Microsoft Has Acquired Activision Blizzard!!

Microsoft has officially acquired Activision Blizzard in a deal that is worth a total of $68.7 billion. As announced by Microsoft in their blog post, the acquisition includes all franchises under Activision, such as Call of Duty, Candy Crush, Overwatch, Warcraft, Diablo, Hearthstone, and StarCraft. This isn’t the first time Microsoft has acquired a large game publisher, as they previously acquired Bethesda for $7 billion. Following the deal, all future Bethesda titles were made available on Gamepass and exclusive to Microsoft.

The news regarding the acquisition was first reported by WSJ, which was quickly followed by an official confirmation from Microsoft. This is the largest deal in the history of gaming as it includes some of the highest-grossing franchises. Speaking about the deal, Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, said:

“Players everywhere love Activision Blizzard games, and we believe the creative teams have their best work in front of them. Together we will build a future where people can play the games they want, virtually anywhere they want.”

The deal also confirms that Activision CEO Bobby Kotick will maintain his position despite the recent scandal. Last year, the publisher was accused of maintaining a “frat boy culture” and sexual misconduct with employees. There were complaints about unlawful harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. Many employees staged a walkout in protest. Activision recently fired several members of its staff who were accused of misconduct.

While all the franchises under Activision now belong to Microsoft, the parties have yet to decide whether they’ll host big titles on all platforms. Microsoft, however, aims to bring all Activision games on day one on Gamepass. Spencer said, “Upon close, we will offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard‘s incredible catalogue.”

In terms of exclusivity, Bloomberg reports that Microsoft is planning to continue developing content for rival platforms but will have exclusive content for their platform. It is likely that Microsoft could continue launching Call of Duty for PlayStation and continue ongoing support for Warzone. While the recent Call of Duty: Vanguard had a decline in sales as compared to last year, a significant portion of the playerbase belonged to PlayStation.

Activision said, “The combination of Activision Blizzard’s world-class talent and extraordinary franchises with Microsoft’s technology, distribution, access to talent, ambitious vision, and shared commitment to gaming and inclusion will help ensure our continued success in an increasingly competitive industry.” The deal is yet to be closed and will likely be completed by the end of Microsoft‘s fiscal year 2023. Both the company’s boards have approved the deal.


via Collider

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