Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard. Team Xbox includes the creators of Call of Duty, Warcraft, Candy Crush, Tony Hawk, Diablo, Overwatch, Spyro, Hearthstone, Guitar Hero, and Crash Bandicoot.
Activision’s sale to Microsoft is expected to be worth $68.7 billion, significantly surpassing the $26 billion LinkedIn purchase made by Microsoft in 2016. It’ll undoubtedly be Microsoft’s largest push into gaming, and it claims that once the transaction goes through, it will become “the third-largest gaming business by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.
Microsoft plans to add many of Activision’s games to Xbox Game Pass once the acquisition is completed. With Activision, Microsoft will release franchises like Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, and Candy Crush in the near future.
“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. 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.”
-Microsoft’s CEO of gaming Phil Spencer
Activision Blizzard has just agreed to settle a discrimination lawsuit for a fraction of its yearly earnings
Xbox Game Pass gets bigger with the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft
The number of subscribers to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass has risen to 25 million, with the company continuing to acquire studios in order to improve the subscription service.
“We’re investing deeply in world-class content, community and the cloud to usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first and makes gaming safe, inclusive and accessible to all.”
-Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
The acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft is nearly a year old, following the company’s purchase of Bethesda (ZeniMax Media) for $7.5 billion. The addition of Bethesda was seen as a major boost for Xbox Game Pass at the time since it boosted Microsoft’s first-party Xbox game studios to 23.
Microsoft now forecasts that the Activision Blizzard acquisition will be completed in the fiscal year 2023, implying a potential approval time of up to 18 months. This is a lengthy period for a merger to close, but Activision Blizzard has operations in numerous countries, which may add to the regulatory approval process for Microsoft.