Remember when we thought Disney buying Star Wars for $4 billion was huge? How quaint. Microsoft, a tech giant and one of the biggest publishers in gaming, has acquired Activision-Blizzard, one of the other biggest publishers in gaming, for a cash deal valued at $67.8 billion.
In context, this is about the same amount of money Disney paid to acquire 20th Century Fox in 2018. Welcome to the era of huge corporate entertainment mergers!
Microsoft is no stranger to studio acquisitions, grabbing handfuls of big and small studios over the years such as Bethesda, Obsidian, and Double Fine, but this is certainly the largest. Activision-Blizzard includes studios such as Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Toys for Bob.
Gaming series now under the Microsoft umbrella include World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, Overwatch, and Diablo.
Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft gaming, released an official statement. We’ve pulled the last three paragraphs. Note the second paragraph which dances around the pending lawsuits and controversy currently surrounding Activision-Blizzard.
The fantastic franchises across Activision Blizzard will also accelerate our plans for Cloud Gaming, allowing more people in more places around the world to participate in the Xbox community using phones, tablets, laptops and other devices you already own. Activision Blizzard games are enjoyed on a variety of platforms and we plan to continue to support those communities moving forward.
As a company, Microsoft is committed to our journey for inclusion in every aspect of gaming, among both employees and players. We deeply value individual studio cultures. We also believe that creative success and autonomy go hand-in-hand with treating every person with dignity and respect. We hold all teams, and all leaders, to this commitment. We’re looking forward to extending our culture of proactive inclusion to the great teams across Activision Blizzard.
Around the world, there is no more exciting venue for fun and connection than video games. And there has never been a better time to play than right now. As we extend the joy and community of gaming to everyone, we look forward to welcoming all of our friends at Activision Blizzard to Microsoft Gaming.
The statement was accompanied by a picture showcasing the Xbox gaming leadership team.
Currently both companies will operate independently until the deal is fully closed. Acti-Blizz leadership, which includes CEO Bobby Kotick, will then report to Spencer. No confirmations yet on whether Kotick will remain with the company, as he faces numerous allegations and blame for the sexual harassments lawsuits, allegations, and overall company culture.