Microsoft is buying troubled publisher Activision Blizzard for nearly $70 billion
Activision Blizzard’s reputation has crashed in recent years, largely thanks to numerous allegations claiming a “frat boy” culture behind the scenes that resulted in many of its employees facing harassment, sexism, and unfair pay. An employee walk-out was organized, and it’s only gotten worse since then as more allegations have surfaced. Now, though, Microsoft is buying Activision Blizzard for $68.7, and the company’s games will be included in Xbox Game Pass once the deal closes.
Microsoft in its announcement of the deal said that both old and new Activision Games would come to the Xbox Game Pass platform and that both companies will operate independently until the deal closes. CEO of Microsoft Gaming, Phil Spencer, said the following in the announcement.
“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.”
The news comes right after Take-Two acquired Zynga for a value of approximately $12.7 billion, which was already one of the largest acquisitions in gaming history. Microsoft previously acquired Mojang for $2.5 billion in 2014, and later acquired ZeniMax, the parent company of Bethesda, for $7.5 billion. Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard will require regulatory approval from both the SEC and the European Commission, as was the case when it acquired ZeniMax. Should it be approved, though, then we should see more games added to Xbox Game Pass in the future.
One thing is for sure though; $70 billion is a lot of money. Hopefully, it doesn’t end up raising the price of the Xbox Game Pass by a huge amount as a result, and we’ll be keeping a close eye out for any developments.