Update 22:25 BST: An earlier version of this story incorrectly credited the comments to Ampere Analysis’ Piers Harding-Rolls. This has now been corrected.
Almost two years after the acquisition was first announced, last Friday Microsoft officially closed its $68.7 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard.
In completing the game industry’s (and Microsoft’s) biggest ever deal, the Xbox maker took ownership of major console and PC franchises including Call of Duty, Warcraft and Diablo, and established a major presence in mobile gaming with the addition of Candy Crush maker King.
“Sony surely is under pressure to react, even after their Bungie acquisition,” Toto told GamesIndustry.biz. “I expect further investments and acquisitions for PlayStation, including a large one that would move the needle for them in a meaningful way.”
Midia Research’s senior games analyst Karol Severin said he thought it was unlikely Sony would respond by buying a leading third-party publisher on the scale of Rockstar owner Take-Two, which has a market capitalisation of around $24.6 billion.
However, he suggested Sony could attempt to capitalise on its strength across film, TV, games and music by launching a new cross-entertainment subscription offering.
“Sony has one of the most impressive content catalogues on Earth,” Severin said. “Bringing it together in a subscription offering for example could pose a solid competitive answer to Xbox’s cross-platform efforts.
“It will be increasingly difficult to compete with Microsoft on games only. The only response for Sony on the games-only side would be buying something really big like Take-Two, but that is unlikely.”