When Bill Gates stepped down as CEO in 2000 because of antitrust scandals, giant Microsoft was still a software corporation with strengths in the Windows operating system, the Office toolkit and Internet Explorer browser.
Steve Ballmer, who took over as CEO, began making even more dramatic hits into the gaming market when he released the Xbox console in 2001 and in the same year acquired Ensemble Studios, series developer. game Age of Empires (Empire) illustrious.
Halo became the flagship of Microsoft to enter the gaming industry.
Under the reign of Steve Ballmer, Microsoft has built a close relationship with the gaming industry, thanks to early 2000s money-making brands such as Halo, Fable series and Age of Empires. But Microsoft also took a significant step backward when it lost Bungie, developer of the famous Halo game series in 2007, despite retaining the rights to the shooter brand.
In 2014, Ballmer resigned as CEO and left his successor Satya Nadella a huge legacy of successful Azure cloud computing platform as well as the cult brand Gears of War bought from Epic. Games. And as soon as he took power, Nadella left his first big mark in the game field by successfully acquiring Mojang, the developer of Minecraft for $ 2.5 billion. Today, Minecraft is one of the best-selling games of all time with 200 million copies and 130 million monthly users.
Under the reign of the Indian-American CEO, Microsoft began spending billions of dollars to buy emerging tech companies such as the job social network LinkedIn ($ 26.2 billion), the open-source GitHub repository. ($ 7.5 billion), virtual mobile network Affirmed Networks ($ 1.35 billion). But Big Tech America also did not forget to supplement the number of games with physical engine developer Havok, livestream platform Beam and developer Obsidian Entertainment. But perhaps the most shocking is the quick acquisition of publisher ZeniMax Media ($ 7.5 billion) after rumors of buying TikTok under former President Donald Trump.
Microsoft is attacking the gaming industry with a niche called the cloud.
|Of course, Microsoft’s attempts have not always been successful, as the Beam platform shut down last July after failing to compete with Twitch or YouTube Gaming. Previously, in 2016, Lionhead Studios, the developer behind the success of Black & White and the Fable series was forced to shut down because it failed to keep key members.|
But with its huge gaming ecosystem, Microsoft has facilities to put another $ 10 billion on the negotiating table to buy Discord, a voice chat platform like Zoom of the game industry.
This is an additional force needed for Microsoft to have a larger position in the gaming industry, under pressure from rivals stretching from former enemies like Nintendo, Sony to new enemies like Facebook, Apple, Google.
Although in the current fight with Sony’s PlayStation 5, the Xbox Series X / S is not entirely dominant. But consoles are still a long battle for services, exclusive games and other value-added value games such as cloud gaming, voice chat, and livestreams. In that game, Microsoft needs to make good use of its technological advantages to prepare for a long war that can last from 3 to 7 years.
In fact, since the 2000s, Microsoft has founded Xbox Game Studios, a collection of subsidiaries owned by the giant whose mission is to create exclusive games for Xbox consoles. The team has just added ZeniMax, including the famous developers of the once-popular series such as The Elder Scrolls, Doom, Quake or Wolfenstein.
Discord will enrich the gaming ecosystem that Microsoft owns.
|Services that Microsoft currently has like Azure will be the right arm to enter the cloud gaming era. Thanks to Azure, the world’s heaviest game Flight Simulator (2TB) only requires 150GB to be installed, with the rest being loaded on a cloud server.|
And if the acquisition of Discord, Microsoft will have more powerful assistants in assisting gamers to chat with each other. Discord currently has 250 million users, mostly gamers. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s game services currently have 90 million monthly active users.
Microsoft’s calculations are clear, the giant wants to go deeper into ancillary services for the gaming industry. But most of all, the Discord acquisition is a necessary momentum to stop other competitors from dawing the digital gold mine.
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