Sony plunges into the stock market after the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft

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Posted Jan 19, 2022, 7:31 AMUpdated on Jan 19, 2022 at 9:27 am

In Tokyo, investors took fright. Discovering this Wednesday morning the announcement of the acquisition by Microsoft of developer Activision Blizzard , for a record amount of 69 billion dollars, Sony shareholders rushed to sell as many of their shares as possible, suddenly convinced that the Japanese champion was being mistreated by the major maneuvers launched on the world video game and metaverse market. At the close of the Japanese Stock Exchange, Sony’s stock posted a decline of 12.8%, representing a capitalization loss of… $20 billion. Unheard of in more than six years.

The Japanese giant, which produces PlayStation consoles and distributes a huge catalog of games, has dominated this sector, in terms of revenue, for years. Last year, the group, also present in music, cinema or electronic components , had thus amassed a turnover of 25 billion dollars in its video game activities.

Deploying on a similar model (console and titles), Nintendo had recorded, in its last fiscal year, 16 billion dollars in sales. An amount slightly higher than the 15.4 billion generated by Microsoft’s Xbox ecosystem.

The risk of exclusivity

Analysts believe that the takeover of Activision Blizzard by the American computer giant could weigh on part of Sony’s revenues in the coming years, possibly depriving its consoles of one or more of the popular franchises developed. by the American studio. The company notably owns the star series Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Diablo.

Neither Microsoft nor Activision Blizzard have yet mentioned a form of “privatization” of these games which would prevent their sale to competing consoles to be distributed exclusively on Xbox machines and on the online gaming network by subscription “Xbox Game Pass”. “.

But investors, still focused on the worst-case scenario, remain feverish. “Sony will face a monumental challenge to stand out in this war of attrition,” warns analyst Amir Anvarzadeh of Asymmetric Advisors in a note on Wednesday. “Even if it won’t make this choice immediately, it is very likely that Microsoft will eventually transform Call of Duty into an exclusive franchise for its platforms”, explains analyst Serkan Toto, founder in Tokyo of Kantan Games. . “He did not pay such a sum to continue to supply competing consoles. »

Strategy Questions

According to experts, the spectacular initiative of Microsoft could push Sony to accelerate, in turn, its content acquisition campaign. “At the beginning of February, during the presentation of its quarterly results, the group will certainly be questioned about its projects”, remarks Serkan Toto. Last year, the Japanese group had already bought several studios, including the American Bluepoint Games, the Finnish Housemarque and the British Firesprite. But he has never yet dared to take over the size of the one launched on Tuesday by his American competitor.

In Tokyo, investors already seem to have identified a few potential targets for him. While the title of Sony collapsed on the Japanese place, those of several major Japanese studios recorded them, a strong push. Square Enix stock rose 3.7%. That of Capcom ended up 4.6%.

Posted Jan 19, 2022, 7:31 AMUpdated on Jan 19, 2022 at 9:27 am In Tokyo, investors took fright. Discovering this Wednesday morning the announcement of the acquisition by Microsoft of developer Activision Blizzard , for a record amount of 69 billion dollars, Sony shareholders rushed to sell as many of their shares as possible, suddenly…

Posted Jan 19, 2022, 7:31 AMUpdated on Jan 19, 2022 at 9:27 am In Tokyo, investors took fright. Discovering this Wednesday morning the announcement of the acquisition by Microsoft of developer Activision Blizzard , for a record amount of 69 billion dollars, Sony shareholders rushed to sell as many of their shares as possible, suddenly…

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