Xbox is spending $70 billion buying Call of Duty publisher Activision – here’s what it means for you

MICROSOFT is continuing its mission to make Xbox the best place to play by acquiring Activision Blizzard in a $68.7 billion deal.

Published in a blog post, Microsoft Xbox boss Phil Spencer revealed that Activision’s extensive game library will be added to Xbox Game Pass once the deal closes.

Microsoft will own a bunch of Activision Blizzard properties if the deal is successful


Microsoft will own a bunch of Activision Blizzard properties if the deal is successfulCredit: Microsoft

Some of the Activision Blizzard franchises include Call of Duty, Diablo, Overwatch, Crash Bandicoot, StarCraft, Tony Hawk, and World of Warcraft.

It follows Microsoft’s late 2020 acquisition of Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax Media, which cost the company $7.5 billion.

That’s a drop from the nearly tenfold in this Activision deal.

What does the Microsoft Activision deal mean for gamers?

Xbox players will be familiar with the magic of Game Pass, giving subscribers access to brand new titles.

Activision’s stable of drives will be added to Game Pass when the deal ends, including old and new games from the publisher.

Game Pass just hit 25 million signups, and last year Microsoft announced that it had no more backward compatible games to add to Game Pass.

This deal means a bunch of games, even more value for Game Pass than before.

Spencer says the deal will also “accelerate” Microsoft’s Plans for Cloud Gaming, by “enabling more people in more parts of the world to participate in the Xbox community using the phones, tablets, laptops, and other devices” they already own.

If you are a PlayStation player, then we can see several Activision franchises exclusive to Microsoft platforms.

Despite criticizing the platform’s exclusivity in the past, Spencer confirmed that the Bethesda deal means the new titles will be Xbox exclusives.

We could see new and upcoming Activision Blizzard games follow the same route.

Activision Blizzard Controversy

The timing of the announcement took many by surprise, as Activision is currently embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal.

Chief executive Bobby Kotick is accused of withholding an internal report showing about 40 employees being laid off or fired since last July.

Kotick is said to have said it would make the problem “seem bigger than is known”, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Given the turmoil at Activision and an earlier internal Microsoft email telling employees it would “evaluate all aspects” of the relationship with Activision Blizzard, “people want to know the fate of Kotick when it comes to the deal.” This agreement ends.

“Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as Activision Blizzard’s CEO… After the agreement closes, Activision Blizzard’s business will report to Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming,” one person said. Microsoft PR representative said (via Jason Schreier).

If Kotick doesn’t resign or refuse by the time the deal ends in 2023 for Microsoft (which ends in June 2023), there will be legitimate outrage.

There has been no further official comment yet and an agreement has yet to be signed, but Microsoft needs to make its stance clear about not tolerating the toxic culture that has been exposed at Activision Blizzard.

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