This morning, it was made known that Microsoft is set to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion in cash. Making this the largest acquisition of a gaming company in history. To put this in perspective, the prior acquisition of Zenimax-Bethesda was done so at $7.5 billion.
Once this deal is finalized, this would make Microsoft the owner of several popular franchises, including Call of Duty, Candy Crush, Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, and Hearthstone. This would also make Microsoft = the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.
Once the deal is completed, Microsoft has already planned to release as many Activision Blizzard games as possible via Xbox Game Pass. That service just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it? In addition, Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard. He and his team will maintain their focus on driving efforts to further strengthen the company´s culture and accelerate business growth. However, the Activision Blizzard business team will report directly to Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming.
Activision Blizzard has been in the headlines for months due to the toxic nature and scandals coming from the company. We’ve seen a mass exodus of employees and management since then, as well as other companies such as Microsft and Nintendo, speaking out regarding the controversy. As for ourselves, we refused to cover any more Activision Blizzard games while that mess continued. Now that Microsoft is possibly taking over, we’re hoping that we’ll see the Activision Blizzard ship being course-corrected.
There’s no word on when this deal will be completed, or how this will ultimately play out. I’d be surprised if this takes place prior to 2022 ending. We do know that if this deal is finalized, we going to see a massive shift in the gaming landscape. Microsoft will own even more gaming properties that are currently multiplatform. More specifically, the Call of Duty, Diablo, and Warcraft franchises. While Microsoft hasn’t made known its plans in regards to making these titles Xbox exclusives, I can only hope that they don’t.
Wow, this is just a lot to take in this morning. Microsoft already owns all of the Zenimax/Bethesda titles, its own properties, and soon the Activision-Blizzard properties. Well, that’s just mind-blowing, and sounds like some fantastic things are the company for Xbox and PC gamers. Yet, I have to yet say I am not a fan of these types of moves. I know, this is how the gaming industry is, yet, I hate seeing games that were once multiplatform ending up being exclusives. I hope this isn’t the case here, but if the recent Zenimax-Bethesda deal has shown us anything, this will likely end up being more of the same.