Dragon Age producer says Microsoft-Activision merger is probably bad in the long run

Dragon Age producer and ex-BioWare game developer Mark Darrah believes Microsoft buying Activision-Blizzard is 'probably a bad thing in the long run'

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porkChop129d ago

"I can say that consolidation is probably a bad thing in the long run. Microsoft buying Activision-Blizzard hopefully is a good thing in the short term because it seems like culturally Activision-Blizzard needs someone to go in there with a leaf blower and clean out the dark corners of the thing,"

"But long-term consolidation is usually a bad thing because once you have sufficient control, you start wanting to control costs, and it means typically creativity goes down, risk-taking goes down."

So his concern is cutting corners with regard to production costs/budget, leading to creativity being impacted. We haven't really seen Xbox trying to cut costs. If anything they've been trying to give devs more time and bigger budgets to do whatever they want. But obviously anything can change in business.

sparky77129d ago

Xbox is likely the only gaming giant who will be able to survive the increase in costs since MS is a trillion dollar company, everyone else will start feeling the pain soon we are already seeing it with companies like SE thinking about asking for 3rd party funding for Final Fantasy, Sony looking to make multiple GaaS and EA cutting projects.

Outside_ofthe_Box129d ago


Don't get why people keep thinking that MS is the only one that can save/survive gaming in some fictional future.

SurgicalMenace129d ago

Hey, without delusion they have absolutely nothing to do.

The world is on the brink of destruction with no hope for survival.
A radiant beam of light descends from the heavens revealing: MS "There can be only one" McCloud. With GP in hand, he offers his services to anyone who will give him the time a day. "For $1 a month, this can all be yours" is the battle cry heard throughout the lands.

Legend has it that Phil is the last standing descendant of the McCloud bloodline. Armed with empty promises and hair plugs he is the only one left to deliver gaming from the pits of the Dark Age.🤣

Lore129d ago

Didn’t they close a bunch of their studios around 2015?

Mr_cheese129d ago (Edited 129d ago )

I personally think that the push into GaaS by Sony is less about surviving and more about making sure they have a piece of the pie. It doesn't detract from their model of quality single player games and only serves to HELP keep fueling the business in their endeavors.

Survival is as much about evolving and we have already started to see the gaming landscape do that.

What Mark Darrah is saying rings true for me personally. Microsoft seem daring when it comes to services but less so when it comes to games. Lately they choose to purchase publishers rather than innovating themselves, see no signs that they'll be any different with Activision under their wing

128d ago
northpaws128d ago

I am sure MS became a trillion dollar company because they don't like to lose money, not the other way around.

dumahim128d ago

So the company that has shown they're incapable of delivering good games on a consistent basis is the only one that will survive? Do you hear yourself?

Orchard128d ago

I don’t see PS going under - but they will get bought out someday by an Amazon or a Tencent - someone with lots of $$$ and who can compete in the big tech space.

The reality is, if the future direction of the industry is buying out companies at tens of billions of dollars - Sony simply cannot afford that.

Nintendo will keep being Nintendo though - they’re playing a different game from Sony and MS.

FPS_D3TH128d ago

@SurgicalMenace hold up how much you want for those movie rights lmao

SurgicalMenace128d ago


Your lips stay chaped, don't they?!?!🤣 Did you say Tencent will buy PS? You are aware that Sony is a larger company, right? The delusion can't get anymore entertaining.🤣

nirwanda128d ago

Lol @surgicalmenace living in the past tencent has a market cap that is three times larger than the whole of Sony's entire company.
It's the 23rd most valuable company in the world.

Orchard128d ago

@Surgical I said buying PlayStation - not Sony.

That being said - you are wrong. Tencent is valued at multiple of Sony.

Kornholic128d ago

Highly unlikely, as Xbox is barely profitable business as it is.

SurgicalMenace128d ago

Just sit this right here:

Suffice it to say, we were speaking on a level of gaming, otherwise Microsoft would be in a better position than 3rd if the Activision deal goes through.

nirwanda128d ago

This is a list of market value for every company in the world like I said tencent is more valuable than Facebook, Disney, coca cola, netflix and McDonald's.
And look no Sony in top 100 companies as the entire companys worth 1/3 of tencent

+ Show (12) more repliesLast reply 128d ago
Outside_ofthe_Box129d ago

"So his concern is cutting corners with regard to production costs/budget, leading to creativity being impacted."

That is not what he's saying at all. He's saying that once you have a certain level of grip in an industry that's when one has the urge to dictate stuff like pricing, costs, and profits and therefore creativity and risk-taking good down because you are more concerned with maximizing profits instead of trying to take a risk in creating the next big thing in hopes to outperform your competition.

porkChop128d ago

We're literally saying the same thing. I just didn't spell everything out. Keeping production costs down and limiting creativity reduces risk which maximizes mass market appeal which increases maximum potential profit. I shouldn't have to draw everything in crayon because I know most people are smart enough to understand.

Crows90129d ago

We actually haven't seen Microsoft do as you say at all. They've simply delayed games like halo ifninite to bad results. That's a game with infinite budget and still lackluster in both scope and creativity.

So the assumption is nice but the real facts before us tell a different story.

porkChop128d ago

Really, we haven't? So they aren't letting Turn 10 take triple the dev time to revamp all their tech and reboot the series? They haven't let Playground Games spend years and years building the Fable reboot? We haven't seen them let Ninja Theory do the same with Hellblade 2? Or Obsidian who's finally able to work on anything they want and release only when the games are ready? How about Double Fine who were able to delay Psychonauts 2, release on more platforms, and expand the scope of the game to include all the content they previously had to cut, cancel, or scale down?

You guys always point to Halo Infinite as the answer to everything. The fact is 343 had all the time and budget to do whatever they wanted. The problem wasn't the budget or dev time, it was 343's management not knowing wtf they were doing. One troubled game doesn't negate what Xbox has done with all their other teams and projects.

amazinglover128d ago

That's on the developer more then anything, yes they are owned by MS but do we play the publisher when the developer is lacking.

343 is the problem not MS.

Crows90128d ago

Turn10: first we haven't seen the game. Second we don't know what the projected dev time was in the first place.
Playground games: same as turn 10. No game. We have no clue if anything is being done right.
Obsidian: they've always worked on what they wanted. Didn't they just release a game on game pass? Or are about to? Their best work was Kotor 2, fallout new Vegas, and pillars 2. All outside of Microsoft.
Double fine: of course they're going to say they could do more. More money means potentially more....but that's a what if scenario. They were already making the game.

All Xbox games are troubled. Fable legends, theives, perfect dark, gears formula is stale. All their games are mediocre to decent.

I'd normally agree that the dev is the issue. But how is it that ALL of Sony's dev teams do spectacular above expected work? It's unlikely 5o see such consistency. And just like games under EA get riddled with MTX and eventually drop in quality so do games under Sony excel. In that same way...devs under MS seem ...lost.

ooquis128d ago

Imagine how many games MS could've made with that 70b! To put it in perspective, they could've made 60 God of war Ragnarok's or 60 Elden rings. But MS ain't about that life anymore, instead they invented 70b in microstansactions and that is literally a fact. If this hurts your feelings, i would just like to apologize to absolutely NOBODY.

128d ago
porkChop128d ago

I don't understand what this has to do with my comment. Yes, obviously Xbox could have developed a ton of games with $70B. They also could have built a ton of new studios. I've never disputed that fact.

SatanSki128d ago

Activision blizzard and creativity...

Godmars290128d ago

Problem is by all counts MS is already cutting corners, limiting creativity and experience, by quietly making it mandatory that studios hire contract workers whenever possible. Meaning, wanting to save costs on supposedly excellent employee benefits, the bulk of their workforce will be rotating non employees constantly in need of training.

Godmars290128d ago

Not getting why so many are disagreeing with you when, by too many examples, MS have shown what their issues are.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 128d ago
XiNatsuDragnel129d ago

I am In the same mindset bud.

LordoftheCritics129d ago

It's all good tho.

As soon as MS takes over those properties, the IP's will go to shit.

Other studios will make better games following this.

Tex4242129d ago

Regardless of anyone's thoughts on this acquisition, if MS doesn't get them, someone will. ABK wants to be bought. They are the ones who went looking to sell originally.

JackBNimble129d ago

There is no one on the planet who is going to pay $70B other then MS.

LucasRuinedChildhood129d ago (Edited 129d ago )

I don't think so. Think about it.

- It's the biggest tech deal in history. It won't be particularly easy to find another buyer.
- MS will have to pay Activision $3b if this acquisition doesn't go forward - other companies would be afraid to try acquire a company if a previous buyout was blocked and the company attempting to purchase it lost that much money.

shinoff2183128d ago

Yall have said well if ms dont tencent or embracer will. Well good atleast theyd be multiplatforn still thats for sure

porkChop128d ago

Good? You'd rather ABK be owned by the Chinese government?

Embracer is tiny compared to ABK so they can't make that purchase. You guys really need to educate yourselves if you're going to talk about acquisitions.

MWH129d ago

I understand his concern and i agree fully, however, things in that that house are bad already so i hope MS take this note and make the best out of it. In my opinion the best recipe for sucess is to make good fun games skimmed from all the political bs, you know, like they used to be.

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