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Daily Authority: 💰 Microsoft owns Candy Crush now
🎸 Good morning! Ok, if Microsoft revives Guitar Hero, I’m down with this Activision thing…
Microsoft activates Activision
- Xbox owners this morning are probably feeling pretty good about themselves, while the world of Sony and PlayStation looks a little more sparse.
The news, in case you missed it:
- Microsoft will spend $68.7b (about half its cash reserves!) buying Activision Blizzard, if regulators allow it.
- Microsoft’s press release said the purchase will “accelerate the growth in Microsoft’s gaming business across mobile, PC, console, and cloud, and will provide building blocks for the metaverse.”
- The company says it won’t be changing the availability of games in the wide wide Activision collection, so Call of Duty will still be on every platform, and so on.
- Activision Blizzard has had a terrible year, following detailed accusations of a culture of discrimination and sexual harassment, with a figure of 700 reports made against people in the business. The WSJ reported 37 Activision Blizzard employees have been fired or forced out and another 44 have been disciplined.
- And, interestingly, despite gaming only being about a quarter of Sony’s entire business, Sony Group’s shares closed 12.8% lower in Tokyo on Wednesday.
- The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2023.
What does it all mean?
- Well, it sure seems like Xbox Game Pass is going to be bigger and better than ever.
- It’s already a monster: Microsoft said this week that Xbox Game Pass has 25M subscribers, up from 18M a year ago.
- And the deal is bigger than the entirety of Nintendo, which has a market cap of around $55b, somehow less than this deal.
- It also does feel like Sony is on the back foot: Microsoft has hoovered up Minecraft, Bethesda, and now, if all goes to plan, Activision Blizzard.
- Anyway, the good news for Microsoft is that there’s probably enough competition in gaming from platforms and publishers/studios that it might be allowed?
- Also, my view is the “metaverse” stuff means far less than gaming as a social activity does, right now.
- Plus, Microsoft can clean house within Activision, and see if the likes of Blizzard can capture gaming as it once did.
- Also also, does it feel like a giant green glowing X now looming over Sony HQ in Japan like a new Godzilla?
- 🎁 New Galaxy S22 Ultra leak gives away pretty much everything (Android Authority).
- 🆚 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 vs Exynos 2200 vs Dimensity 9000: Next-gen SoC showdown (Android Authority).
- ➕ Realme is launching a Pro Plus phone for the first time (Android Authority).
- 👉 Xiaomi 11T Pro launched in India: Plenty of phone for Rs 40,000 (Android Authority).
- 💻 HP’s new Fortis series of laptops are focused on practicality and reliability, and are more kid-proof than ever (Android Authority).
- 🍎 Apple’s US education store now requires Unidays and purchases of only one device in each category per year, as a giant loophole closes (r/apple).
- 👮♂️ Manslaughter charges follow Tesla driver’s Autopilot red light run in first case charged (Ars Technica).
- 🔋 The US inches toward building EV batteries at home (Wired).
- ⛏ Can Intel change Bitcoin mining to massively save on power? (Coindesk).
- ⚖ There might be a TLDR Law: No one reads the terms of service, and lawmakers want to fix that with a new ‘TLDR’ bill that summarizes the ToS of websites and apps (WashPo).
- 👨🦲I thought it was all too late, but hope for hairlines may be coming as biotech startups try to reverse balding (Fortune).
- 🏡 Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky says he’s now “living on Airbnb,” partly to prove it really is the golden age of travel (Insider).
- 🛫 “Did people make paper airplanes before there were real airplanes? What did they call them?” (r/nostupidquestions).
- Image: Al Yankovic by Kristine Slipson – CC BY 3.0.
Oh cool, Roku is working on a “Weird Al” Yankovic biopic, written by Weird Al, and Daniel Radcliffe has been cast as Al.
How funny! Daniel Radcliffe is, of course, more than the kid who played Harry Potter and has gone on to do all sorts of good films and interesting things. And now, Al thinks he’ll be known for being Weird Al:
- “When my last movie UHF came out in 1989, I made a solemn vow to my fans that I would release a major motion picture every 33 years, like clockwork. I’m very happy to say we’re on schedule,” Yankovic said.
- “I am absolutely thrilled that Daniel Radcliffe will be portraying me in the film. I have no doubt whatsoever that this is the role future generations will remember him for.”
- As The Verge wrote: “Both Yankovic and Radcliffe are the types to zig when you expect them to zag, meaning that the new movie might actually be something to keep an eye out for.”
- And of course, a fake trailer came out for this back in 2013.
- Great! Weird Al left a massive imprint in my mind, unable to think of any lyrics other than “It’s all about the Pentiums, baby,” and Amish Paradise being pretty all-time.
- Also, Roku isn’t the worst streaming service, given non-Roku device owners can stream some stuff free without an account. But it does have regional availability problems, so hopefully this emerges.
- That said: some Roku smart TVs are now showing banner ads over live TV (Ars Technica) and honestly, that seems so bad I’d be amazed if Roku didn’t apologize and walk it back.
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor