Microsoft's move to acquire Activision Blizzard is an absolute game-changer for the gaming industry. Unsurprisingly, it's starting to affect Sony. But, while this was expected, most probably did not foresee just how big of an impact the acquisition would have on Sony's stock overnight.
According to Bloomberg, this is the largest that Sony stock has fallen in price since 2008. The 13% drop effectively translates to a $20 billion nose dive in Sony's valuation, which is a lot of money. Naturally, fans are wondering how Sony will respond to Microsoft's most recent business deal now that it has resulted in a huge financial loss for the company's market cap.
One of the more prevailing theories (and obvious ones) is that Sony will go ahead and buy another company. Even if Sony didn't make blockbuster acquisitions like Microsoft with ZeniMax Media in 2020 and 2021, Sony still added a couple of new studios to the PlayStation Studios group, namely Bluepoint Games and Housemarque. However, as we've already mentioned, both acquisitions pale in comparison to ZeniMax Media let alone Activision Blizzard. Not to mention, Activision has long had a close working relationship with Sony, so the loss of one of its closest gaming partners was always going to sting the console manufacturer.
Another interesting theory is that the deal will force Sony to push up the timeline of its rumored Game Pass competitor, Spartacus. Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently noted that this was an eventuality, so releasing it earlier as a response would make sense.
At the moment, the Game Pass' success hangs a massive shadow over the PlayStation Now and PlayStation Plus. Even combining both services might not be enough anymore. Thanks to Microsoft's latest investment, the Game Pass will get first dibs on franchises like Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty, and more. Also, the coup gives Microsoft a reason to find a way to bring World of Warcraft to the Game Pass as well, which would give the Game Pass two of the most popular MMOs right now in The Elder Scrolls Online and World of Warcraft.
Of course, there's also the fact that Microsoft's newest purchase shouldn't make Sony sweat as much. As noted by Niko Partners Senior Analyst Daniel Ahmad, Sony is still the second biggest gaming company in the world, just right behind Tencent. In terms of gaming revenue, Sony is still bigger than Microsoft. Even if you totaled Microsoft and Activision Blizzard's combined gaming revenue, it would still put them nearly a billion short of Sony's annual gaming revenue.
Ultimately, Microsoft's newest purchase was bound to make changes to the gaming industry. We'll find out within the next couple of years what kind of effect it will have on, not just Sony, but Microsoft too course and all of gaming.