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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
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122 comments
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Upscale 18 Jan
Quoting: BielFPsMicrosoft to do list:
[x] Bethesda
[x] Activision
[ ] Epic Games
Don't forget Nintendo off that list
ObsidianBlk 18 Jan
I'm definitely all for Activision/Blizzard being bought out and, hopefully dismantling that cesspool of a company. That said, I agree that it is worrisome that every company gets umbrellaed under a larger monolithic company.

Ultimately, for me, however, I've become more and more of an indie gamer than a 3A gamer. Don't get me wrong, I still like a 3A game here or there, but, I find indie games, in general, to come out with way more interesting and complete (as in, few or no microtransactions) experiences than most of the shiz that 3A publishers have been putting out there.

I will say, though... I'm disheartened that nothing of substance ever seems to happen to the filth that runs these big companies with these disgusting, abusive cultures. A/B's management will either still be there or, at best, be let go with a generous severance package (in an amount of money most people would never hope to see in their life times). What needs to happen is for them (and those who have similar cultures, like Ubisoft) to be summarily fired with no financial payouts as all. Shiz, some of these people need to be behind bars, but they're way to rich for that. ... (takes a breath and steps down from soup box) ... Sorry. I'm done now.
kerossin 18 Jan
Activision has been a dumpster fire for some time now so I don't think Microsoft can make it that much worse, if anything it'll improve.
Boldos 18 Jan
F*******ck...
Liam Dawe 18 Jan
Update: Kotick will remain, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed via email.
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Quoting: LibertyPaulMKotick needs to be the first one out the door after this.
All the mess in the last months was probably the Trojan Horse Microsoft was looking for.
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This not irrelevant piece of news would obviously have some significant implications in PC Gaming.

How companies such as Valve would react? Would they try to negotiate with Microsoft for an extension of their Game Pass in the Steam Deck, if the latter had a successful outcome, as Gaben himself was hinting at in the previous months?


Last edited by LordDaveTheKind on 18 January 2022 at 2:40 pm UTC
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Quoting: UpscaleDon't forget Nintendo off that list
I recall there are a few constraints on acquiring a Japanese company. Am I wrong?


Last edited by LordDaveTheKind on 18 January 2022 at 2:42 pm UTC
Pendragon 18 Jan
This ---- is not good news, folks :-(
Koopacabras 18 Jan
Quoting: BielFPsMicrosoft to do list:
[x] Bethesda
[x] Activision
[ ] Epic Games
Epic Games is owned by Tencent, I doubt they will be able to do that.
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