Microsoft just dropped a megaton bomb on the gaming industry with its latest acquisition.
Tuesday (Jan.18), Microsoft officially announced via Xbox Wire it has acquired Activision Blizzard after reports surfaced that a deal was on the horizon. The deal is worth $68.7 billion.
“Over many decades, the studios and teams that make up Activision Blizzard have earned vast wellsprings of joy and respect from billions of people all over the world,” Xbox boss Phil Spencer said in the statement. “We are incredibly excited to have the chance to work with the amazing, talented, dedicated people across Activision Publishing, Blizzard Entertainment, Beenox, Demonware, Digital Legends, High Moon Studios, Infinity Ward, King, Major League Gaming, Radical Entertainment, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, Toys for Bob, Treyarch, and every team across Activision Blizzard.”
Activision Blizzard and Microsoft Gaming will continue to operate independently until the deal officially closes, Spencer further announced. Once it is finalized, the Activision Blizzard business will report directly to Spencer. What that means for current Activision CEO Bobby Kotick’s future is unknown, but one can assume that he will likely be out. The company also shared a photo of the new leadership team.
Spencer went on to say the purchase of Activision Blizzard will help “accelerate our plans” in the cloud gaming space, meaning we can definitely see titles like Call of Duty, Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Crash Bandicoot, and more come to Xbox Game Pass. “Activision Blizzard games are enjoyed on a variety of platforms and we plan to continue to support those communities moving forward,” he said.
The announcement of the deal comes after Spencer has said that he was “disturbed and deeply troubled” with what was going in the workplace at Activision Blizzard. Under Kotich’s leadership, the popular video game studio has been embroiled in numerous scandals alleging toxic workplace behavior and was slapped with a lawsuit by California for allegedly allowing “frat-boy culture” to thrive and sexual assault allegations.
Of course, with this news, many people are wondering if this means that Activision’s crown jewel, Call of Duty, will become an Xbox exclusive. There is no word on if that will be the case. Xbox’s $68.7 billion purchase of Activision comes after Take-Two Interactive backed up the Brink’s Truck and dropped $12.7 billion for mobile gaming giant Zynga.
This story is still developing, you can read the entire statement by heading here.
Photo: Microsoft / Xbox