If my chair hadn't had a back on it, I'd have fallen off.
has agreed to acquire gaming giant, Activision Blizzard
, according to the latest Xbox Wire
, with head of games Phil Spencer
stating that "as a team, we are on a mission to extend the joy and community of gaming to everyone on the planet".
This is absolutely huge and we'll have more on this in deeper analysis shortly, but for now here's the key *takeaways:
- The deal is said to be an all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 billion USD.
- Current Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will remain as such until the acquisition is finalised in 2023, at which point the business itself will go on to report directly to Phil Spencer, newly minted CEO of Microsoft Gaming.
- The deal includes Activision, Blizzard, King and MLG (as well as all owned subsidiary businesses aligned with those branches) as part of Microsoft's newly acquired assets.
- This deal now makes Microsoft the third largest gaming business in the world (in revenue).
- Phil Spencer describes the move as a way to "accelerate [Microsoft's] plans for Cloud Gaming".
In more recent years, both arms of the developer-publisher have had internal issues where culture and workplace practices are concerned come to light, leaving many to wonder just how the good ship might right itself. This is definitely some sort of counter balance.
Over many decades, the studios and teams that make up Activision Blizzard have earned vast wellsprings of joy and respect from billions of people all over the world. We are incredibly excited to have the chance to work with the amazing, talented, dedicated people across 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.
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 me as CEO, Microsoft Gaming.
Upon close, we will offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard’s incredible catalog. We also announced today that Game Pass now has more than 25 million subscribers. As always, we look forward to continuing to add more value and more great games to Game Pass.
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.
Stay tuned for more as it becomes available, and head over to Twitter to watch the fanboy steel cage deathmatch about to unfold.
*Parts of this post have been updated since publication to reflect more accurate information.