During Wednesday trading, Sony Group Corp’s stock shares fell 13% on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. According to analysts, this $20 billion drop in valuation results from 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.
Why Did Sony’s Stock Prices Drop?
Activision Blizzard is an immensely profitable publisher, and it owns a host of valuable IPs and development studios. Microsoft wants to bolster its Xbox Game Pass service with exclusive content, and it’s doing so by acquiring some of the biggest names in gaming. Regardless of Microsoft’s promise that some titles from its first-party studios will remain multi-platform, the end goal is to make Xbox more appealing as a console and as a platform.
Call of Duty is a yearly best-seller despite the criticism heaped on it. Losing that and other titles when they potentially become Xbox exclusives would be a blow to the PlayStation brand (through no fault on Sony’s part). The loss in stock value shows lower confidence from investors.
Sony’s approach has served it well so far. The company has been reluctant to deviate from the traditional publishing model but has kept the pressure on Microsoft with a bevy of critically-acclaimed exclusives. However, it seems like Sony is willing to adapt, and there’s evidence that it’ll deploy a new version of its game subscription service soon. How it’ll differ from PlayStation Now isn’t known, but we can hypothesize that it’ll include day-one access to first-party titles. An official announcement and deployment of this new service will likely go a long way toward recovering the dip in Sony’s stocks.
The big question on our mind is, what’s Sony’s next step? We hypothesized that the company might purchase a studio (or a few), and this blow to the company’s valuation makes us think that’s an even stronger possibility in the near future.