How Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard takeover will drive metaverse gaming into the mass market
Microsoft was positioning itself as one of the pioneers of the metaverse even before its US$75 billion deal to buy online gaming giant Activision Blizzard. In the days after Mark Zuckerberg rebranded Facebook last October as Meta with his near movie-length promotional film about the potential for virtual worlds, Microsoft announced that users of its Teams online meetings app would be able to turn themselves into avatars – in a first step towards getting users used to virtual interaction. If that was an incremental move, the Activision deal is something very different. Assuming it is permitted by the competition authorities, it will mean that the Xbox giant controls many of the best known virtual worlds that already exist online, including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Starcraft – adding to the two it has already, Minecraft and Altspace VR.