Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard in record-setting $68.7 billion deal

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Microsoft announced today it would be acquiring Activision Blizzard, adding some of the biggest franchises in gaming to its portfolio, including World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, and Candy Crush. The deal is currently the largest in the history of the video game industry, beating the record set only last week when Take-Two acquired Zynga for $12.7 billion. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick will remain in his current role. While the announcement does not comment on whether or not Activision games will now be exclusive to Microsoft platforms, it does reference Microsoft's intention bolster Game Pass with Activision's portfolio, also announcing that Game Pass has recently reached a milestone subscriber count of 25 million. The deal is expected to close in the fiscal year 2023 and will make Microsoft the third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.

The merger comes at a tumultuous time for Activision Blizzard, after both the State of California and the SEC began investigating reports of sexual misconduct and worker discrimination at the company last summer. This controversy drew responses from across the industry, with PlayStation boss Jim Ryan reportedly condemning the company in an internal memo to employees, and Xbox CEO Phil Spencer stating in November that he would be "evaluating" his relationship with Activision Blizzard moving forward and that he was "disturbed and deeply troubled" by the reports. In an interview with The New York Times last week, Spencer said "we have changed how we do certain things with them, and they’re aware of that. But I also — this isn’t about, for us as Xbox, virtue-shaming other companies. Xbox’s history is not spotless." In a press release accompanying the acquisition announcement, Microsoft CEO and chairman Satya Nadella said “We’re investing deeply in world-class content, community and the cloud to usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first and makes gaming safe, inclusive and accessible to all.” To add to Activision's woes, the last Call of Duty release, Vanguard, reportedly performed below expectations and failed to beat the previous year's release, with some rumours circulating that the next Call of Duty may be moved up in the schedule to compensate.

This acquisition continues Microsoft's recent trend of major acquisitions across the gaming industry. Last September, they acquired publishing giant Zenimax, and have been purchasing scores of smaller studios for the past several years, including Obsidian, Double Fine and Ninja Theory.

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Dr_Faustus

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well who cares if COD becomes Exclusive i sure dont.

Im just mad that other ips owned by activision will do soo too like crash and spyro... serious xbox buys bethesda, now activision, then im guessing will buy thq nordic and if they still have money they will go for ubisoft next just wait and see lol.
Let's not forget that Crash and Spyro were originally PS exclusives now..

yes like spiderman and zero dawn and .... well not sure what else they all look the same is hard to tell them apart
I blame Sony's pushed mandate for their first party games to basically emulate a cinematic story (Uncharted, TLOU) since they sold so well.
 

pedro702

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Let's not forget that Crash and Spyro were originally PS exclusives now..


I blame Sony's pushed mandate for their first party games to basically emulate a cinematic story (Uncharted, TLOU) since they sold so well.
seriously if microsoft buys ubisoft then they basically get the entire western AAA market ... its ridiculous, the only good thing we know is that japanese developers will never let themselves be bought by western companys its a matter of pride for them,so they will be the only ones left outside Microsoft grasp in the future...
 

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In my first year at MSFT, we passed 1 billion in revenue for the first time. Now they are buying $70 billion game companies. I've watched the tech world become completely transformed from dominated by IBM to what it is today. The only thing that hasn't changed is the jealousy I see in the comments.
 

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Activision Blizzard sure wasn't doing anyone any favors as they were. What's the last thing they made that wasn't a remake, clawing specifically at nostalgia? All they've done for years is crank out middling sequels to their biggest IPs and have actually talented side studios work on remasters and remakes. If anything, this might unify the company and get them back on track.

Let alone all the allegations they had. A hopeful good riddance to Kotick, I hope Phil Spencer lets the door hit him on his eventual way out.
 

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seriously if microsoft buys ubisoft then they basically get the entire western AAA market ... its ridiculous, the only good thing we know is that japanese developers will never let themselves be bought by western companys its a matter of pride for them,so they will be the only ones left outside Microsoft grasp in the future...
Eh, Sega is likely next on the plate if Nintendo does not try to finagle something from them first. That said MS and Nintendo are now seemingly dance partners now in some respect so maybe that will not matter in the long run.

The big aim seems squarely at Sony and their entire ecosystem, which in their end they seem to be adapting to the changing market in surprisingly weird ways as well (I mean, releasing PS exclusive games on Steam of all things, a weird time to be alive).

I think the big questions that need to be asked is what is the future of gaming looking like, and in that respect is the era of the console soon to be over. MS is pushing towards the cloud and PC as their ultimate form of profitability, and PS is looking into the PC as well now, or at least testing the waters now. All thats left is Nintendo and they do not seem to be very interested or involved in a potential hardware future beyond the current which is the Switch. They might be the last ones in this market that might still remain in the console space and they have yet to provide any hint or nod of a true successor of the Switch.


Personally, I would not mind this future given the current market right now and silicon shortages plenty. Lack of hardware stock and a squeeze on the market further by scalpers has made this generation of hardware mostly nigh-obtainable for most people to pick up and enjoy. This hurts the entire industry at large in the long run. Moving to an agnostic platform that is not limited by hardware is looking more appealing to the average user since they can actually play the new games and not have to hunt down nearly impossible hardware to make it so.
 
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64bitmodels

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actually though literally anything else would have been a better choice than activision. i have a feeling they only did this for call of duty
if the next one isn't sega i'm gonna riot
 

Marc_78065

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Sony in some trouble now.

Not really, no.

well who cares if COD becomes Exclusive i sure dont.
Maybe they'll include some exclusive Xbox/PC content, but the main game will be available as a multiplatform.

Think of Marvel's Avengers, the PS4 version has Spider-Man while the others don't. It's a shitty ass game, but you get the point.
 

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Coto

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Jesus sony must really be sweating now

So many companies now owned by microsoft
Actually I have the feeling Sony and Microsoft will get an agreement about all of this. This is moves being pulled from a higher level than the gaming industries and its wars we've been used to. :)
 

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What the blazes.. I don't think MS will force the COD franchise to be an Xbox (or Xbox/PC) exclusive for the future releases, as now they're mostly focusing on software sales rather than hardware, but we'll see.. Not sure about other IPs.
Sheesh.. Still a lot of dough though! 😲
 

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I can only lmfao at the stupidity of a good amount of comments here. Primarily the ones thinking Sony fanboys are going to start crying or something. Or that it's going to be a killer of Sonys GamePass competitor. I own all three current gen consoles and a gaming PC & I don't give a rats ass about this possible acquisition. Call of Duty? Candy Crush? WoW? HAHAHAHA!!!! Activision and Blizzard make trash games. Only people that would care about this is Xbox fanboys whose primary reason for buying a console is whatever the latest Call of Poopie is. You guys can have them, I'll be playing something better than Activision/Blizzard garbage. What console (or pc) I choose to play on doesn't matter, I'll still be playing a game leaps and bounds better than anything these guys can offer.
 
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SouzetsuAerir

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Did not see this coming. Phil Spencer has done miracles for the Xbox brand but it is honestly hard to tell if he could cauterize ABK's wound from the negative publicity they have created for themselves.
 
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