Microsoft buys Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard for nearly $ 70 billion •

Microsoft buys Call of Duty and World of Warcraft maker Activision Blizzard in an astonishing, industry-shaking deal worth $ 68.7 billion.

The deal, which is expected to be approved in 2023, was confirmed by Microsoft in a blog post from Xbox boss Phil Spencer.

The monumental acquisition – by far the largest ever seen in video games, and the largest in Microsoft’s history – means Microsoft will own blockbuster franchises such as Call of Duty, Spyro, Guitar Hero, Crash Bandicoot and Tony Hawk from Activision, World of Warcraft, Diablo , Overwatch, Hearthstone and StarCraft from Blizzard, as well as Candy Crush from mobile arm King.

Eurogamer Newscast Special: Xbox acquires Activision Blizzard.

Microsoft takes over Activision, Blizzard and all its subsidiaries – including Beenox, Demonware, Digital Legends, High Moon Studios, Infinity Ward, King, Major League Gaming, Radical Entertainment, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, Toys for Bob and Treyarch. That equates to about 10,000 employees.

The deal comes after a turbulent period for Activision Blizzard after several reports of employee dishonesty and toxic conditions in the workplace and intense pressure on the company’s highly controversial boss Bobby Kotick. For now – at least until the 2023 date – Kotick will remain in place, but Spencer had this to say:

“Until this transaction is completed, Activision Blizzard and Microsoft Gaming will continue to operate independently,” Spencer wrote. “Once the transaction is completed, the Activision Blizzard business will report to me as CEO, Microsoft Gaming.

In a Microsoft statement, the company also said: “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. When the deal closes ., the Activision Blizzard company will report to Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming. “

“As a company, Microsoft is committed to our journey of inclusion in all aspects of gaming, among both employees and players,” Spencer continued. “We greatly value individual study cultures. We also believe that creative success and independence go hand in hand with treating every person with dignity and respect. We hold all teams and all leaders to this commitment. We look forward to expanding our culture of proactive inclusion for the amazing teams across Activision Blizzard. “

Spencer’s blog also included the following image showing the Xbox management team:


In an investor call, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reiterated much of the above, saying that Activision needed to “continue to improve the lived experiences” for employees, that progress required leaders who “not only talk the talk, but walk the path”, and that Microsoft knew it would have work to do after its acquisition was approved.

In terms of game exclusivity – the main issue that haunted the Xbox through their acquisition of Bethesda – Spencer said the following:

“When we’re done, we’ll be offering as many Activision Blizzard games as we can in Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard’s incredible catalog. We also announced today that Game Pass is 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.

“The amazing franchises across Activision Blizzard will also accelerate our plans for Cloud Gaming, allowing more people in multiple locations around the world to join the Xbox community using phones, tablets, laptops, and other devices you already own. Activision Blizzard games are enjoyed on a variety of platforms, and we plan to continue to support these communities going forward. “


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