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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nikeymikey

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more detrimental to MS than anything seeing how they're basically going to get caught in the activision lawsuits. Like for fucks sake, Sega is right there Microsoft, ripe for the taking...
MS will have a plan for the lawsuits ffs. Would you spend $70mill and NOT Have a plan?????
hardly, cod is irrelevant as fuck
this would have been big like 10 or 13 years ago, certainly no big deal now
That's just plain hilarious dude.... COD is still massive, ok not quite as huge as it once was but still rakes in the $$$ every single year without fail. COD players are like FIFA players... Sheep that blindly go out and buy the next instalment without any hesitation!!
even then, all of those players will end up going away 2 months from now
Again, what the f.... are you smoking dude??? Can i have a baggy sent over asap please?
By that moronic logic, I suppose since people like Drake and Justin Bieber had best selling albums in 2021, that they are somehow a couple of the greatest musicians on the planet. Popularity and sales do not equate "good". Yet you make comments about ignorance. Smfh. Call of Duty and the majority of Activision/Blizzard games are pure SHIT. Because as is the same with someone like Justin Bieber, I don't care what chart position they have. You can make all the money in the world and still be shit.
That's just plain stupid.... If COD was really as "pure SHIT" as you said nobody would buy it at all. That's your opinion and your entitled to it but that's all it is and a large portion of the population obviously disagree with you :)



All in all this can only be good for the Xbox ecosystem, even if they don't make anything major an Xbox exclusive. It also has to hurt Sony in some way, even if its just knowing that MS has the pockets deep enough to do this type of thing, plus people buying any Activision/Blizzard games for PS are basically lining MS pockets again for future acquisitions to further piss Sony off :)

I'm no Xbox fanboy before that bullshit starts (I own all Xboxs and PS's inc XBX and PS5) but this gen I do believe that MS are playing the game correctly and are becoming very hard for Sony to match. Sony may have sold more consoles at the mo but this gen is really only just getting started.
 

Stone_Wings

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That's just plain stupid.... If COD was really as "pure SHIT" as you said nobody would buy it at all. That's your opinion and your entitled to it but that's all it is and a large portion of the population obviously disagree with you

A large portion of the population enjoys pure SHIT and are braindead sheep. You obviously don't understand how marketing drives sales. You are obviously clueless of mass media HEAVILY influencing what people THINK is good. Get a fucking education then get back to me.

who do you think you are that I should need to be in an argument with you

who do you think you are that I should need to be in an argument with you

See how that works?
 

FAST6191

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As with others this was unexpected. I knew they had a serious acquisitions war chest (even with this then still many tens of billions) but presumed they were going to go for medium fish or choice fish.
Re them being the company killer. Have they really been that? Rare is a shadow of its former self, though from what people have said it was going downhill when still under Nintendo's roof, but looking at their other acquisitions then things are chugging along nicely. The old "embrace, extend, extinguish" seems to be a thing of the past for games, and if comparing them to EA then not even close.

Re COD.
We can look at money and I am sure it would earn a lot. As far as it being a trend setting title that leads the rest of the industry around by its nose a la how it was back in the modern warfare/modern warfare 2 days then not so much.
That counts for something, not sure what in terms of dollar values (does mean you will rarely have a competitor if everybody is trying to clone something) but counts as something.
I am not sure what it is today that is the current shiny-- Battlefield used to be a competitor but it blew its brains out. Not sure where I would place fortnite as that seems to be doing its own thing. Halo maybe if this recent one was not a fluke.

Re lawsuit. The one I saw in the previous discussion was pretty weak but I will note one of the primary jobs of lawyers is to look at other lawsuits and estimate the outcomes, so I am sure that is well factored into all this. These sorts of acquisitions take a while to come to pass so I imagine they have some inside info as well, possibly even "come tell us what went down" to various ex exmployees.
I would be curious to know what else they did -- one of the things you could do (albeit of dubious legality) is pay for a bunch of news stories so people can pretend to be outraged and thus drop the stock price which makes this acquisition that bit cheaper.

As far as competition concerns. There are not none from where I sit but at the same time there are still plenty of other massive companies in the gaming space. I am sure they could appease a few by continuing to issue games (maybe delayed, not as primary platform for dev and without DLC) as well if it came down to it. Would be interesting to see a world where they closed ranks though.

Going to have to go have a figure out of what properties, studios and more they own.
 
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Huneter

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Does this mean there could possibly be a free WoW subscription in Xbox Game Pass for PC? Or maybe WoW coming to Xbox? I’m very excited for what’s to come with this


+ RIP Sony’s competitor Game Pass
 

SANIC

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you can buy a lot of blackjack and hookers with that kind of money
profile picture checks out

I remember seeing a post with people absolutely malding over this and now all activision games are mediocre, like what? You don't have to pledge allegiance to a company to enjoy something, just enjoy it for what it is.
 
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nikeymikey

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A large portion of the population enjoys pure SHIT and are braindead sheep. You obviously don't understand how marketing drives sales. You are obviously clueless of mass media HEAVILY influencing what people THINK is good. Get a fucking education then get back to me.

Maaaaaate, please go and sit in the corner with the dunce hat on and stay there until you can come up with something intelligent to say please. You are spouting your own pure SHIT now :)
 

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Does this mean there could possibly be a free WoW subscription in Xbox Game Pass for PC? Or maybe WoW coming to Xbox? I’m very excited for what’s to come with this


+ RIP Sony’s competitor Game Pass
Never say never but I doubt they would kill a cash cow like that. On the other hand WoW subscriptions seem to be tanking this last few years so while it would be something of a radical move then I am not going to rule it out either if they decide they want one of those "experience games" (think events in fortnite and whatever else) then I guess go for the original of those is something that could work. In before 20 free hours of WoW a month, pay for more (or at least some kind of free to play nonsense). If it happens I am going to up there in the front with some popcorn to see the wailing, whining, bitching and moaning from invasion of the "casuals" or whatever epithet the existing players will cook up.
As far as xbox port I don't know what that would take, and I struggle to imagine them not considering a console version in the... decades leading up to this point. Though if they could do some kind of backwards compatibility wrapper/emulator.

Edit. I also wonder what will happen to blizzcon.
 

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one thing you can never acuse nintendo is not producing games, nintendo games arent as ambitious so they can produce alot of games without taking 5 years to make each one, this is the problem with this generation and upcoming ones, the games are getting so big and so detailled that each studio needs like 5+ years to produce an AAA game, and considering a generation doesnt last 10 years you get 1 game per ip per generation on sony/microsoft from now on, i think nintendo doesnt want to get big specs just for this, they can make their games simple and still appealing without loosing 5+ years on each.
Yeah. They value actual gameplay over set pieces with big graphical/production values that make them into interactive movies. I don't know who asked for games like Heavy Rain or Uncharted to turn into interactive movies but when I buy a $60+ title, I actually want to be able to play it besides a mindless QTE and a shooting gallery backdrop. They look nice, but feel hollow. Where as most nintendo games while they look passable, they have actual gameplay besides maybe Pokemon.
 

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MS will have a plan for the lawsuits ffs. Would you spend $70mill and NOT Have a plan?????

That's just plain hilarious dude.... COD is still massive, ok not quite as huge as it once was but still rakes in the $$$ every single year without fail. COD players are like FIFA players... Sheep that blindly go out and buy the next instalment without any hesitation!!

Again, what the f.... are you smoking dude??? Can i have a baggy sent over asap please?

That's just plain stupid.... If COD was really as "pure SHIT" as you said nobody would buy it at all. That's your opinion and your entitled to it but that's all it is and a large portion of the population obviously disagree with you :)



All in all this can only be good for the Xbox ecosystem, even if they don't make anything major an Xbox exclusive. It also has to hurt Sony in some way, even if its just knowing that MS has the pockets deep enough to do this type of thing, plus people buying any Activision/Blizzard games for PS are basically lining MS pockets again for future acquisitions to further piss Sony off :)

I'm no Xbox fanboy before that bullshit starts (I own all Xboxs and PS's inc XBX and PS5) but this gen I do believe that MS are playing the game correctly and are becoming very hard for Sony to match. Sony may have sold more consoles at the mo but this gen is really only just getting started.
It all comes down to who can actually produce games. You can have all the guns in the world, but if you have no ammunition, then what good are they besides hunks of material. My bet is still on Nintendo. No matter how low quality their graphical capabilities are. They're the only ones producing games at a steady rate even with the pandemic causing problems. Most of the world is going through a chip shortage as well, so unless Microsoft and Xbox fix the availability of their consoles(More-so Sony since gamepass/microsoft games can be played on PC) they're going to have a tough time selling it to people.

I'm also no sony/microsoft/nintendo fanboy. They all suck in their own ways. I don't know what the other people you quoted are talking about. COD just like Pokemon are going to sell. They may not sell the greatest at launch, but overtime the sales will pan out.
 

Foxi4

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Amazing acquisition on Microsoft’s part, this will sell Xboxes like crazy. Looks like the company is finally pouring in an appropriate amount of money and attention into the Xbox brand - better late than never.
 

n00bsaib0t

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Stay on topic. This wasn't about the money anyone makes, it was about things being SHIT regardless of the money they make. Also, it doesn't change the fact your logic was moronic and that calling people ignorant was hypocritical. Also doesn't change the fact that the majority like garbage. This can be seen in everything from music, to movies, to games, to.... The top of the charts is usually some of THE worst out there in all categories. The stuff sells because it has mass media push. Commercials, magazine and tv adverts, giant billboards. Because media and the charts are telling you what is good and what is not. Not because the majority of it is actually any good.
The topic was actually popularity, not quality. This was the post that got that part of the conversation going:
it isnt the early 2010s anymore, COD isn't as popular as it once was
Someone replied to this with NPD then you jumped in with your nonsense trying to change the subject to quality. You were so caught up in your hatred of a video game that you couldn't even bother to comprehend the conversation.
 
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Foxi4

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The topic was actually popularity, not quality. This was the post that got that part of the conversation going:

Someone replied to this with NPD then you jumped in with your nonsense trying to change the subject to quality. You were so caught up in your hatred of a video game that you couldn't even bother to comprehend the conversation.
Tl;dr People who hate on COD are bad at aiming. Warzone alone is killer, and it’s free. There are people who buy a console exclusively to play two or three games - COD and/or FIFA and/or Fortnite, and they buy the first two on a yearly basis. It’s no different than Nintendrones tripping over their own tongues to buy the next Pokémon game (which is no better than the previous Pokémon game, or often times worse). It’s like a ritual, and there’s nothing wrong with it - that’s what the average gamer plays. Hating on successful and popular franchises sounds exactly the same as hipster vegans complaining that the butter their friend eats isn’t organic and non-dairy. It’s nice to like different things, but that’s not representative of the tastes of the average gamer.
 

console

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Why Microsoft do that?

People like me who are fans of Activision Blizzard are leave to different companies.

Remember which we and people are love WarCraft 1-3, StarCraft and StarCraft 2. Also Age of Empire, Age of Empire 2 & 3 and Age of Mythology.

I heard about Age of Empire 4 but I refuse to buy it because of Microsoft.

I had World of Warcraft but not let me play because of fees to require to pay per month. That's BS from dirty business companies.

I quit Blizzard and Microsoft and joined SpellForce series game from old games like WarCraft 1-3, StarCraft, StarCraft 2, Age of Empire, Age of Empire 2 & 3 and Age of Mythology. SpellForce company would be very happy if many people buy and joined into to play any SpellForce games now and future (more new titles like SpellForce 4 will come anytime). I already know SpellForce is strongest sales and will become very popular company than Blizzard and Microsoft companies.

I can feel Blizzard and Microsoft will lost money over and over time and years just like SEGA and other companies. Wait and see what happened in near future. We never know what's go on. ;)
 
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