Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard has the potential to make a significant change to the gaming industry. The almost $70bn investment is a significant amount, just coming short of Disney’s $71.3bn acquisition of Fox, but it’s also a sign of how Microsoft has likely taken advantage of Activision’s recent negative press.
Xbox CEO Phil Spencer was quick to highlight the culture of acceptance the Xbox family will bring and Activision’s CEO is reportedly set to step down once the acquisition completes. It’s clear that gaming giants are not immune to the traditional corporate expectations of other industries and Microsoft has benefitted as a result.
In practice, it remains to be seen whether major popular titles produced by Activision such as Call of Duty will remain available across non-Microsoft platforms and if so this will have a major impact for Xbox’s major competitor Sony. But even if these IPs remain available across all platforms, Xbox will still benefit greatly by having these commercial hits available on their on-demand service Game Pass.
While we still have a few years until the acquisition is complete, it will no doubt be interesting how the studios under the Activision brand will communicate this news to the public.