Xbox has announced a deal to buy Activision Blizzard, the company behind Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and many other major game franchises.
Announced on Xbox Wire, the deal means Xbox now owns Call of Duty, Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and many more. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer announced that all Activision Blizzard companies would report to him after the deal closes.
As expected, Spencer says Xbox will include “as many Activision Blizzard games as we can” in its Xbox Game Pass services. There’s been no mention of turning Call of Duty or other mega franchises into Xbox exclusives, but with Bethesda’s Starfield becoming a first-party exclusive, it feels more than possible.
A separate press release added that this acquisition will not only bolster Microsoft’s gaming business, but will “provide building blocks for the metaverse.” After the deal is closed, Microsoft will become the third largest gaming company in the world after Tencent and Sony.
Microsoft PR has confirmed that the deal is worth $68.7 billion, many times the $7.5 billion it paid for ZeniMax Media in 2020. history. That’s comfortably overshadowed by this deal.
Activision Blizzard has been embroiled in a number of scandals in the past year, many of which revolve around CEO Bobby Kotick. Microsoft PR attached to Bloomberg that Kotick would remain CEO until the deal was officially confirmed, but it’s unclear what the executive’s future is with Activision Blizzard after that point.
Phil Spencer recently said he was “disturbed and deeply disturbed” by Activision Blizzard reports of workplace abuse. The company made no specific reference to those issues in today’s announcement, but Spencer makes a point of saying that “Microsoft is committed to our journey to be included in every aspect of gaming, both among employees and players.” , and that “we look forward to extending our culture of proactive inclusion to the great teams in Activision Blizzard.”
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