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Microsoft president names Sony, the new ‘Blockbuster’ in op-ed

Microsoft president and vice chairman Brad Smith has said to The The Wall Street Journal, that want to call Sony – the harshest opposition to the company’s upcoming acquisition of Activision Blizzard – the new Blockbuster, facing down Microsoft as Netflix. The column, surfaced by IGN, is written as a defense of the proposed Activision Blizzard buyout, and attempts to explain why it’s actually good for gamers.

‘Sony has emerged as the loudest objector,’ Smith said. ‘It’s as excited about this deal as Blockbuster was about the rise of Netflix … Think about how much better it is to stream a movie from your couch than drive to Blockbuster. We want to bring the same sort of innovation to the video game industry.’

‘To get subscribers to [Xbox Game Pass], Microsoft needs a full library of popular games and, as things stand, we simply don’t have enough,’ Smith said. There’s hope the Activision Blizzard deal will remedy this complaint, leading to a new era for Microsoft – although slow regulatory approval and concerns from Sony may divert this future.

According to The Wall Street Journal, “The Federal Trade Commission reportedly plans to sue Microsoft to stop our proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. That would be a huge mistake. It would hurt competition, consumers and thousands of game developers.

Microsoft faces huge challenges in the gaming industry. Our Xbox remains in third place in console gaming, stuck behind Sony’s dominant PlayStation and the Nintendo Switch. We have no meaningful presence in the mobile game industry. That segment of gaming generates the most revenue and is the fastest-growing, but a significant portion of the revenue goes to Google and Apple through their app-store fees.”

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