Microsoft has announced the acquisition of Activision-Blizzard, the publisher behind titles like World of Warcraft and Diablo, for $68.7 billion. This is significantly higher than the company’s acquisition of Bethesda for $7.5 billion last year. The deal is expected to close in FY 2023 and it’ll make Microsoft the “third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.”
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
Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO of Microsoft said “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.”
Microsoft will bring Activision’s games to the Xbox Game Pass
Following the closure of this deal, fans can expect a bunch of Activision’s titles to be available on the Xbox Game Pass. “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,” said Phil Spencer, head of Xbox.
For now, Bobby Kotick will remain as CEO of Activision-Blizzard
This deal comes months after the misconduct and sexual harrassment cases at Activision-Blizzard, and CEO Bobby Kotick’s role in hiding information regarding it came to light. While employees and shareholders want Kotick to leave the company, Microsoft says that for now, he will continue to serve as the CEO of Activision-Blizzard and it looks like he will only leave after the acquisition deal is fully closed.
“Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard, and he and his team will maintain their focus on driving efforts to further strengthen the company’s culture and accelerate business growth. Once the deal closes, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming,” Microsoft said.
Just last week, Phil Spencer said that Xbox had changed the ways of doing certain things with Activision-Blizzard and added that “I would rather help other companies than try to get into punishing.” He now states that with this acquisition, they’re looking to extend culture of inclusiveness with individual studios and work towards creative success.
“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,” he said.