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Microsoft is buying Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion

628 posts in this topic

Just now, Lance_87 said:

Sony and Microsoft are becoming like retarded spoiled brats.

 

Seeing some of the BS both have been spewing lately has made me feel like I'm on acid or something. The bootlickers that follow even more so.

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3 minutes ago, Lance_87 said:

Absolutely not. It was announced for "PlayStation and Xbox" in 2019, long before this... thing.

 

Thank God!! :) 

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47 minutes ago, Rozalia1 said:

 

Pretty much confirming that this is just a solid power grab in an attempt to squeeze Sony. Microsoft has been throwing money at Xbox for decades now in an attempt to take over the gaming market and have soundly fallen on their face and that still makes them see red so now their recourse is to just buy up publishers and deny Sony IPs unless they demean their platform in return and allow Gamepass

Edited by majob
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3 hours ago, majob said:

Pretty much confirming that this is just a solid power grab in an attempt to squeeze Sony. Microsoft has been throwing money at Xbox for decades now in an attempt to take over the gaming market and have soundly fallen on their face and that still makes them see red so now their recourse is to just buy up publishers and deny Sony IPs unless they demean their platform in return and allow Gamepass

 

Microsoft's goal was always to squeeze out Sony so they could print money with a multimedia box (who they felt Sony was best placed to do and who would be easy to beat), their vision being realised with the Xbox One (the all in one box)… which failed badly. 12 years, all of that money spent, and that was the result. A key difference between then and now however is that back then due to losing in court a number of times Microsoft had always been wary of being too obvious. Current management apparently has no such worry with this attempt of theirs and if it clears, as Spencer himself has said, Microsoft has no intension of stopping the buy outs (they need to slow down currently to help this big deal go through). It failing honestly might worry me more as Microsoft could in their anger just buy out smaller companies en masse instead... at the same time it might once again scare Microsoft from throwing too much money around at the same time as they are currently or even just make them close up being a platform entirely if this became enough to sink their current head and the new guy isn't a believer in the future riches of gamepass.

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4 hours ago, Deadvember said:

I don't think the deal will go through just because of the laws on monopolies. 

Heh. the Fox Disney merger made anti trust laws a joke. The US approved the deal ages ago which is why Sony is trying to stop it in international courts, failing in Brazil but having what might be success in the UK. As much as it pains me to admit it, the acquisition wouldn't make Microsoft a monopoly as Tencent and Sony still surpass them and as far as the market is concerned, other big publishers are still around along with Nintendo and the likes of Steam. This is just Microsoft trying their hardest to beat out Sony

Edited by majob
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13 hours ago, majob said:

Heh. the Fox Disney merger made anti trust laws a joke. The US approved the deal ages ago which is why Sony is trying to stop it in international courts, failing in Brazil but having what might be success in the UK. As much as it pains me to admit it, the acquisition wouldn't make Microsoft a monopoly as Tencent and Sony still surpass them and as far as the market is concerned, other big publishers are still around along with Nintendo and the likes of Steam. This is just Microsoft trying their hardest to beat out Sony

 

The word in the US is that everyone knows that was wrong and the current administration is trying to restore some order by actually doing their jobs, and as such some deals that might normally go through might get rejected as a result to show that they're "tough".

 

The Brazil case as far as I know was never in doubt as the current regulator there has been rotted away by the current government who is very corrupt even by Brazilian standards I've heard. Brazil is also often accused of doing Microsoft's bidding as Sony has to pay so much more taxes than Microsoft does which means Sony is unable to compete. Though as far as I know those cases tend to be a result of Brazil's import taxes combined with you being able to get around them if you "manufacture" in the country. Manufacture in quotation marks as I've read on the issue that companies basically make the product elsewhere and then ship them to Brazil where the people there put the last piece in and boom, "manufactured in Brazil". If Microsoft does the same and pays the government officials to look the other way I don't know, but wouldn't surprise me.

 

The CMA case actually is not specifically about a console gaming monopoly, but deals with a cloud/streaming monopoly. That Microsoft adding Activision (and they will attempt to buy more afterwards as they've said) that beyond degrade current competition might also make it impossible for new competition to be appear. Something that has happened over the course of this deal is Google's Stadia finally falling apart. Amazon as far as I know is still around but going nowhere fast. Those are not events in Microsoft's favour. Currently, before this deal, Google and Amazon, two very rich and powerful companies are seemingly unable to compete as is, so how is anyone supposed to have a chance after Microsoft is done buying up such a sizable independent company. Naturally Microsoft's counter point will be that Google and Amazon's failings shows that cloud/streaming is not the future (ignore Microsoft's previous talk of otherwise) and so it wouldn't really be a big deal if Microsoft got to dominate in it because as they've said, such things will only add to gaming and not take it over.

 

18 hours ago, Deadvember said:

Hopefully Microsoft can reshuffle the way they work and they can stop producing failures. But that seems equally unlikely because Microsoft doesn't seem to manage any of their acquisitions. 

 

They've put out some absolute tripe the past decade, forza is the only consistently good game that's an exclusive. Everything else is pretty average at best. 

 

Microsoft promotes themselves as "hands off" which many champion as the best way to do things so as long as whoever ends up in charge over at Activision can do the heavy lifting then they should be fine. The problem of course is that as we have seen for decades now with Microsoft is that "hands off" isn't some magic bullet. Studios are allowed massive timeframes beyond what is reasonable. Money is obviously no object (until you know, they get in danger of having the division cut/downsized). Studio heads/producers/whatever that should have been fired ages ago are kept in place because the boss likes and trusts them even though they have done nothing to show that the trust was earned.

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It's good that game companies like Bandai Namco, Koei Tecmo, Falcom (while they make only the PS versions, they get their games to Nintendo Switch and PC by licensing ports to NISA), Deck 13, Arc System Works, and SNK are platform independent. How sad it would be if one of these companies got bought out by anyone, especially a console manufacturer.

 

While I'm not a fan of AB, it would be better if the deal fails. In this case, I won't go wishing for Sony to snap AB up. It just wouldn't be right. And if Zenimax somehow gets free of MS again, let them stay that way. Enough is enough.

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I must say MS’s acting hysterical and changing their reasoning the deal isn’t bad more than they change their socks is quite amusing. Doubt it’ll impact the final outcome, but still funny.

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The most recent news is that people inside Activision are now getting very nervous about the deal failing. A further rumbling, which Activision officially came out against (they have to), is that Microsoft is not doing as the deal specified which was to do everything in their power to get the deal through. If the deal fails and Microsoft has to pay out 3 billion to Activision that could present a path for Activision to sue Microsoft and try to get even more money out of them. I would think it heavily unlikely to happen of course but who knows, if Activision's stock price falls apart hard on the deal failing they could go for it. Microsoft apparently has it written in the deal that Microsoft doesn't have to accept unreasonable concessions, but what would be unreasonable would be up for a judge to decide. I imagine if the deal looks to be certainly failing that Microsoft will actually offer up some concessions they know won't work, but if they are foolish enough not to then that helps a possible Activision court case.

 

On 02/11/2022 at 4:30 AM, MidnightDragon said:

I must say MS’s acting hysterical and changing their reasoning the deal isn’t bad more than they change their socks is quite amusing. Doubt it’ll impact the final outcome, but still funny.

 

I personally think the focus on Cloud and Subscription services (which Microsoft is 1st in) the CMA has (and we'll see with the EU) is a rod of Microsoft's own making. Microsoft has spent years telling people that them being dead last in Console sales don't matter because of the Cloud/Subscriptions, heck they've basically said that due to those services they're so far ahead that Sony/Nintendo ain't even their competition anymore (instead being Google who has fallen apart and Amazon who is a non-entity), and now that someone is taking that seriously they're whining that people need to ignore Cloud/Subscriptions and focus only on Console sales. If they had just taken the L as they say and just did stock responses of "we are hopeful things will improve and we're doing many great things that fans and newcomers alike will love" instead of arrogantly boasting "actually we're not last, we're on top, like miles on top" then maybe the mean old regulator would buy their brave soul against the endless evil Sony empire act more seriously.

Edited by Rozalia1
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An EU guy posted on Twitter that the EU will do everything for consumers when it comes to this deal and to ensure that gamers on PlayStation get to play CoD too (something Microsoft has continuously said they would seek). Naturally this has been met with wailing that corrupt people are overseeing the EU review and all that. Guy actually isn't part of the thing and it was a basic "we're fighting for you" post, but certain people will seek whatever outrage they can get.

 

Beyond that the current talk is that the EU will seek to get some concessions from Microsoft, though what level those would be who knows. If it amounts to "You must keep CoD on PlayStation for X amount of years" then Microsoft will be laughing as they intended to do that for the current crop of games anyway and then try to do damage in the next where Sony no longer has a contract in effect keeping CoD off gamepass. Google's Stadia failing is also getting brought up to show that even rich companies are finding it so difficult to compete and that having Activision locked up by Microsoft will render new competition impossible. A key difference to remember between Sony and Microsoft is that Sony, like Nintendo, is still very much using the traditional way of business. The unorthodox ways of business if you will are the ways for new competitors to get in the door and it is Microsoft who is aiming to close those off to others.

 

Unlike Brazil's CADE who is completely corrupt and known to be in Microsoft's pocket (among many others) it is hard to place the EU. On one hand the EU has been known to be supportive of the biggest businesses, but on the other hand they have handed many defeats to American companies with Microsoft being perhaps the most notable.

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I've been hearing lately that there is a little more doubt surrounding the deal going through successfully. Key word 'little'. I still think it will ultimately go through, but I don't think it will go through without concessions in place, concessions that, unlike Microsoft's previous promises which are about as solid as a flag in a hurricane, will actually be written in stone and officially guaranteed by the regulators. If that happens it will obviously have Microsoft seething, because they won't want to give anything up in this deal, but it's looking more likely as time goes on that something will have to give in order to push it over the line.

 

Hopefully there will be major concessions made for the benefit of the industry and consumers alike. People can whine all they want about Sony's exclusivity practices, but anyone with two brain cells to rub together can tell how entirely different this situation is. More importantly, if Microsoft is dealt a blow in these dealings, then it might put a major dent in not just Microsoft's plans, but other large corporations as well, such as Tencent, and yes, Sony too, regarding the aggressive acquisition spree that we've seen these last few years. I do not want 4 or 5 companies owning absolutely everything, especially not where massive publishers who have spent their entire history operating as third-party, multiplatform businesses are concerned. Obviously Microsoft is the biggest offender here, simply because they have the war chest to back up their ambitions, but they aren't alone. The sooner someone steps in to put a stop to it, the better, and hopefully we will see the first course of action taken with regards to this deal. 

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13 minutes ago, The Alchemist said:

I've been hearing lately that there is a little more doubt surrounding the deal going through successfully. Key word 'little'. I still think it will ultimately go through, but I don't think it will go through without concessions in place, concessions that, unlike Microsoft's previous promises which are about as solid as a flag in a hurricane, will actually be written in stone and officially guaranteed by the regulators. If that happens it will obviously have Microsoft seething, because they won't want to give anything up in this deal, but it's looking more likely as time goes on that something will have to give in order to push it over the line.

 

Hopefully there will be major concessions made for the benefit of the industry and consumers alike. People can whine all they want about Sony's exclusivity practices, but anyone with two brain cells to rub together can tell how entirely different this situation is. More importantly, if Microsoft is dealt a blow in these dealings, then it might put a major dent in not just Microsoft's plans, but other large corporations as well, such as Tencent, and yes, Sony too, regarding the aggressive acquisition spree that we've seen these last few years. I do not want 4 or 5 companies owning absolutely everything, especially not where massive publishers who have spent their entire history operating as third-party, multiplatform businesses are concerned. Obviously Microsoft is the biggest offender here, simply because they have the war chest to back up their ambitions, but they aren't alone. The sooner someone steps in to put a stop to it, the better, and hopefully we will see the first course of action taken with regards to this deal. 

 

They've said they guarantee CoD will be on PlayStation for the next 3 years and post that as long as it makes sense. That is not a lie. What they don't mention is that due to a contract Sony has with Activision that Microsoft would have no choice but to give those 3 years. It is why they made a show of that "offer" they sent Sony and Sony then publicly rubbished it. The "offer" was basically "we give you nothing, but lets pretend we generously gave you something. Deal?". As for the "as long as it makes sense", after 3 years they might tell Sony they'd need to pony up 100 million or something to get the game which Sony naturally would refuse and then boom, "we made an offer but Sony turned it down so it is on them that CoD isn't on PlayStation". These sort of dishonest games is stuff the regulators will be taking into account, the CMA already addressed it I believe, and I think even the most hardcore of Microsoft's supporters know it is the case even if they'll never admit it as they know it is a bad look.

 

Stopping this deal sadly wouldn't stop the acquisitions. Microsoft being a platform holder and owning many key parts of infrastructure to help be successful in the industry is what would stop them here. If Activision fails to sell then it would seem certain they'd instantly go to the likes of Tencent or whoever and offer themselves up for less than Microsoft was putting up which Tencent would likely be more than happy to do so. It'd be unlikely to even halt Microsoft as they likely will just convert their buying Activision money to buying numerous other smaller companies instead. Microsoft's view is that subscriptions and the Cloud is the future (though they've told regulators the opposite obviously) and whoever comes out on top there will win it all so they're desperate to have that take off for them before either someone else beats them to it or the whole thing falls apart. It was why they previously made that comment that Sony isn't competition to them as in theory if they win in subscriptions/Cloud which involves not simply having a lot of people subscribed to them, but to make it stupid in people's eyes to buy games outright (notice all those people who say "I'll wait for it to hit Gamepass", basically convert everyone to that) then Sony will be easily dealt with. Ideally they'd have well managed and orderly studios putting out great stuff, but the time to get all that in order was 10 years ago at minimum, so they have to resort to tastelessly throwing around massive amounts of money.

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1 hour ago, Rozalia1 said:

Stopping this deal sadly wouldn't stop the acquisitions.

 

Probably not, but it might put a halt to the large-scale acquisitions of huge publishers and the like, at least in the short to medium-term. Microsoft definitely had an air of arrogance to them (more than usual) when they first announced this deal. I think they were probably expecting less scrutiny than they're getting currently. Brazil is one thing (one of the most corrupt nations on earth, so hardly surprising that their regulatory body passed the deal with flying colours), but the EU doesn't mess around, for the most part. The Zenimax deal went quite well and closed pretty quickly, so Microsoft were probably expecting it to be smooth sailing once again with ABK, despite the much greater implications with this particular deal.

 

I read a piece a while back that suggested the games industry generally isn't as well regulated as it should be, considering the high stakes and the giant sums of money involved nowadays, so you could at least hope that going forward, seeing the way regulators are taking a closer look at this deal, that things will change in this regard for the better. I guess we'll find out soon enough, but if Microsoft are forced to make some big concessions with this deal then I'll at least count that as a small win for the industry.

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7 hours ago, The Alchemist said:

Probably not, but it might put a halt to the large-scale acquisitions of huge publishers and the like, at least in the short to medium-term. Microsoft definitely had an air of arrogance to them (more than usual) when they first announced this deal. I think they were probably expecting less scrutiny than they're getting currently. Brazil is one thing (one of the most corrupt nations on earth, so hardly surprising that their regulatory body passed the deal with flying colours), but the EU doesn't mess around, for the most part. The Zenimax deal went quite well and closed pretty quickly, so Microsoft were probably expecting it to be smooth sailing once again with ABK, despite the much greater implications with this particular deal.

 

I read a piece a while back that suggested the games industry generally isn't as well regulated as it should be, considering the high stakes and the giant sums of money involved nowadays, so you could at least hope that going forward, seeing the way regulators are taking a closer look at this deal, that things will change in this regard for the better. I guess we'll find out soon enough, but if Microsoft are forced to make some big concessions with this deal then I'll at least count that as a small win for the industry.

 

I'm so tired of these giant business acquisitions. Microsoft has a long track record of letting their assets rot into the ground, and as much as I hate to see Blizzard go down the rabbit hole I think it is inevitable.

 

Blizzard themselves already had a bad track record prior to the acquisition and Activision who merged with them already had their share of problems. It's big business as usual, and we're not invited to the party.

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5 hours ago, AJ_Radio said:

I'm so tired of these giant business acquisitions. Microsoft has a long track record of letting their assets rot into the ground, and as much as I hate to see Blizzard go down the rabbit hole I think it is inevitable.

 

Blizzard themselves already had a bad track record prior to the acquisition and Activision who merged with them already had their share of problems. It's big business as usual, and we're not invited to the party.

 

The only positive of Microsoft getting this done would be that yeah. Xbox is and has always been so mismanaged that'd they'd not be able to make effective use of the assets they buy. On top of that Microsoft's initial ambition in the industry, the multimedia box which was realised with the Xbox One was a massive failure so their new ambition of blowing up the traditional market to replace it with a subscription one could well simply just be another failure. Many people assume that just because a company is massive that everything they touch must turn to gold, but that is very much not the case. As famously said, Microsoft has no taste and that hurts when it comes to creativity.

 

12 hours ago, The Alchemist said:

Probably not, but it might put a halt to the large-scale acquisitions of huge publishers and the like, at least in the short to medium-term. Microsoft definitely had an air of arrogance to them (more than usual) when they first announced this deal. I think they were probably expecting less scrutiny than they're getting currently. Brazil is one thing (one of the most corrupt nations on earth, so hardly surprising that their regulatory body passed the deal with flying colours), but the EU doesn't mess around, for the most part. The Zenimax deal went quite well and closed pretty quickly, so Microsoft were probably expecting it to be smooth sailing once again with ABK, despite the much greater implications with this particular deal.

 

I read a piece a while back that suggested the games industry generally isn't as well regulated as it should be, considering the high stakes and the giant sums of money involved nowadays, so you could at least hope that going forward, seeing the way regulators are taking a closer look at this deal, that things will change in this regard for the better. I guess we'll find out soon enough, but if Microsoft are forced to make some big concessions with this deal then I'll at least count that as a small win for the industry.

 

I think you're right. Hard to get a handle on what Microsoft's intentions has been with their stunts thus far. Were they surprised that Sony publicly came out against their letter? Or is a trillion dollar company really playing games where they're trying to rile up internet supporters in the hopes of intimidating regulators/competitors?

 

The gaming market thankfully has been getting taken more seriously recently but yeah, generally there is a lot of old dudes who paint it as kids stuff. To be fair up to this point buyouts have not been that sizable relative to other industries, but Microsoft bringing out 70 billion has made a lot of people who weren't paying attention take notice.

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https://news.bloomberglaw.com/antitrust/ftc-plans-to-clamp-down-on-unfair-competition-by-companies

 

So this came out recently and it might mean serious problems for Microsoft. Some excerpts:

 

Quote

“In the digital economy, we’ve seen time and time again, there’s a real premium for businesses to capture the market as quickly as they can,” Khan told reporters in a briefing Wednesday. That “can lead businesses to play fast and loose with the rules.”

 

As I said in a previous post, it is clear to see that Microsoft aims to capture the subscription/cloud gaming market for themselves quickly so if gaming does convert to that (hopefully not) then they will come out the winners. 

 

Quote

The guidance will allow the agency to tackle behavior that traditional antitrust laws have had trouble addressing, for example when a series of acquisitions, each of which would appear fine on its own, represent an anticompetitive consolidation when combined. The agency has also used the statute to sue companies under its mandate to protect consumers from fraud, scams and misleading business practices.


The commission said that, unlike other competition laws, Section 5 doesn’t require showing a company’s power in a given market. Enforcers simply need to show a negative impact on competitive conditions.

 

To begin with this destroys Microsoft and its supporters main argument that Microsoft adding Activision wouldn't make it a monopoly so no harm no foul. This change states that such a thing is irrelevant, as it should be as many companies have abused such a thing to attain their dominance (Meta the most well known culprit). As Microsoft have said themselves, this is on record though as usual Microsoft is free to lie otherwise, they have no intention to stop further acquisitions in gaming so while Activision alone might not get them dominating, purchasing many other companies afterwards might. On top of that if Microsoft fails to buy Activision and then tries to buy up 70 billions worth of smaller companies then they may well get stopped by this again, which the very threat of might stop Microsoft even trying.

 

The FTC back in October told Sony, Google, and others against the deal to get their statements signed and submitted quickly so there has been the thought, though not really talked about much as the CMA has taken so much attention, that the FTC has intended to challenge Microsoft from the start. The FTC is currently led by a young new idealistic head who has been clear on wanting to take on Big Tech and Microsoft would be a hell of a scalp to get to send the message that business will not be as usual for big tech. Of course I have to mention that getting done in by the FTC doesn't end the deal in totality as Microsoft could go to court over it. Republicans have filled the courts with their guys who are largely pro big business guys so the odds of a court ruling against FTC would be pretty good... but at the same time it ain't 100% and Microsoft has been very nervous about taking on regulators after their previous high profile losses.

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On 11/1/2022 at 11:32 PM, AJ_Radio said:

corporate executives who have absolutely no interest in the world of gaming other than maximizing profits using the least amount of work possible.

 

They're just running a min/max build.

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Worst thing about it - even if they said they won't do it but we all know that they will - is that some of our beloved game franchises will be xbox/pc only in the future. 

Edited by Afura_33
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As a PlayStation owner, i seriously hope that the "my PlayStation" guy loses his job.

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22 hours ago, Lance_87 said:

As a PlayStation owner, i seriously hope that the "my PlayStation" guy loses his job.

 

Because he made a tweet about his opinion and was clear about not having any influence over this process.

 

"Sony and Microsoft are becoming like retarded spoiled brats."

 

That's fine tho. Healthy.

Edited by TJ_Solo
Removed trolling
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22 hours ago, Afura_33 said:

Worst thing about it - even if they said they won't do it but we all know that they will - is that some of our beloved game franchises will be xbox/pc only in the future. 

 

Ah, but don't you know that Minecraft was kept multiplatform (Microsoft likely had no choice due to existing contracts or an understood agreement for the purchase to happen) so that means that Microsoft is committed to not locking everything away. Ignore they did the same song and dance with Bethesda and then made all of their games exclusive (well, console exclusive).

 

21 hours ago, Lance_87 said:

As a PlayStation owner, i seriously hope that the "my PlayStation" guy loses his job.

 

You're buying into the Microsoft supporters fake outrage. Some real absurd statements coming out of them like the tweet making Microsoft happy because if the EU rules against them they'll point to the tweet and the Judge will say "clearly the EU has been bought off by Sony". Then you have the idea that anyone handling the case has a conflict of interest if they own a PlayStation. Just silly stuff.

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32 minutes ago, Rozalia1 said:

 

Ah, but don't you know that Minecraft was kept multiplatform (Microsoft likely had no choice due to existing contracts or an understood agreement for the purchase to happen) so that means that Microsoft is committed to not locking everything away. Ignore they did the same song and dance with Bethesda and then made all of their games exclusive (well, console exclusive).

 

I mean you never know, we have seen a lot of publisher making statements and doing the exact opposite of what they said later :(

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37 minutes ago, Rozalia1 said:

You're buying into the Microsoft supporters fake outrage. Some real absurd statements coming out of them like the tweet making Microsoft happy because if the EU rules against them they'll point to the tweet and the Judge will say "clearly the EU has been bought off by Sony". Then you have the idea that anyone handling the case has a conflict of interest if they own a PlayStation. Just silly stuff.

 

I'm just tired of this whole story. I'm seeing the worst coming out of people, insults, console wars etc...

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