Microsoft to Acquire Activision-Blizzard King in landmark deal of $68.7 billion

In a landmark moment of gaming history, and of 2022, the year’s off to one heck of a start as Microsoft has agreed to acquire beleaguered gaming developer/publisher Activision-Blizzard King. A huge $68.7 billion is one of gaming’s biggest buyouts and brings legendary franchises such as Call of Duty, Diablo, Overwatch, and more directly under the control of Microsoft.

When the acquisition completes, this puts the company’s control directly into the hands of Phil Spencer and his team. Phil will replace Bobby Kotick, one of the most controversial figures in the gaming industry as CEO of the company.

Kotick is rumoured to be leaving after the acquisition goes through, but these things can take time and we’re looking at June 2023 before that kicks off.

Roughly 17 or so months away.

What this means though is that Microsoft will be able to reshape and reform Activision Blizzard after that period properly, until then, Phil and his team will definitely have their work cut out for them. In a statement on the official Xbox News Phil stated:

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.

Over many decades, the studios and teams that make up Activision Blizzard have earned vast wellsprings of joy and respect from billions of people all over the world. We are incredibly excited to have the chance to work with the amazing, talented, dedicated people across Activision Publishing, Blizzard Entertainment, Beenox, Demonware, Digital Legends, High Moon Studios, Infinity Ward, King, Major League Gaming, Radical Entertainment, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, Toys for Bob, Treyarch and every team across Activision Blizzard.

Until this transaction closes, Activision Blizzard and Microsoft Gaming will continue to operate independently. Once the deal is complete, the Activision Blizzard business will report to me as CEO, Microsoft Gaming.

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 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.

Phil has also strengthened his position on the inclusivity and improvement of studio cultures, saying:

The fantastic franchises across Activision Blizzard will also accelerate our plans for Cloud Gaming, allowing more people in more places around the world to participate in the Xbox community using phones, tablets, laptops and other devices you already own. Activision Blizzard games are enjoyed on a variety of platforms and we plan to continue to support those communities moving forward.

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.

Phil and his team

You can read the whole thing here https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2022/01/18/welcoming-activision-blizzard-to-microsoft-gaming/

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