It’s done: Microsoft completed its acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The $69 billion deal means that some of gaming’s biggest franchises, including Call of Duty, are now Xbox properties.
First announced in January 2022, the blockbuster deal has faced tons of scrutiny from regulators like the CMA and FTC, with there being worry that it’d be unfair to competition in various parts of the game industry. Ultimately, Microsoft proved that wasn’t the case, defeating the FTC in court and finally getting the CMA to retract its objection to the deal earlier today. When the CMA did that, an Activision Blizzard spokesperson told Digital Trends “The CMA’s official approval is great news for our future with Microsoft, and we look forward to becoming part of the Xbox Team.”
After stock market trading closed for Activision Blizzard yesterday, it was suspected that the deal closing was imminent. Microsoft confirmed this Friday morning. A video celebrating the deal was posted on Xbox’s YouTube channel, while an Xbox Wire post went into a bit more detail about what’s next from both Xbox and Activision Blizzard.
In it, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer explains, “As one team, we’ll learn, innovate, and continue to deliver on our promise to bring the joy and community of gaming to more people. While Activision Blizzard had dealt with rampant workplace harassment in the past, Spencer says he wants to establish “a culture that strives to empower everyone to do their best work, where all people are welcome, and is centered on our ongoing commitment of Gaming for Everyone.” When it comes to the games, Spencer confirms that Activision Blizzard’s titles will continue to be available in a variety of places and that they’ll start bringing the publisher’s titles to Game Pass in “the coming months.”
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will remain in his position through the end of 2023, reporting to Phil Spencer. It’s unclear if he’ll continue to work with the company after that.
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