Today, Wednesday the 19th, Sony Group Corp’s stock shares took a $20 billion drop on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. According to analysts, this 13% drop in valuation was a direct result of Microsoft’s recent announcement that it will be acquiring Activision Blizzard, one of the biggest publishers in the industry. This is the highest daily loss for Sony in 14 years and might shake faith in the PlayStation brand for some.
Even though Activision Blizzard is a troubled publisher, with legal issues stemming from sexual harassment and a “frat boy mentality”, it is still an immensely profitable publisher. They own a host of valuable IPs and development studios. When Game Pass subscriptions started to sag, Microsoft wanted to bolster its with exclusive content, starting first with its purchase of Bethesda and the A/B purchase will do even more to make sure it has even more exclusives, only available to it Game Pass subscribers. However, Microsoft promises that some titles from its first-party studios will remain multi-platform.
With Microsoft picking up a consistently bestselling franchise Call of Duty, Sony could see losing that and other titles when they potentially become Xbox exclusives. That could have been the blow to the PlayStation brand that lowered confidence from investors.
There’s some evidence that Sony will launch a new version of its game subscription service soon. But we are not sure how it will be different than PlayStation Now, but we can guess that they will start to include same day one access to new titles like Microsoft does. An official announcement and deployment of this new service will likely go a long way toward recovering the dip in Sony’s stocks.
Sony should start picking up publishers like Square Enix and maybe Capcom if they want to keep ahead of the exclusive party. This blow to the company’s valuation due to the Microsoft announcement makes us think that’s an even stronger possibility soon.