Microsoft, the tech giant behind the Xbox brand, announced plans today to acquire Activision Blizzard. The deal is worth 68.7 billion dollars.
This deal may have busted a few 2022 bingo cards.
In a blog post earlier today, CEO of Microsoft Gaming Phil Spencer had this to say:
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.
Microsoft and Activision Blizzard will continue to operate separately until the deal is finalized.
What the acquisition means
The acquisition includes popular franchises from Activision, Blizzard, and King Studios. Games like Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty, and Candy Crush will now fly under the Microsoft games banner. The sale also boosts Microsoft’s Game Pass portfolio. Phil Spencer mentions that they will look to bring both new and old titles from Activision Blizzard’s library to the service.
In the press release, chairman and CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella had this to say:
Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms. 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.
The announcement has attracted some negative reactions on social media. Many people are expressing concern over Microsoft’s recent acquisitions of other major studios, including Ninja Theory and Bethesda. Some commenters are stating that one company should not be able to consolidate a large chunk of the industry. When the sale closes, Microsoft will have 30 internal game development studios. Players are rightfully concerned about platform exclusivity when it comes to their favorite games. Time will tell what the availability will be for future releases.