Xbox has announced it’s reached an agreement to buy Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion USD in what may be one of the biggest gaming deals of all time.
Announcements have been made by both companies confirming the deal, including this one on the Xbox Wire. Though both companies will operate independently, once the deal closes the Activision Blizzard business will report to Microsoft Gaming. Xbox say they’ll also “offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass” upon completion of the deal.
The move sees Xbox get a whole plethora of studios and franchises under its belt. These include: Blizzard, Beenox, Demonware, High Moon, Infinity Ward, King, Radical Entertainment, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, Toys for Bob, Treyarch and more. They cover series like Call of Duty, Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo and Overwatch just to name a few, but there’s no word yet which – if any or all – may become Xbox exclusives in the future.
Xbox elaborated further in their announcement. “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.”
Of course, Activision Blizzard has been in the news a lot lately with reports of a toxic workplace up to and including reports involving CEO Bobby Kotick. He’ll remain in his position at the company, says Activision’s own press release. However, he’ll report to Phil Spencer upon closing of the deal under a new Microsoft Gaming umbrella that also includes Bethesda and Xbox Game Studios.
Perhaps referencing the recent controversies, Microsoft also added the following: “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.”
The deal still has to go through the usual closing conditions, but it’s expected to close in fiscal year 2023. It’s going to be interesting times ahead, and comes a little under a year after Xbox completed their purchase of Bethesda for $7.5 million. Expect more on this story as it continues to break.
Today is a historic moment. We are excited to announce that the world-renowned franchises and talented people at @ATVI_AB will be joining Team Xbox!
— Xbox (@Xbox) January 18, 2022