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Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard, expanding Xbox consoles roster

Activision Blizzard at Gamescom 2013, where the company exhibited 2013 titles such as Call of Duty: Ghosts and Skylanders: Swap Force. - CC BY-SA

Big news just arrived in the gaming world, as Microsoft has just acquired Activision Blizzard with a $69 billion deal, bringing two of the largest video game companies together.

As part of the deal, Microsoft will pay $95 per share to the company that has published some big games in the industry, such as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft.

However, Blizzard has been struggling with cultural issues due to reports of women’s mistreatment, including abuse, sexual harassment, and rape. Employees continued to pressure CEO Bobby Kotick to resign following ongoing lawsuits and allegations as published in the Wall Street Journal that links him to reports of abuse of women, and his knowledge of the issue in the company but did not report it to the board of directors.

Although Kotick will continue his role, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft Gaming.

The acquisition does not only bring a positive impact to Activision Blizzard but also Microsoft who can expand its line for the Xbox console and compete against Sony’s PlayStation. This is not something new, as Xbox and Call of Duty already have a remarkable history together, as the game’s success is largely thanks to the Xbox Live online platform. Other than Call of Duty, most Activision games are also available on Xbox consoles.

“The Activision acquisition will help jump-start Microsoft’s broader gaming efforts and ultimately its move into the metaverse, where games will be the first monetizing part of the metaverse,” added Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush securities, writing to investors.

“We also recognize that there is significant work to be done post-closure to continue building a culture where everyone can perform their best,” added Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a call.

What is in store after the acquisition?

According to a source familiar with the company, Microsoft will continue releasing some Activision games for PlayStation consoles. However, they will also keep some exclusively for Xbox.

With the acquisition, fans can enjoy iconic games such as Spyro, Crash Bandicoot, and Tony Hawk franchises who were made by Toys for Bob under the Blizzard umbrella. Other notable titles that will soon be available on Game Pass are Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2.

Game Pass is Microsoft’s subscription service that allows members to access all of the games from Microsoft with no extra charge on the day of its release. Recently it has also expanded its roster with games from ZeniMax Media Inc., which houses The Elder Scrolls and Doom Bethesda Softworks; and Electronic Arts Inc. Currently, Game Pass has over 25 million subscribers.

There are guesses that Microsoft may make some paid-for-games exclusives, while keeping Blizzard’s most successful franchise, Call of Duty, multiformat. Although it also makes sense that Xbox players will gain priority in terms of DLC and promotions. At the moment, PlayStation is still paying for everything extra to be released on PlayStation first, until the deal runs out.

As of date, there is still no definitive date on when these games will be coming over to Game Pass.