Microsoft Buys Activision Blizzard. What now?

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The announcement that shocked everyone in the gaming world was dropped on the 18th of January. Perhaps one of the largest buyouts in industry history, Microsoft is handing over a very nice sum of 69 billion dollars for Activision Blizzard and all its subsidiary companies. 

These studios include Raven Soft, High Moon Studios, Treyarch, Sledgehammer Games, Infinity Ward, Vicarious Visions, Toys for Bob, Beenox, Blizzard and King. This takes the amount of studios Microsoft now owns to over thirty studios, and now that the dust has settled, what does this mean? 

To really get into this we need to look at exactly what is going on with ABK and figure out just the magnitude of the mess Microsoft has to clean up.

What’s happening at Activision Blizzard?

Activision Blizzard is in the news for all the wrong reasons over the past two years, from player censorship, unfair termination of employees to the infamous California vs Blizzard Entertainment lawsuit of 2021, Activision Blizzard has been coming apart at the seams over the past few years.

Bobby Kotick has stayed silent on the unrest at Activision Blizzard.

This buyout means Bobby Kotick stepping down as Activision CEO. Employees demanding this has been the cause of many protesting, striking and walking out from 2021. Hopefully, this is what is needed to boost company morale, which seems to be at a massive low based on the ongoing reporting by Twitter account abetterABK, run by a Blizzard employee.

All these issues are causing massive and indefinite delays to most properties under the ABK umbrella. Until the lawsuit breaking were shrouded in mystery. But now that we know more, let’s break it down franchise by franchise.

Call Of Duty

Call Of Duty: This franchise is expected to have a fall release sometime in 2022, after the launch of the last installment COD: Vanguard shipped buggy, expectations are high for the new installment. But, many die hard fans of the franchise are worried that the buyout might lead to the games being Xbox and Microsoft device exclusives.

Vanguard was the latest in the Call Of Duty franchise games.

These fears are growing as Xbox and Bethesda have both confirmed their upcoming title Starfield is PC/Xbox exclusive so it might just be time to buy that GPU upgrade you’ve been waiting for. But, Call Of Duty does have exclusivity contracts with Sony to provide content through those games and Microsoft has stated they intend to honor that.

Diablo 2

Diablo VI: As far as alienating an audience goes, Blizzard excelled on this one. In 2018 after a six year wait on this iconic PC and console franchise, Blizzard announced its next expansion, Diablo Immortal, a mobile title. When questioned by an irate audience, their only response was to confirm that they had no PC plans for the game, and then asked the audience, “do you not have phones?”.

Diablo IV is going to focus on Lilith as it’s new antagonist.

Fans of the franchise were calmed though during the 2019 Blizzcon announcement where Diablo IV was finally announced. Things also seemed to be looking up for Diablo lovers as the studio started giving fans quarterly updates and showcasing their progress. Gorgeous character models and art were displayed up until the game’s progress started slowing down as ABK pushed to release a remaster of Diablo II. Updates on Diablo IV still seem to be rolling out but a release date is unknown as of writing this.

Overwatch 2

Overwatch 2: Probably the most controversial on this list. Overwatch 2 is the subject of so many leaks and delays that players have lost track of what is going on with Overwatch 2. Announced back on November 1st 2019 at Blizzcon. Overwatch 2 wants to add a long story campaign to the game and Blizzard was showing previews of such. It also plans on making PvP a 5v5 gamemode from 6v6 and making their agents more “customizable”.

Overwatch 2 is aiming to visually refresh all it’s iconic characters.

After the big announcement at Blizzcon, Overwatch ads a new agent to the game in April 2020. However, after this Overwatch receives no updates other than deathmatch maps with a long silence after. But, a ray of hope for fans of the franchise, after the Microsoft announcement, Blizzard has started more community outreach. Speaking with players and streamers to try and make balance changes to Overwatch. Blizzard is also trying to push for an Overwatch 2 beta mid 2022. Again, will the game make it outside the Microsoft ecosystem? Time will tell.

World Of Warcraft

World Of Warcraft: Perhaps the most iconic game on this list. WoW is one game that didn’t slow down by any means in production. With an expansion planned for 2022 this game seems to be on track, but is PC exclusive. This might change in the future as Xbox head Phill Spencer in an interview talks about how he wants to see more people playing WoW and with Microsoft moving towards cloud gaming, we may just see a console release for WoW after all. 

Shadowlands is WoW’s new expansion.

These are just the larger titles under the ABK umbrella. We can’t forget that this announcement also means that Microsoft owns titles such as Starcraft, Tony Hawk, Heroes Of The Storm and Hearthstone. Microsoft will also take over the esports markets for these titles, as well as Hearthstone and Overwatch League known to draw in large audiences internationally. As part of this deal Microsoft now also owns Call Of Duty Mobile, which has grown into a mobile giant, along with games by King, most known for Candy Crush. 

So, where are we after the dust settles? Excited for the new era of Activision Blizzard and definitely checking GPU stocks because of the amount of PC titles Microsoft is bringing us!

Check out our other article on our very own ROD builds!

Stream Me Up: GeForce NOW RTX 3080 Brings Next-Generation Performance to Cloud Gaming

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New GeForce NOW RTX 3080 memberships stream up to 1440p at 120 FPS gaming on PC and Mac, with ultra-low latency that rivals local gaming.

GFN Thursday welcomes you to the next generation of cloud gaming — boldly going where no cloud gaming service has gone before with the new GeForce NOW RTX 3080 membership.

The new memberships will stream from the world’s most powerful gaming supercomputer, the GeForce NOW SuperPOD, giving gamers their own high-performance cloud gaming rig. GeForce NOW RTX 3080 members will enjoy streaming at up to 1440p resolution and 120 frames per second on PCs and Macs, and 4K HDR at 60 FPS on SHIELD TV, with ultra-low latency that rivals many local gaming experiences.

Founders and Priority members in North America and Western Europe now have early access to preorder GeForce NOW RTX 3080 memberships — with six-month memberships available for $99.99. Memberships will be limited at launch, and the exclusive preorder window gives our earliest supporters the first opportunity to upgrade to next-generation gaming.

GFN Thursday means more games for more gamers, and starting today members can stream the wildly popular New World, which is one of nine games joining the GeForce NOW library this week.

Next-Gen Gaming, Everywhere

GeForce NOW is the easiest upgrade for gamers who want to transform their low-spec devices into high-performance GeForce gaming rigs. Members play the latest PC games without waiting for downloads, installs, patches or updates.

The new GeForce NOW RTX 3080 membership delivers an instant upgrade in performance for common hardware — a 70x increase for the average laptop on Steam, 13x for an M1-based Macbook Air and 7x for the most popular desktop configuration on Steam.

GeForce NOW SuperPOD
The next generation of cloud gaming is powered by the GeForce NOW SuperPOD, built on the second-gen RTX, NVIDIA Ampere architecture.

This performance leap is rendered in the cloud. Members connect to gaming servers supercharged with GPUs based on the NVIDIA Ampere architecture. AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO CPUs deliver leadership performance and industry-leading bandwidth.

Translation: GeForce NOW RTX 3080 equals warp-speed gaming.

GeForce NOW RTX 3080 members will have exclusive access to the new servers, streaming at up to 1440p at 120 FPS on PC, 1600p at 120 FPS on most MacBooks, 1440p at 120 FPS on most iMacs, 4K HDR at 60 FPS on NVIDIA SHIELD TV and up to 120 FPS on select Android devices.

Play PC games at 1440p and 120 FPS on nearly any laptop with a GeForce NOW RTX 3080 memberships.

That means any underpowered PC or laptop — even with four-year-old integrated graphics — is instantly transformed into a gaming rig capable of displaying the hottest PC games in 1440p at 120 FPS with a compatible monitor that supports a refresh rate of 120Hz or higher.

Gaming on a Mac? Play at native display resolutions, up to 1440p for most iMacs and 1600p for most MacBooks. With the new MacBook Pro, stream and game natively at 120 FPS with the ProMotion 120Hz displays. Or, connect an external monitor for 120 FPS gaming on any Mac.

Gaming in your living room? SHIELD TV can render and stream PC games at 4K HDR at 60 FPS and 7.1 surround sound, with ultra-low latency that will make console users jealous.

Going mobile? Take PC gaming with you at screaming-fast 120 FPS on select 120Hz Android phones, such as the Samsung S21.

GeForce NOW RTX 3080 members will enjoy faster game rendering and dramatic latency savings on any supported device — including Chrome, Safari and Edge browsers.

GeForce NOW RTX 3080 members also have the longest session lengths of all memberships, clocking in at eight hours, and the most control over persistent in-game settings.

Preorder Today to Be the First to Play

GeForce NOW members can stream AAA PC games on nearly any device.

Preorders for the GeForce NOW RTX 3080 membership are now open for Founders and Priority members, and will be open to all gamers next week, pending availability. Founders and Priority members can access their exclusive preorder opportunity by logging into their GeForce NOW account, clicking “MANAGE,” and selecting the “PREORDER” option under RTX 3080 to begin the checkout flow. Preorders will only be charged when the GeForce NOW RTX 3080 membership becomes available.

Founders, exclusively, will receive 10 percent off the subscription price and can upgrade with no risk to their benefits. Founders who decide to upgrade to the GeForce NOW RTX 3080 experience will be eligible to revert back to their original Founders plan and retain their “Founders for Life” pricing, as long as they remain in good standing on any paid membership plan.

Preorders will begin converting to active memberships in November in North America, and December in Western Europe.

Information on rollout timing for GeForce NOW RTX 3080 memberships in GeForce NOW Alliance regions will be made by partners at a later time, on a region-by-region basis.

More info can be found in the membership FAQ.

Updates for Everyone

The latest GeForce NOW client update begins rolling out today. In addition to supporting the new membership preorder, version 2.0.34 brings beta support for Microsoft Edge on PC, giving members yet another way to play their favorite PC games.

The update also includes new Adaptive Sync technology, giving all members a smoother gaming experience. This technology synchronizes frame rendering to the local display, reducing stutter for many users by eliminating dropped and repeated frames. It also helps reduce latency to 60ms or less for many gamers joining the new GeForce NOW RTX 3080 tier.

It’s Game Time

The world of Aeternum is mysterious, dangerous and gorgeous. Forge your destiny at full quality, streaming on GeForce NOW.

GeForce NOW members have access to 1,000+ games, with more released every GFN Thursday. The catalog features many of the world’s most-played games, including free-to-play titles like FortniteDota 2Apex LegendsDestiny 2 and more.

Members can also stream many major fall and holiday launch titles with RTX ON in supported games. Today, members can start streaming the hit game New World, from Amazon GamesIt’s one of the nine games joining the service. Check out the full list below.

We make every effort to launch games on GeForce NOW as close to their release as possible, but, in some instances, games may not be available immediately.

Win Big With #TheFutureisNOW

To commemorate the new GeForce NOW RTX 3080 membership, we’re celebrating with a week chock-full of giveaways, starting later today. Tune in to our social channels for a chance to win epic loot every day from Oct. 21-28.

To enter, simply comment #TheFutureIsNOW and follow the instructions on sweepstakes social posts. It’s GeForce NOW or never — tune in on Twitter and Facebook for the next drop!