CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 78.1% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
US English

Activision Blizzard Overwatch 2: Is free beta release sign of things to come as Microsoft ATVI takeover nears?

By Jenny McCall

10:51, 5 October 2022

A image of the Overwatch game.
ATVI stock price rose on Tuesday 4 October, the day of the announcement but since August the stock price has been down by 7% - Photo: Getty Images

The technology and gaming world has been taken by storm as it prepares itself for the impending acquisition by Microsoft (MSFT) of Activision Blizzard (ATVI). ATVI announced that the sequel to its billion-dollar hit Overwatch, will launch on Tuesday and unlike its predecessor’s high price tag, it will be free.

So, could this be a sign of things to come as the ATVI takeover nears its completion?

The ATVI stock price rose on Tuesday 4 October, the day of the announcement but since August the stock price has been down by 7%.

Activision Blizzard (ATVI) stock price has been down 7% since August 

Could Overwatch 2 affect MSFT acquisition of ATVI?

Overwatch 2 is a first-person shooter game and a sequel to the 2016 Overwatch.

“Overwatch 2 is a free-to-play, team-based action game set in the optimistic future, where every match is the ultimate 5v5 battlefield brawl. Play as a time-jumping freedom fighter, a beat dropping battlefield DJ, or one of over 30 other unique heroes as you battle it out around the globe,” an Activision Blizzard statement said

Now that Overwatch 2 is live, could this be an indication of what gamers can expect from the Microsoft (MSFT) acquisition of ATVI?

The launch of Overwatch 2 has not come without its hiccups. It’s been tough to enjoy the game because of long virtual queue lines to start playing, alongside other issues with the server once gamers get into a match. ATVI said that a distribution denial-of-service attack (DDoS), was to blame for the issues.

“Unfortunately, we are experiencing a mass DDoS attack on our servers, and teams are working hard to mitigate/manage. This is causing a lot of drop/connection issues,” Blizzard Entertainment president Mike Ybarra tweeted on Tuesday.

As Overwatch 2 is only an online game, a DDoS attack that affects the servers is very difficult to manage and it has become an issue for the players and the developers.

Overwatch 2 is also the first game to be launched by ATVI since the announcement was made by MSFT that it will acquire the gaming group.

But despite this issue, MSFT  launched a website this week that shows the benefits of its gaining division, Xbox’s acquisition of ATVI.


What is your sentiment on MSFT?

Vote to see Traders sentiment!

Regulatory and gaming issues - will MSFT back out? 

“Players and developers are at the centre of Xbox. We want to enable people to play games anywhere, anytime and on any device. And developers deserve more options to build, distribute and monetize their ground-breaking games,” MSFT said in a statement.

“When we do this, we all win. That’s why we’re sharing more on the industry and how our acquisition of Activision-Blizzard fits into our gaming strategy.


994.05 Price
+32.960% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0262%
Short position overnight fee 0.0039%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 24.10


181.50 Price
+5.690% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0262%
Short position overnight fee 0.0039%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.22


169.33 Price
+0.640% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0262%
Short position overnight fee 0.0039%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.29


196.23 Price
+0.240% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0262%
Short position overnight fee 0.0039%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.26

So, it appears that despite the ATVI Overwatch 2 issues this week, MSFT is still in full support of the acquisition.

But these are not the only concerns plaguing the deal. Regulatory problems have risen since the takeover was announced this year.

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has started its Phase 1 investigation into Microsoft (MSFT) and on 1 September released a statement.

Sorcha O’Carroll, Senior Director of Mergers at the CMA, said that if the CMA's current concerns are not addressed within five days (8 September), the CMA said it will explore this deal in an "in-depth phase 2 investigation" to reach a decision that works in the interests of UK gamers and businesses.

"The CMA has also received evidence about the potential impact of combining Activision Blizzard with Microsoft’s broader ecosystem. Microsoft already has a leading gaming console (Xbox), a leading cloud platform (Azure), and the leading PC operating system (Windows OS), all of which could be important to its success in cloud gaming," the CMA said in a statement.

"The CMA is concerned that Microsoft could leverage Activision Blizzard’s games together with Microsoft’s strength across console, cloud, and PC operating systems to damage competition in the nascent market for cloud gaming services."

Activision Blizzard (ATVI) stock is currently trading at around $75 per share, below the $95 bid by MSFT.  This is an indication that investors are weighing in a possibility that the deal is blocked by global regulators.

As well as the UK, US regulators are also on the case, with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) looking into an antitrust review of the deal to determine if the takeover would give Microsoft’s Xbox gaming console an unfair competitive advantage.

The European Commission (EC) has also launched an antitrust investigation in to whether Microsoft (MSFT) would shut out its competitors from Activision Blizzard’s popular gaming library.

MSFT is pushing through with acquisitions of ATVI

But despite these problems last month, MSFT came out and dismissed any issues that maybe arising.

“But there were a few sweet spots including both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard (ATVI) following a Bloomberg interview with the Microsoft boss Satya Nadella who said he remained confident he’d get approval for his company’s takeover of the Call of Duty creator,” Danni Hewson, AJ Bell financial analyst wrote in a note.

“The UK’s competition watchdog has launched a second stage probe of the deal citing concerns about what it might mean for consumers. Will the $69bn deal get across the line? Investors like a fight and Nadella is clearly up for it himself.”

Markets in this article

Microsoft Corp (Extended Hours)
412.04 USD
8.5 +2.110%

Related topics

Rate this article

Related reading

The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
Capital Com is an execution-only service provider. The material provided on this website is for information purposes only and should not be understood as an investment advice. Any opinion that may be provided on this page does not constitute a recommendation by Capital Com or its agents. We do not make any representations or warranty on the accuracy or completeness of the information that is provided on this page. If you rely on the information on this page then you do so entirely on your own risk.

Still looking for a broker you can trust?

Join the 580.000+ traders worldwide that chose to trade with

1. Create & verify your account 2. Make your first deposit 3. You’re all set. Start trading