Monopoly isn’t just for fun when it’s real money.

Back in September 2020 when Microsoft announced its acquisition of Bethesda for around $7.5 billion, it was a big move — one that some fans would have been excited by, and others less so. It was a huge deal at the time, with that purchase giving Microsoft Gaming / Xbox a number of new studios and creative teams, not to mention an influx of seminal gaming properties such as DOOM, The Elder Scrolls, and Fallout. The recent Activision Blizzard agreement — which is a long way from being finalised due to regulatory processes — felt like something different, however. The sheer sum of money involved ($68.7 billion), and the size of the company being acquired arguably represents a shift in policy. Microsoft isn’t aiming to just boost its Xbox offering, it seems intent to dominate with it while also notionally growing into ‘metaverse’, which is a conversation for another day.

Now we’ve had Sony acquire Bungie, the creator of the Halo series (though it departed the franchise years ago) and well known for its Destiny games and expansions. It’s another big sum, at $3.6 billion a little under half of what Microsoft paid for Bethesda. PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan has also made clear that the acquisitions aren’t finished yet.

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