Video game publisher Activision Blizzard are to be acquired by Microsoft Corporation, owners of Xbox. The deal will reportedly be worth $68.7 billion dollars.
Activision Blizzard is best known for the hugely popular military first-person shooter series, Call of Duty , as well as other big titles such as Crash Bandicoot, Tony Hawk’s, Diablo, Overwatch, StarCraft and Warcraft series just to name a few.
The deal will also include Activision’s subsidiary studios, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, Treyarch, Infinity Ward Beenox, Demonware, Digital Legends, High Moon Studios, King, Major League Gaming, Radical Entertainment and Toys for Bob.
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The incredible news was confirmed by Phil Spencer CEO, of Microsoft Gaming in a post on the Xbox blog.
It’s Microsoft ‘s biggest acquisition to date but not too surprising considering Microsoft made waves in the gaming industry when they bought Fallout creator Bethesda for $7.5bn back in 2020.
Activision Blizzard had a rocky year as 2021 as a lawsuit was filed against the gaming giant for multiple allegations of abuse among its workers, as well as accusations directly leveled at Bobby Kotick the current CEO of Activision Blizzard. It left the company dealing with the staff arranging walkouts.
This hasn’t stopped Activision from still being one of the largest and most profitable game publishers in the world.
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Phil Spencer also said in the blog post that until this transaction closes ” Activision Blizzard and Microsoft Gaming will continue to operate independently ,” and that ” Once the deal is complete, the Activision Blizzard business will report to me as CEO, Microsoft Gaming.”
This could cause a titanic shift in the gaming landscape and could result in the Call of Duty franchise as well as some of Activision’s other top titles coming to Game Pass, Xbox’s monthly gaming subscription service, which Xbox says now has “over 25 million subscribers” worldwide.
This could also lead to some of these titles becoming Xbox system exclusive titles or possibly timed exclusives in the future.
In the blog post, CEO, Phil Spencer said:
“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 catalog. We also announced today that Game Pass now has more than 25 million subscribers. As always, we look forward to continuing to add more value and more great games to Game Pass.”
In the blog post, they also explained that the CEO of Activision Blizzard Bobby Kotick will continue in his position, for the time being, however, this will change once the deal closes.
With this deal concluded Microsoft will be the third-largest gaming company in the world behind Japanese rivals Sony and Chinese multinational technology and entertainment conglomerate Tencent.
Photo Credit: Getty