Microsoft has finally completed its $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
Activision is now part of Microsoft
After many months of contention between rival gaming companies and regulators, Microsoft has officially brought Activision Blizzard under its umbrella, the tech giant’s largest acquisition to date. While it remains to be seen what the roadmap will look like, the acquisition means Microsoft now owns some of the biggest franchises in gaming such as Call of Duty, Overwatch, and Candy Crush Saga.
Back when the Xbox maker first announced its intention to purchase Activision Blizzard, several stakeholders in the industry voiced their opposition to the $68.7 billion deal, particularly the likes of Sony, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
By early 2023, Microsoft signed exclusive long term deals with many gaming companies and platforms such as Nvidia, Boosteroid, Nintendo, Ubitus in hopes of convincing regulators. While Sony initially rejected a similar offer, the PlayStation maker finally signed a Call of Duty deal with Microsoft in July. This was followed by Microsoft pushing its efforts to win the regulatory favor, particularly the CMA.
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Back when CMA blocked the Activision Blizzard purchase, Microsoft was prompted to make amendments to its originally proposed deal. With the renewed Activision Blizzard acquisition agreement approved by the CMA, Microsoft took no time to finalize the deal.
In an official statement, Xbox chief Phil Spencer announced that all of Activision Blizzard is joining Xbox. The deal marks the biggest acquisition in the company’s history, surpassing its $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn in 2016 and now pushing Microsoft as the third biggest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.
The announcement also means that Microsoft will now bring Activision Blizzard games to Xbox Game Pass. “Today we start the work to bring beloved Activision, Blizzard, and King franchises to Game Pass and other platforms,” said Phil Spencer in his statement.
Microsoft further states that players can expect an update on Activision Blizzard games coming to Game Pass in the months ahead. The company clarified that some of the newer titles like Diablo 4 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 won’t come to Game Pass this year. However, rumors suggest that older Call of Duty titles may hit Game Pass sooner than later.