Anybody want a Quibi?
Good morning! This Tuesday, Microsoft made a big bet on video games, another twist in the TikTok tale, Quibi needs a home, Tesla Battery Day is here, and it's all making me feel very :face in clouds:.
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Shakeel Hashim writes: Microsoft announced that it bought video game giant ZeniMax on Monday for $7.5 billion. It's a lot of money, and it cements what we already knew: Microsoft is out to win the gaming industry.
Heading into the next generation of consoles, Sony undoubtedly has the more attractive game lineup. While Microsoft could make all ZeniMax games Xbox-exclusives in future to try to catch up, it seems to have bigger ambitions.
This is Microsoft's biggest gaming acquisition to date, dwarfing the $2.5 billion it paid for Minecraft developer Mojang back in 2014. (Which has worked out awfully well for Microsoft.)
In related news: Microsoft's Phil Spencer said the company was determined to bring game streaming to iOS. "We will get there. We remain committed," he said.
Joke's on me! TikTok is still chaos, nothing makes sense, and it feels like this whole story is designed to make everyone look stupid and to never ever end. A day after it looked like the deal was headed toward a relatively swift end — albeit one that looked nothing like what President Trump said he wanted — things are getting very complicated all over again.
Here's where the confusion lies, best I can tell, and how two things can sort of be true — and deeply confusing for both sides — at the same time. Let's say TikTok Global is finally spun out. 20% goes to Walmart and Oracle, and the rest not to ByteDance but to all the investors who own part of ByteDance, about half of which are American. Four of the TikTok Global's five board seats would also reportedly be occupied by Americans. That means enough control goes to American investors for the Trump administration to sort of construe it as majority American-owned, while also allowing ByteDance to think that most of the shares are in its orbit.
To summarize: TikTok Global might be a thing, owned by … the people and companies who own it. Get it? Me neither. But the good news is, there's another potential ban lingering for this Sunday, so there's plenty more of this to come in the next few days. Sorry in advance.
Quibi is on the market, The Wall Street Journal reported. It's considering all options: an acquisition, a SPAC-enabled public listing, maybe even raising more money. Either way, Quibi's clearly in trouble. It's fighting a patent lawsuit, hasn't had a show that's really permeated culture, and sure isn't helped by a pandemic that undermined its business model by keeping everybody at home for the first six months of its existence.
Quibi has raised $1.8 billion, but is surely preparing for a firesale. So we looked around and tried to find the company a few potential good homes:
There's (at least) one significant downside to buying Quibi: It doesn't own its content. It has seven-year licenses on all its shows and movies, but after two years creators can "reassemble" them and run them elsewhere. So Disney could buy Quibi, or instead it could just buy its best few shows, build its own app and bet that hardly anyone has seen them yet. Which they haven't.
Anybody who buys Quibi is buying a technology, a brand and most of all a team. Remember, a huge part of Quibi's initial buzz was "never bet against Jeffrey Katzenberg," and it's hard to hold the company's rough debut entirely against him. The name "Quibi" I will continue to hold against him, however.
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Douglas Rushkoff thinks it's too late to save civilization, and that it's all the internet's fault:
Tesla's on the verge of a huge quarter, Elon Musk told employees in an email:
Don't bet on 5G iPhones to change the telecoms world forever, Jeff McElfresh said:
Running a $2 trillion company isn't what gets Tim Cook up in the morning:
When Sony wanted to get into the electric-car business with its image sensors, CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said there was only one way:
PagerDuty bought Rundeck for about $100 million, in an attempt to automate more of the incident response processes that it's already focused on.
Craig Wright is heading to court, as he tries to prove that he created Bitcoin and is thus the rightful owner of more than $11 billion of the currency. That'll kick off next year.
I can't imagine an emoji better suited to 2020 than "face in clouds," one of the new emoji recently approved by the Unicode Consortium. And clearly it's not just me: The application said that "usage is expected to be high" for an emoji that could denote confusion, forgetfulness, overwhelm and more. Add "the world is covered in wildfire smoke" to that list and you have an emoji that pretty much describes the feeling of being alive right now! Though another new one, "face with spiral eyes," is probably a close second.
Stronger care … from more efficient operations
Today's Source Code was written by David Pierce, with help from Shakeel Hashim. Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, or our tips line, email@example.com. Enjoy your day, see you tomorrow.