Microsoft and Xbox Acquire Activision Blizzard in Mega Deal
Microsoft has announced that it has acquired Activision Blizzard in a mega deal worth billions. The studio that is behind franchises such as Call of Duty, Overwatch, World of Warcraft, and many more has also been the center of many allegations that has led to much scrutiny of the studio as well as legal battles.
With rumors already circulating of the acquisition, Xbox head Phil Spencer made the announcement via a blog post to get ahead of the rumor mill and now has officially announced the acquisition of some of the biggest video game franchises to be released. The deal is worth an astonishing $68.7B, which is a substantial amount more than it paid for its most recent big acquisition when it spent $7.5B on Bethesda in 2020. This deal also marks the biggest deal in video game history which just last week had gone to Take-Two when they announced their purchase of Zynga for $13B which at the time was a respectable amount, but now falls really short to the price tag Microsoft just paid.
Spencer’s Xbox Wire blog post reads:
“As a team, we are on a mission to extend the joy and community of gaming to everyone on the planet, we all know that gaming is the most vibrant and dynamic form of entertainment worldwide and we’ve experienced the power of social connection and friendship that gaming makes possible. As we pursue that mission, it is incredibly exciting to announce that Microsoft has agreed to acquire Activision Blizzard.”
Check out the list of teams joining Microsoft and Xbox thanks to this acquisition:
- Activision Publishing
- Blizzard Entertainment
- Digital Legends
- High Moon Studios
- Infinity Ward
- Major League Gaming
- Radical Entertainment
- Raven Software
- Sledgehammer Games
- Toys for Bob
There is no confirmation or reports on which if any titles will shift to Xbox exclusive titles, but once this deal closes Microsoft will be adding 30 development studios to its arsenal. Activision Blizzard will continue to work independently until the deal closes in the fiscal year 2023. Once this deal closes, Microsoft will inch closer to Sony as it will become the third-largest gaming company based on revenue with it falling short only to Tencent and Sony. Spencer will also oversee Activision Blizzard as the CEO of Microsoft Gaming once the deal closes. For more on the leadership structure, check out the image below:
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will remain as CEO as confirmed via a press release:
“Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard, and he and his team will maintain their focus on driving efforts to further strengthen the company’s culture and accelerate business growth, once the deal closes, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming.”
Kotick said today that “for more than 30 years, our incredibly talented teams have created some of the most successful games” and that “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.”
Spencer says this acquisition will accelerate Microsoft and Xbox’s plans for Cloud Gaming, and the companies plan to support cloud streaming for Activision Blizzard games moving forward while also lightly touching on the controversy surrounding Activision Blizzard saying:
“As a company, Microsoft is committed to our journey for inclusion in every aspect of gaming, among both employees and players. We deeply value individual studio cultures. We also believe that creative success and autonomy go hand-in-hand with treating every person with dignity and respect. We hold all teams, and all leaders, to this commitment. We’re looking forward to extending our culture of proactive inclusion to the great teams across Activision Blizzard.
“Around the world, there is no more exciting venue for fun and connection than video games. And there has never been a better time to play than right now. As we extend the joy and community of gaming to everyone, we look forward to welcoming all of our friends at Activision Blizzard to Microsoft Gaming.”