On the Friday of October 13, unlucky for some, Microsoft has announced its acquisition of Activision Blizzard King is now complete.
The deal was announced back in January 2022, worth at $68.7 billion USD. Microsoft has now got all the green light to merge the biggest third-party video game publisher in the world into their Xbox fold.
Activision Blizzard King CEO Bobby Kotick will remain CEO at the company, under the request of Xbox head Phil Spencer, until the end of 2023 to help with the company’s transition.
This will see franchises like Call Of Duty, Overwatch, and Candy Crush Saga being part of Xbox, just like how Bethesda games has been.
Spencer in his announcement of the news was quick to assuage gamers that this deal isn’t about securing exclusive rights to games by Activision and Blizzard. He said in the post:
“For the millions of fans who love Activision, Blizzard, and King games, we want you to know that today is a good day to play. You are the heart and soul of these franchises, and we are honored to have you as part of our community. Whether you play on Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo, PC or mobile, you are welcome here – and will remain welcome, even if Xbox isn’t where you play your favourite franchise. Because when everyone plays, we all win.”
That said, Xbox hasn’t presented a solid case that all games from their recently acquired publisher and developer will remain multiplatform. Three of Bethesda’s big game releases (Hi-Fi Rush, Redfall, Starfield) are Xbox console exclusives. Though franchises like Minecraft remains multi-platform.
With this acquisition, one to expect is that games by Activision and Blizzard will make their way to Game Pass. Spencer has reaffirmed this in the same post saying “today we start the work to bring beloved Activision, Blizzard, and King franchises to Game Pass and other platforms”. Activision publicly stated that it expects its games to appear on Game Pass starting in 2024.
This is one of the biggest, and probably last, high profile acquisitions for a while. From 2020 to 2022, video game companies were on a rampant acquire and merger spree, though that has now ended.