At 1:28pm, Microsoft announced that they have agreed to acquire Activision Blizzard. Microsoft will have access and control over Activision Publishing, Blizzard Entertainment, Beenox, Demonware, Digital Legends, High Moon Studios, Infinity Ward, King, Major League Gaming, Radical Entertainment, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, Toys for Bob, Treyarch and every team across Activision Blizzard.
This move by Microsoft is not unprecedented as the company had previously acquired high profile studios like Mojang (known for Minecraft), ZeniMax Media Inc. (parent company of Bethesda, known for Fallout and The Elder Scrolls) and Rare (known for Sea of Thieves).
Over the years, these companies have produced a variety of high quality games for the Xbox and Windows library bolstering Microsoft’s presence in the gaming industry. As this strategy has paid dividends already, it stands to reason that Microsoft has acquired Activision Blizzard to bolster the Xbox and Windows exclusive library.
With Blizzard facing controversies on all sides, it is safe to assume that this agreement was mutual, as Blizzard would be able to maintain current leadership whilst diminishing current responsibility.
As for Microsoft, they may look forward to exclusivity and authority over some of the most prominent franchises in gaming. Blizzard are in the midst of developing highly anticipated sequels to Diablo and Overwatch, which will now almost certainly prioritise the Xbox and Windows for releases. Moreover, Phil Spencer, Vice-President of Microsoft Gaming, has expressed the desire to have online multiplayer RPG Final Fantasy 14 on the Xbox.
With this acquisition, Microsoft may now potentially have a similar offering for console players in the form of World of Warcraft.
Until this transaction closes, Activision Blizzard and Microsoft Gaming will continue to operate independently. Once the deal is complete, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Spencer.
What do you think of the acquisition? Is this a chance for Activision Blizzard to improve? Will Microsoft regret this decision? Go wild with your thoughts in the comment box!
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