This merger makes Microsoft the third-largest gaming company in the world by revenue (Source: Microsoft).
Just hours ago, Microsoft announced its successful acquisition of Activision Blizzard (ATVI) for $68.7 billion, making it the largest merger in gaming history – and the largest purchase ever made by Microsoft. The purchase comes after a year-long battle with federal courts as well as with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Microsoft will now house titles such as Call of Duty, Diablo IV, and World of Warcraft, with some players speculating that these titles will become available as part of Microsoft’s Game Pass subscription service.
Microsoft intends to make these games more accessible, seeking to “bring the joy and community of gaming to everyone, across every device”. Long-time gamers and fans of AAA game studios are looking forward to accessing all of their favorite titles in one spot for one convenient price. The corporation plans to make popular games available across all types of gaming platforms and is even rumored to bring back some classic “legacy” games that players have been missing.
Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, announces the merger on his Twitter account, and the majority of users are celebrating this announcement. (Source: Twitter)
While the change to an all-in-one accessible gaming hub spurs mass appeal, some gamers are worried about the monopolization of the industry. With Microsoft acquiring several gaming companies at once, the possibility for layoffs and lower-quality content grows larger. Many gamers are referencing the events of this past January with Microsoft’s plan to lay off 10,000 employees at 343 Studios, the company responsible for the Halo franchise. After a massive exodus, 343 Studios was left without a passionate gamer at the helm. Some worry that Activision, Blizzard, and King will face a similar fate.
Comments on Microsoft’s own announcement post paint a bleak outlook on what this merger means for the future of gaming. (Source: Microsoft News)
The push for gaming cloud services has been prominent over the last few years, with other companies like Ubisoft NA demanding a stake in this powerful new merger. Thanks to Ubisoft, Microsoft promises that no game titles – like Call of Duty – will be made unavailable on certain platforms despite the change in ownership – at least not for 10 years or more.
Players also look forward to possible changes in leadership. With Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick promises to step down from his position after this acquisition, though he is now announcing that he will remain through the end of 2023 to facilitate a smooth transition. As a controversial figure in gaming, players have been calling for his resignation for years amid allegations of harassment and foul play. Hopefully, this merger will be the right move for the gaming community from the top down, ushering it into a golden era of games.