On October 13, Microsoft announced that it had completed its acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The corporation now owns all the publisher’s internal studios and IP, including Call of Duty and Candy Crush by King rights. The deal was worth $68.7 billion, the largest acquisition in the history of the gaming industry.
Microsoft announced its intention to buy Activision Blizzard back in January 2022. However, the process was delayed for 20 months due to the review by numerous antitrust regulators, particularly the U.S. FTC and the British CMA. The latter approved the merger only on October 13.
As part of the deal, Microsoft entered into an agreement with many major cloud gaming companies, which will receive the rights to add Activision Blizzard games to their services. Nintendo has also signed a 10-year agreement for Call of Duty and other titles.
Microsoft insists that buying Activision Blizzard will allow it to make the publisher’s games available to more users.
Once the deal closes, Activision Blizzard games will begin to be added to the Game Pass subscription. However, recent releases like Diablo IV will not be included in it until 2024. But journalists don’t rule out adding older titles soon.
Xbox head Phil Spencer released a special statement about the deal. He noted that Microsoft will continue to listen to the opinions of gamers and do everything to make them enjoy games on their favorite platform – whether it’s Xbox, PlayStation, PC, or mobile devices.
As we promised, we will continue to make games more accessible. We are already preparing the opportunity for cloud providers and gamers to stream Activision Blizzard games in the European Economic Area. Today, we are beginning work to add games from Activision, Blizzard, and King franchises to Game Pass and other platforms. We’ll share more details in the coming months. We know you’re excited – our team shares that sentiment.Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox