After yet another month of controversy in what seems like a never ending tunnel of darkness for Activision Blizzard, news broke this morning that Microsoft has agreed to acquire the entire company for nearly $70 billion. This will put Microsoft just behind Tencent and Sony as the world’s third largest gaming company.
Microsoft is gaining 10,000 new employees with this transaction as well as ownership of the StarCraft, Warcraft, Call of Duty, and even Major League Gaming franchises. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will continue to lead up until the official close of this deal, after which the Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer – the CEO of Microsoft Gaming. Here’s a look at the full post-transition gaming leadership team at Microsoft.
In a separate statement via Xbox Wire, Microsoft added more context to their intentions with their shiny new toys and licenses.
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.
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.Welcoming the Incredible Teams and Legendary Franchises of Activision Blizzard to Microsoft Gaming
Just when we thought that we’d already seen the biggest acquisition this year when Take Two Interactive agreed to purchase Zynga ($12.7B), Microsoft comes along and does this. They now own (in my opinion) the majority of the best gaming franchises on the market. I don’t know how this shakes out in sales numbers, but I can only imagine that some of the best selling franchises in the world are now under their umbrella.
Obviously this deal is far from over, as I’m sure every trade regulator on earth will have something to say about this, but it’s basically a done deal. I personally can’t help but wonder how this acquisition price was impacted by the last few months of fan discontent and past year of controversy for Activision Blizzard. Microsoft may have come away with a big fat discount given ActiBlizz’s recent troubles, and now they are of the mind that gamers everywhere will benefit from this.
I 110% fuck with Phil Spencer, and I have full faith that those of us that have spent large sums of our lives and money playing Activision/Blizzard’s games will have a lot to look forward to in the future.
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