But unless EA makes a move it is increasingly looking like the proverbial odd man out in gaming.
Gaming companies also are looking to build up a presence in the so-called metaverse, virtual worlds that have become more popular with younger users.
“Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms,” said Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella in a statement about the Activision Blizzard deal.
“We’re investing deeply in world-class content, community and the cloud to usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first and makes gaming safe, inclusive and accessible to all,” he added.
“Microsoft’s desire to bolster its metaverse…calls into question the implications for standalones including Electronic Arts and Take-Two, or even an incumbent such as Roblox and whether they are technically and financially disadvantaged, if in fact the metaverse is the next frontier of interactive entertainment,” said Stifel analyst Drew Crum in a report Tuesday.
The Microsoft-Activision deal may also put more pressure on Japanese conglomerate Sony — maker of the PlayStation console and operater of PlayStation Studios, its video game development division — to step up its own gaming game.
While Sony develops a number of blockbuster, PlayStation-exclusive games, the company has lagged behind Microsoft in launching a true competitor to the Xbox Game Pass cloud subscription service.