The bombshell news of Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard in a record-breaking $70 billion deal still echoes in everyone’s mind. This was something that nobody could have ever expected, and the news came at a time when the trust in Activision Blizzard was at an all-time low.
Many die-hard fans of Activision Blizzard quit a long time ago when they saw the first warning signs, but others remained behind and secretly hoped that one day things would change. The recent developments have restored some semblance of hope, and this was fueled even further when the Xbox CEO, Phil Spencer, expressed his desire to revive many of the old Activision Blizzard games in one of his recent interviews. Perhaps we’re heading towards a brighter future for Activision Blizzard.
Trouble in Paradise
Activision Blizzard has been in hot water for the past several months, and even prior to the lawsuit scandal, the company was dealing with many internal issues across all of their games. And while they kept reporting record profits during some of their quarterly reports, many employees were being let go and the in-game customer service was operating on life support.
But that’s just scratching the surface. They went from being a reputable gaming company, a beloved giant in the industry that released polished titles which stood the test of time, to a company that delivered unfinished and buggy products riddled with microtransactions.
You can just look at the failure that was Warcraft 3: Reforged. It was a foolproof project that was rushed and forced to maximize pre-orders, and in the end it failed miserably. How Activision Blizzard took one of the most beloved games they ever made and ruined it, is honestly something that boggles the mind.
As we extend the joy and community of gaming to everyone, we are incredibly excited to welcome the fantastic teams and iconic franchises of Activision Blizzard to Team Xbox https://t.co/DVrgYS8ssB
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) January 18, 2022
But there might be brighter days ahead for the troubled company. If the deal with Microsoft goes through, we could expect things to gradually improve. The current messy workplace culture will certainly be sorted out, and we could see an increase in game development, both in terms of quality and quantity of games.
But most importantly, Microsoft and its leadership could restore the reputation this company once had. It doesn’t take much to bring the fans back into the fold, and with the sheer size and influence that Microsoft wields, we doubt they’d risk repeating the same mistakes that Activision Blizzard did. So is it too early to start being optimistic?
Fixing the Mess
Microsoft is an industry giant, but even they must be aware of what they’re getting themselves into. Before they even consider reviving older Activision Blizzard games, they first have to breathe life into all the current titles that have been stagnating for years.
World of Warcraft has been plagued with a botting infestation and there’s no signs of Blizzard even trying to fix it. When the fans complain, they’re either met with deafening silence or a generic statement they’ve heard a million times before. Even private WoW servers figured a way to combat this problem, so why is Blizzard not able to?
Game Masters. That’s one of the reasons why the game is currently filled with bots and hackers that are becoming more and more brazen. The game used to have GM’s that would not only help other players with various issues, but would also handle any irregularities such as botting or hacking. This should be one of the first things on Microsoft’s list.
And of course, the communication between the developers and the fans must improve. Right now, it’s pretty much non-existent. No matter how much feedback the fans give, the developers always push their own ideas regardless.
Sunny Days Ahead for Activision Blizzard Esports
One of the big aspects of Activision Blizzard is their esports scene. It’s still alive, but we can’t really say it’s thriving. The Overwatch League is still there, although with a lot less partners on their list. Heroes of the Storm is pretty much in maintenance mode.
As for World of Warcraft, they recently revealed their plan for esports in 2022 and it’s looking quite promising. Hearthstone is also in good shape, and Call of Duty is doing great.
Microsoft has a great basis to build upon. They can create a vibrant esports scene, much like Riot’s doing with League of Legends esports and Valorant esports.
And there’s also Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4, two highly anticipated games that were delayed due to recent problems with Activision Blizzard. All Microsoft needs to do is to release these two in a playable state and they’ll be hailed as the saviors.
There’s so much untapped potential in all the Activision Blizzard games, and hopefully Microsoft already realizes this and they’re planning to fully utilize it once the deal is done.
The Activision Blizzard fans have been burned way too many times to immediately jump the hype train, but they’re all hoping for the best. We’ll have to wait and see what the future holds and whether it’s going to be better or worse with Microsoft at the helm.