Microsoft has today announced that it has agreed a deal to acquire Activision Blizzard, the video game company responsible for a number of major franchises including Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, Overwatch and more.
While Microsoft is yet to confirm how much it has spent in order to complete this acquisition, Bloomberg reports that the deal could be worth as much as $70 billion.
Microsoft’s Phil Spencer has clarified that Activision Blizzard and Microsoft Gaming will “continue to operate independently” until the deal is finalised, so don’t expect any announcements about upcoming games becoming Xbox exclusives in the immediate future.
That said, such a deal will likely mean you won’t be able to play future instalments of Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot and Diablo on PlayStation consoles. Other Activision Blizzard properties include Warcraft, Candy Crush, Tony Hawk, Overwatch, Spyro, Hearthstone, Guitar Hero and StarCraft.
Of course, Microsoft hasn’t confirmed whether it will make these franchises console exclusives for Xbox just yet, and there’s still hope for PlayStation and Nintendo fans since the likes of the Microsoft-owned Minecraft is still available on multiple platforms.
However, Microsoft recently confirmed that Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield will be console exclusives for Xbox following the ZeniMax Media acquisition, so it’s likely that the company will continue the same approach for the Activision Blizzard takeover.
Microsoft has already confirmed that it plans to add “as many Activision Blizzard games as we can” to the Xbox Game Pass subscription service once the acquisition is completed, as the company hopes to build on its current 25 million subscriber count.
It’s worth noting that Activision Blizzard has recently been investigated by US regulators following allegations of sexual misconduct and discrimination. While Microsoft didn’t directly mention this in its official statement for the takeover, it has emphasised the importance of inclusivity and studio culture.
“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,” Phil Spencer said. “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.”
We’ll be sure to keep you updated with further developments of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, so make sure to keep an eye on Trusted Reviews.