Microsoft has formally announced that it will be acquiring Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion USD.
Today, Microsoft made the announcement that it will be adding Call of Duty developers and publishers as well as the studios behind acclaimed franchises such a World of Warcraft and Candy Crush. As a part of this significant acquisition, Microsoft will be welcoming a bevy of studios under the Xbox Games Studio umbrella including Blizzard Entertainment, Beenox, High Moon Studios, Infinity Ward, King, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, Toys for Bob, Treyarch and more.
As stated in the Xbox Wire post, Xbox head Phil Spencer states that until the deal closes, “Activision Blizzard and Microsoft Gaming will continue to operate independently.” Once completed, Activision Blizzard will report to Spencer as CEO. Additionally, many Activision Blizzard games will also be made available on Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass upon completion of the acquisition.
For the time being, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will remain CEO, overseeing the company. According to an internal memo, seen by CharlieIntel, the ink is not set to dry until June 2023.
NEW: Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick sent out the following email to the company today.
He says that the deal is expected to only close June of 2023, meaning Activision will remain independent until then. pic.twitter.com/MZAhBrCH14
— CharlieIntel (@charlieINTEL) January 18, 2022
Activision Blizzard and its CEO have faced scrutiny over the past year over multiple claims of sexual harassment and inequality within the workplace. Kotick has also been under the microscope as reports indicate he was aware of such activity within his company and failed to make meaningful changes. This announcement makes no clear confirmation on whether Kotick will continue to have a role within the company once the dust has settled.
This acquisition soon follows Microsoft’s acquisition of Zenimax Media and Bethesda last year. Though, comparatively, the acquisition of Activision Blizzard is gigantic as Microsoft paid $7.5 billion for the teams behind Fallout, Wolfenstein, and The Elder Scrolls.
Microsoft also announced that its Game Pass subscription service now supports 25 million subscribers. That number will likely climb as Activision Blizzard titles enter the fray.