Microsoft And Xbox Acquire Activision Blizzard

Microsoft announced that it acquired Activision Blizzard, the studio behind franchises like Call of Duty, Overwatch, World of Warcraft, and more. 

This news was announced today amongst rumors that such an acquisition was happening. It seems Xbox head Phil Spencer, who wrote the blog post announcing the report, was looking to get ahead of said rumors, and now, it’s official: Xbox is the new home of Call of Duty, Diablo, Overwatch, and all of Activision Blizzard’s other franchises. A price for the acquisition has not been publicly announced at the time of this writing, although other reports such as this one from The Verge say the deal is valued around $70 billion. 

“As a team, we are on a mission to extend the joy and community of gaming to everyone on the planet,” Spencer’s Xbox Wire blog post reads. “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.” 

Here are some of the teams this acquisition places in the Xbox family: Activision Publishing, Blizzard Entertainment, Beenox, Demonware, Digital Legends, High Moon Studios, Infinity Ward, King, Major League Gaming, Radical Entertainment, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, Toys for Bob, and Treyarch. Spencer says that until this transaction closes (a transaction close date has not been revealed), Activision Blizzard and Microsoft Gaming will continue to operate independently. 

Following the transaction close of this acquisition, Activision Blizzard will report to Spencer as CEO of Microsoft Gaming. Here’s a look at the Microsoft Gaming Leadership team. There’s no official word on the status of leadership at Activision Blizzard and whether or not it will be shaken up or changed following this acquisition. 

“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,” Spencer’s post continues. “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.” 

Spencer says this acquisition will accelerate Microsoft and Xbox’s plans for Cloud Gaming, and the companies plan to support cloud streaming for Activision Blizzard games moving forward. 

The Microsoft Gaming CEO also lightly touches (without directly speaking to it) on some of the controversy surrounding Activision Blizzard amongst reports of harassment, failure in leadership and management, and more, which you can read about here

“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.

“Around the world, there is no more exciting venue for fun and connection than video games. And there has never been a better time to play than right now. As we extend the joy and community of gaming to everyone, we look forward to welcoming all of our friends at Activision Blizzard to Microsoft Gaming.” 

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