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Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard

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A bit of wider industry news today. News which completely blows my mind - Microsoft are out to acquire Activision Blizzard. Pending all the regulatory approvals they need to go through which takes times and can be denied.

This continues the very worrying trend of these mega companies amassing huge resources. Microsoft now control a ridiculous amount of publisher and developer teams, easily helping towards more lock-in with Microsoft services and products. For Microsoft, it makes sense of course, since they can continue dumping titles into Game Pass and get more subscriptions for recurring revenue.

Activision Blizzard has been in a lot of hot water lately, which is probably a big understatement. Employees and investors have repeatedly called for the removal of the current CEO, Bobby Kotick. The press release is a bit vague on what will happen with Kotick, as it mentions Kotick "will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard" and then "Once the deal closes, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming". So it somewhat makes it sound like Kotick might only be there until the deal is fully done but it's pretty vague. Probably intentionally vague due to the ongoing issues. Update: Kotick will remain, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed via email. Update #2: They tried to clarify again later that they were speaking generally about the acquisition so it's anyone's guess what will happen with Kotick (IGN).

This will be an "all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 billion" which is so much money I can't even begin to imagine it.

Microsoft will then own the likes of Activision, Blizzard and King studios with Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty, Candy Crash and global eSports activities through Major League Gaming. The press release states this will make Microsoft "the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony".

Since Microsoft isn't quite the same as the Microsoft of old, we might end up seeing more Activision Blizzard games come to Steam and so making it even easier to run them on Linux through Steam Play Proton. Imagine having Diablo, Starcraft, Overwatch, various newer Call of Duty games and so on being a few clicks away on Steam + Linux.

What do you think to this news? The deal is expected to close in 2023.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Meta, Microsoft
20 Likes
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122 comments
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dpanter 18 Jan
Another dark day in gaming history.
Kotick needs to be the first one out the door after this.
syylk 18 Jan
Well, most Blizzard products were known to run well under WINE since dirt was invented - to the point of speculating if somebody internally was smoothing them at the edges on purpose to keep some sort of unsupported-but-working compatibility...
Liam Dawe 18 Jan
Quoting: syylkWell, most Blizzard products were known to run well under WINE since dirt was invented - to the point of speculating if somebody internally was smoothing them at the edges on purpose to keep some sort of unsupported-but-working compatibility...
Wasn't speculation. In the past the WoW team did implement things here and there to smoothen running it in Wine. I don't have a source to hand but it was in public postings from their team on their official forum.
Quoting: LibertyPaulMKotick needs to be the first one out the door after this.

They've promised to keep him around to still run things. ActiBlizz employee morale must be in the tank today.
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: syylkWell, most Blizzard products were known to run well under WINE since dirt was invented - to the point of speculating if somebody internally was smoothing them at the edges on purpose to keep some sort of unsupported-but-working compatibility...
Wasn't speculation. In the past the WoW team did implement things here and there to smoothen running it in Wine. I don't have a source to hand but it was in public postings from their team on their official forum.

Possibly goes back to when Sam Lantinga worked there.
BielFPs 18 Jan
Microsoft to do list:
[x] Bethesda
[x] Activision
[ ] Epic Games
Mohandevir 18 Jan
If Activision/Blizzard games ends up on Steam and the working culture gets better for the group's workers... It can't be a bad news. Still, I'm worried about these mega acquisitions... Imho, it's better than being acquired by Tencent, though.

Anyway, Activision/Blizzard was no better than dead, to me... Let's wait and see...

Edit:

Which reminds me...

“Evil is evil, lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I’m not a pious hermit. I haven't done only good in my life. But if I’m to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”




Last edited by Mohandevir on 18 January 2022 at 2:32 pm UTC
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