What's going on here? Microsoft has bought one of the biggest publishers in the world, Activision Blizzard, for a whopping $68.7 billion! This is probably the biggest deal in the gaming history so far, and will have a major impact on the industry.
[Update April 29, 2022]
Although the takeover of Activision by Microsoft is already considered a done deal by a lot of people, this is actually not yet the case. With such a large takeover, all shareholders must first agree, and then the responsible authorities must also check and confirm the takeover.
However, the first hurdle was already cleared yesterday. On April 28, 2022, the shareholders' vote on the takeover by Microsoft took place and an overwhelming 98% of the shareholders were in favor of the takeover.
The only thing standing in the way of a successful merger now are the regulators. We will of course keep you informed as soon as there is any news.
What Does The Microsoft x Activision Blizzard Deal Mean?
With the takeover of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft also takes over the approximately 400 million monthly players and, of course, all studios and franchises. These include brands such as Call of Duty, Diablo, World of Warcraft, Starcraft and Overwatch, but also the popular mobile game Candy Crush. In return, Activision will have access to Microsoft's artificial intelligence and, of course, numerous experienced programmers. Both companies benefit from this merger.
Microsoft bought Bethesda not too long ago and also owns the studios behind Minecraft and Halo, but with this deal, they've consolidated their position in the industry. Many fans hope that Microsoft will now take care of dealing with the abuse cases at Blizzard, which Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has been seemingly failing at in recent months.
However, there are anxious voices in the community who are wondering how PlayStation can compete. In theory, Microsoft could bring all Activision Blizzard games exclusively to Xbox and PC in the future, which would be a heavy blow, especially for Call of Duty. However, since CoD has always had a very strong community on PlayStation, we see no reason why Microsoft should ban these players in the future.
So Microsoft has no interest in excluding PlayStation players in the future, but wants to make their games available to as many gamers as possible. However, what can and will happen is that the Activision Blizzard franchises will no longer have exclusive deals with PlayStation in the future. In the past, PS players often had early access and even entire game modes in CoD that were PlayStation exclusive. They will probably have to do without that in the future.
We'll have to be patient to see the full impact of this deal, however, as Bobby Kotick says the acquisition is expected to take until June 30, 2023, to fully close. Until then, both companies will continue to work autonomously, as before.
What do you think of Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard? Are you hoping for better games as a result, is Microsoft perhaps becoming too powerful as a result, or are you just completely furious?