The deal, which took almost two years as Microsoft announced its intention back in January 2007, comes after the approval from UK's Competition and Markets that came early on Friday. This was just one of the regulators that Microsoft had to please, including the European Commission, the US Federal Trade Commission, and others. The $68.7 deal is now complete and announced by Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, making it one of the biggest deals in the industry by far, since Microsoft acquired Bethesda back in 2020 for $7.5 billion, which was considered a big number.
The acquisition of Activision Blizzard Kings puts plenty of franchises under Xbox Game Studios, including Call of Duty, Diablo, Warcraft, Starcraft, Overwatch, Crash Bandicoot, and plenty of others, as well as Candy Crush on the mobile side. On the developer side, there are Infinity Ward, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, Treyarch, and others, as well as the big mobile game maker King.
Activision Blizzard has previously announced that it expects to start adding some of those titles to Xbox Game Pass in 2024, if the deal is finalized, and Phil Spencer, in its acquisition announcement, confirmed that Xbox Games Studios can now start the work to bring all those franchises to Games Pass and other platforms, as well as deliver on promises given to various regulators.
"As one team, we’ll learn, innovate, and continue to deliver on our promise to bring the joy and community of gaming to more people," said Phil Spencer in his announcement. "Together, we’ll create new worlds and stories, bring your favorite games to more places so more players can join in, and we’ll engage with and delight players in new, innovative ways in the places they love to play including mobile, cloud streaming and more."
The current Activision Blizzard CEO, Bobby Kotick, will remain as CEO through the end of this year and report directly to Phil Spencer.
Let us see what this deal will bring for all these big franchises.