Image Credit: Image by Sunder Muthukumaran
Microsoft has set in motion the purchase of Activision Blizzard for around $70bn. What a power play by the tech giants!
In a blog post from Xbox boss, Phil Spencer, Microsoft has confirmed that by 2023 they expect the deal to be approved and for the purchase of Activision Blizzard to be complete.
Whilst it is unlikely that anyone who has played video games has not seen the Activision or Blizzard logos appear on their screen, here are a few of the major titles the studio makes just in case. Activision Blizzard makes Overwatch, Call of Duty, Guitar Hero and – for you mobile fans – Candy Crush.
While the deal will likely have been in the pipework for years Microsoft might well have been more enticed to buy Activision Blizzard after the recent scandal dropped their market value. In my previous article, I spoke about the various misconduct allegations against Activision Blizzard and employee protests, so I won’t cover it again in detail here. However, it’s hard to overlook the possibility that Microsoft’s plans to buy could have been accelerated by the drop in market value.
So, what does this mean for the gaming community?
In the immediate term, probably nothing. While the studio itself might see staff in more departments and will most likely see administration changes in the future, for the time being, Bobby Kotick will remain CEO. Then when the deal is complete, Activision Blizzard will report to Phil Spencer as Microsoft Gaming CEO, according to his own statement.
However, post-merger Spencer has alluded to moving as many of Activision Blizzard's games to game pass as possible and accelerating Microsoft’s plans for cloud-based gaming. What exactly this means is unclear. Although it’s probably safe to say that Microsoft just got one up on Sony, and if the Xbox Series X supply issues can be resolved, Xbox might just have the upper hand in the long-running console war. Expect a few new editions to Xbox exclusives in the future.