Support us on Patreon to keep GamingOnLinux alive. This ensures all of our main content remains free for everyone with no article paywalls. Just good, fresh content! Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal, Liberapay or Buy us a Coffee. You can also buy games using our partner links for GOG and Humble Store.

Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard

By - | Views: 24,071

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
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG and Humble Store. See more here.
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
122 comments
Page: «12/13»
  Go to:

Mal 19 Jan
  • Supporter
Quoting: wvstolzing
Quoting: Mal
Quoting: Vortex_AcheronticNext up Ubisoft?

Nah. Microsoft is highly opportunistic with its aquisitions. Unless it explodes in its hands -some angry Activision shareholders being able to fight this- this is obiously them getting Activision at discount price thanks to the recent exploits of the Bobby Kotick charming persona. Culture aside, Activision is a money printing machine.

ubisoft fought pretty hard recently to avoid being bought out by the French conglomerate Vivendi (link) -- ironically, to 'maintain their independence'. 'Ironic', because they're at the vanguard of most of the 'industry's nonsense (from microtransactions, to 'live services', to even 'nfts' nowadays) entirely willingly anyway.

I didn't mean that Microsoft wouldn't be interested. I just say that usually Microsoft (founded by a businessman, with the culture of a businessman, with business in mind) it's very good at recognizing good deals and quick to go to action before the opportunity window closes. When they bought Mojang they did it to avoid having to pay taxes on those 2 billions (so, it effectively costed them a fraction fo that price). Now they buy Activision for a fraction of its (true) price (way less then share value before the scandal. But the scandal is temporary and the IPs, sales and game success are still there. sure they will have to fork out some hundred million to fix the Bobby scandal, but they save dollars in the billion order on the purchase price).

Sure they might buy Ubisoft in the future. Why not. But my personal idea is that they are way slower when it's about buying stuff for the "right" price.
STiAT 19 Jan
Quoting: Mal
Quoting: kaktuspalmeAt first I was shocked but a second later, I don't care. Haven't played any of their games the last couple of years. Indies amaze me much more atm.

For me we should be happy. Activision had no budget for games with less than a 10 billion revenues potential. Bobby wanted to absorb Blizzard to save his dieing company... but for wow, not the rest.

You know that Blizzard is not even close to the revenue of King owned by Activision? They aquired Blizzard to milk their games with micro transactions, since the player base was big.

But Activision was nowhere close to die. They did not need Blizzard, they wanted it for revenues sake.

But I think Microsoft as a platform owner has a lot more interest in long term customer binding than Activision ever had due to the need to create short term profits for shareholders.

So I think this could actually help the games under the banner of Activision/Blizzard, while all the microtransactions will stay, the focus will change from short term profit and especially "engagement" to long term sustainability.

Mocrosoft does not care if you play something else, as long as you are on the game pass service and pay.

And Microsoft certainly has the infrastructure to make it even more cost effective to run servers. They do not need to rent datacenters or backbones - they own them.

They have a history of attractive workplace and adequate payment.

All that will help if it gets through to the actual staff employed, and they'd be able to hire and keep talents.
iiari 19 Jan
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: kaktuspalmeIndies amaze me much more atm.
Quoting: Purple Library GuyLong term: Fear of monopolistic shenanigans
For the mainstream player and for discoverability, monopolization may be a long term concern. For now, though, there are too many big players involved to end with a Disneyization of gaming. It'll likely be more like the streaming wars, with 5-8 different players....

I'm not worried about the Indies either. First, the big guys will need some new IP to buy once they run their "independent" studios into the ground (which they seem to have a strong history of doing), so the successful indies will get their big paydays. Also, while there may be mainstream monopolization, indies will always be able to make their own launchers and sell direct over the internet, and gamers have a history of going where the great games are no matter what. So I'm not worried....
dr_jekyll 20 Jan
I think there are two sides of one coin:

1. The bad news:
The bad news can be essentially three things:

- We might see something become reality that some folks (including economic professors) predict for years, which is subscription service only. If Microsoft (and others like Sony) do(es) this, we will see a whole new way of gaming economy and it won't be the good kind, very especially for Linux Gaming, Mods etc. it won't be any good.

- We might see this whole thing imploding, which means, Microsoft will close down many studios if this doesn't work out for them (not enough revenue and/or bad games). This could lead to a video games industry crisis in the worst case, but even in the best case (of this scenario), we could see some franchises die forever.

- We might see Microsoft becoming a very aggressive monopolist, which will be bad on many terms, including bad games, higher prices, less player freedom etc.

2. the good news:
There is a hopeful side though as well, even though it is limited in time...

- We might see that Microsoft really wants to use the whole potencial of their new franchises and companies.
In the best case we might even see big improvements, new games for loved franchises, maybe even new franchises etc.

The biggest caveat in this scenario is not even Microsoft itself (because we have already seen this scenario with Sony which tries to make at least some very good games), but with the studios, especially Blizzard is not the company of masters, it used to be, so I'm sry, but I doubt that the team of today can do great...
But two possibilities have to be mentioned here as well:
- maybe some better developers will come (back)
- maybe other teams are interested and allowed to do something with the franchises

In the end, we will see soon enough what will happen.


Last edited by dr_jekyll on 20 January 2022 at 10:40 am UTC
tpau 20 Jan
Quoting: omer666Recent history showed people want to use Steam as they consider it the superior storefront.
Maybe, but having a monopoly situation where everything is dependent on Steam is no good outlook.
Especially if you can't start the game without the launcher being open is a bad habit these days.

It also makes using a nice alternative more difficult as you have to chain stuff together.
slaapliedje 20 Jan
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: Vortex_AcheronticThey will have then ZeniMax (Bethesda, id software, Arkane Studios, MachineGames) bu also Activation Blizzard.

You forgot inXile and Obsidian... pretty sure they own like 90% of the developers known for RPGs.
Boldos 21 Jan
Please don't forget that this certainly has yet another level in the background though:
Technology wars...

From the tech usage perspective, this will definitely mean more DX API and less Vulkan API, as an example...


Last edited by Boldos on 21 January 2022 at 11:47 am UTC
mirv 21 Jan
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: BoldosPlease don't forget that this certainly has yet another level in the background though:
Technology wars...

From the tech usage perspective, this will definitely mean more DX API and less Vulkan API, as an example...

I don't think it will change much of anything regarding API usage. It's not like Vulkan was being utilised in games coming out of Activision-Blizzard anyway.

It's far more valuable to Microsoft to have control of some historical gaming titles that have been sat on for a long time. Microsoft are actually already talking that aspect up.
Boldos 21 Jan
Quoting: mirvI don't think it will change much of anything regarding API usage. It's not like Vulkan was being utilised in games coming out of Activision-Blizzard anyway.

You are correct - Activision-Blizzard were not using Vulkan.
But Bethesda *did* used it, on DOOM franchise.

So not only a Vulkan-enabled franchise was lost to DX, but Microsoft also ensured that all those other franchises will never get any other port than Windows, and will never get Vulkan in the future, ever.

(And on top of all that, think about e.g. streaming platforms: (currently) all technologically built around Linux+Vulcan. Those ports are never happening too for all these franchises...; all those platforms and their Linux-based technologies are forbidden territory now, and for the future)


Last edited by Boldos on 21 January 2022 at 4:32 pm UTC
mirv 21 Jan
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: Boldos
Quoting: mirvI don't think it will change much of anything regarding API usage. It's not like Vulkan was being utilised in games coming out of Activision-Blizzard anyway.

You are correct - Activision-Blizzard were not using Vulkan.
But Bethesda *did* used it, on DOOM franchise.

So not only a Vulkan-enabled franchise was lost to DX, but Microsoft also ensured that all those other franchises will never get any other port than Windows, and will never get Vulkan in the future, ever.

(And on top of all that, think about e.g. streaming platforms: (currently) all technologically built around Linux+Vulcan. Those ports are never happening too for all these franchises...; all those platforms and their Linux-based technologies are forbidden territory now, and for the future)

The Doom games (and Rage 2 in this context as well) only used Vulkan because it was developed by id software prior to their purchase by Bethesda. No sense in rewriting the entire engine just because. It's not like Bethesda was open to Vulkan, they just didn't think it worth rewriting a working, stable, game engine for no reason.

Though it's true any titles previously seen making their way to Stadia might no longer occur (they'll become limited to Microsoft services only), it's not like there were (desktop) GNU/Linux releases happening anyway, and Stadia wasn't in good shape well before this announcement.

In essence: not much is changing for the GNU/Linux crowd, if anything at all, from this announcement.
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Reward Tiers: Patreon. Plain Donations: Liberapay or PayPal.

This ensures all of our main content remains totally free for everyone with no article paywalls. We also don't have tons of adverts, there's also no tracking and we respect your privacy. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
Login / Register

Or login with...
Sign in with Steam Sign in with Twitter Sign in with Google
Social logins require cookies to stay logged in.