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Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard for almost $70b USD

In an absolutely earth-shattering announcement earlier today, Microsoft revealed it has entered into an agreement to acquire embattled publisher Activision Blizzard. The deal, which will set Microsoft back almost $70 billion USD, is the biggest acquisition in video games history, far surpassing Take-Two Interactive’s purchase of Zynga ($12.7b USD) and Microsoft’s prior purchase of Zenimax ($8.1b USD).

In a statement posted on the on the Xbox News website, CEO of Microsoft’s Gaming division Phil Spencer welcomed the company to the Xbox team, and stated that Activision Blizzard games would be coming to Xbox’s subscription service Game Pass once the deal was finalised.

Until this transaction closes, Activision Blizzard and Microsoft Gaming will continue to operate independently. Once the deal is complete, the Activision Blizzard business will report to me as CEO, Microsoft Gaming.

Upon close, we will offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard’s incredible catalog. We also announced today that Game Pass now has more than 25 million subscribers. As always, we look forward to continuing to add more value and more great games to Game Pass.

The news comes after repeated reports on Activision’s company culture, including accusations of workplace harassment, abuse, and sexual misconduct. The widely publicised problems at the company led to walkouts, strikes, and unionisation efforts, and ultimately resulted in Nintendo America’s own Doug Bowser decrying the situation as “distressing and disturbing” in an internal email to staff late last year.

Phil Spencer specifically notes that Microsoft is committed to fostering healthy and inclusive workplaces within its companies, and stresses that the company holds all teams and leadership to this standard. It is not currently known if controversial Activision CEO Bobby Kotick will remain with the company after the acquisition has completed.

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. 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.

Microsoft has not elaborated on whether or not the studio will continue to publish multiplatform games after the acquisition, though the company does have a history of diversifying its releases across multiple platforms. We’ll bring you more news as it comes.

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About The Author
Oliver Brandt
Deputy Editor, sometimes-reviewer, and Oxford comma advocate. If something's published on Vooks, there's a good chance I looked over it first. I spend way too much on games and use way too many em dashes.

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