In the dynamic world of gaming, strategic acquisitions often herald new eras. Such was the anticipation when Microsoft sealed the deal with Activision Blizzard on Friday. However, as the weekend receded, a less welcomed change unfolded. By Monday, gamers in Brazil and Turkey noticed a sharp price increase in various Activision titles on Steam, marking the first notable development post-acquisition.
The surge in game prices is indeed eye-catching. For instance, the price of “Call of Duty (2003)” soared from R$ 34.90 (USD 6.28) to R$ 91.90 (USD 16.54), and “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” jumped from R$ 199.00 (USD 35.82) to R$ 274.00 (USD 49.32), as reported by Cromossomo Nerd. While it’s tempting to link this to Microsoft’s recent acquisition, it’s worth considering that these price adjustments could have been pre-planned by Activision and may have been done to currency fluctuations.
The Game Pass Effect
Moreover, with Activision and Blizzard housing a treasure trove of popular PC titles, this price surge could arguably serve a dual purpose. On one hand, it reflects a possible adjustment to align with the market or internal financial goals. On the other, it subtly nudges gamers towards the Xbox Game Pass. The allure of accessing a vast array of beloved titles at a fixed, reasonable monthly rate could be a strong incentive, especially when juxtaposed against the new heightened prices of individual games. This maneuver, whether intentional or coincidental, could significantly bolster the attractiveness and subscriber base of Xbox Game Pass, positioning it as a win-win for both Microsoft and the gaming community.
The unfolding pricing scenario post Microsoft-Activision deal underscores a broader narrative in the gaming industry. It hints at a shifting paradigm where major acquisitions could potentially reshape pricing structures and platform accessibility. The ripple effects may extend beyond mere price adjustments, influencing how gamers interact with and access their favorite titles. As conglomerates further intertwine, the gaming community might find itself navigating a labyrinth of subscriptions and platforms, each with its own set of financial and accessibility implications.