Activision President Rob Kostich has gone on record on how their pending Microsoft deal will be good for the industry.
In an interview with VentureBeat, he said this:
“As we’ve said previously this deal is good for the industry and will bring more games to more players. In terms of access to resources, being able to tap into Microsoft’s technology and suite of tools would benefit our teams to create even greater, more immersive experiences for our players.
Ultimately, it’s about bringing our development team’s creative visions to life in this hyper competitive environment. The prospect of joining Microsoft is an extraordinary opportunity for our team and our players, and we look forward to an outcome soon.”
Kostich explains that Activision falling under Microsoft is about more than just having more money to budget for their games. Apparently, the company is looking at Microsoft’s other businesses and technologies, and thinking of ways to leverage their connections in that way.
So for example, Microsoft makes their own Surface line of Windows products, including tablets and laptops. Activision could make future games that optimize the use of touch controls on Windows Surface, so that they would be fully playable without keyboards or controllers.
This would be a huge improvement, for example, for their Diablo games. While Diablo III and Diablo IV were built around being playable on consoles as well as PCs, Activision’s Blizzard arm did not consider the use cases for playing these games on Windows based tablets. Their first Diablo game with touch controls is Diablo Immortal, which was designed around iOS and Android. Diablo Immortal is playable on Windows, but does not have touch controls on that platform.
Of course, we already know of Microsoft’s plans to leverage the cloud and cloud gaming with their Activision merger, and Activision is already on board with this. But Kostich makes it sound like Activision is curious enough about the other things Microsoft has and is working on in their design labs, to leverage on their own games.
We may be looking at a future where many Activision Blizzard games remain multiplatform, but Xbox consoles get unique features that gamers won’t be able to experience if they don’t have an Xbox and/or a Game Pass subscription for console or PC.
While I brought up Diablo, Activision may find it more expedient to make completely new games to leverage what technologies they can tap in partnership with Microsoft. I’m certainly curious of what Microsoft and Activision can come up with together.