to be a boom for the subscription service. Not to mention, reliable live-service games from Activision Blizzard will more than help pad out Microsoft’s gaming revenue.
Still, Q4 2023 and H1 2024 have to be played out yet. Microsoft is still in the early stages of incorporating Activision Blizzard into the fold. Leadership has had to reshuffle quite a bit, and gamers are still unsure as to how Xbox will handle exclusivity when it comes to certain franchises.
Microsoft’s ninth-generation console, the Xbox Series X is a powerful machine that can support 4K resolution and 60 fps, depending on the game. Released alongside the Xbox Series S, the Series X has a Custom AMD Zen 2 CPU, a Custom RDNA 2 GPU, and 16 GB of RAM.
- Original Release Date
- November 10, 2020
- Original MSRP (USD)