Microsoft may have trouble bringing more shooter and RPG developers to Xbox Game Studios via acquisitions. Following major acquisitions of ZeniMax Media and Activision Blizzard, at least one regulator is now defining markets for AAA games and non-AAA games by genre.
Can Xbox Game Studios acquire more developers?
The European Commission (EC), that approved Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, is one of the regulators who has decided to define game markets by genre. As explained by ResetEra user Idas (via Wccftech), in layman’s terms this means that should Microsoft attempt to acquire another shooter or RPG studio despite having acquired a number of them via ZeniMax and Activision Blizzard, it could face opposition from EC.
It’s worth noting that EC previously refused to define the video game market by genre when approving Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax Media. According to Idas, the Chilean regulator has also adopted similar market definitions.
“The Advisory Committee agrees with the conclusions reached by the Commission in the draft decision in relation to the definition of the relevant product markets for development and publishing of video games segmented by platform (PC, console, mobile), by types of video game (AAA games vs. non-AAA games) and by genre (action and adventure, shooter/battle royale, role-playing games, sports, racing, fighting, and strategy),” reads the document in question from EC dated May 2023.
This move may also have implications for Sony. However, PlayStation has not made an acquisition as big as ZeniMax or Activision Blizzard.