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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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Mal 18 Jan
  • Supporter
"Go home Liam, you're drunk."

I admit that's the first thing I could think when I read the title.



Ok... that's heavy. I need some time to digest it.

Personally I don't care for Activision. But Blizzard is associated with a lot of my young age good memories. Ofc that Blizzard is gone, destroyed forever by Bobby long time ago. M$ won't ressurrect it.

But who knows. Microsoft is indeed changing its company culture in the better. Slowly. But surely. Maybe in the long run, once Bobby is removed for good (ofc he will stay for the time being), under Microsoft they will again produce good games made by gamers for gamers (possibly without abuses this time ). Or maybe not. For sure, the way things are right now, there is nothing to lose. Starcraft is the only thing I care right now and it's already in mantenance mode. So I'm fine I guess.
Nanobang 18 Jan
One of these days Microsoft will acquire Microsoft and we'll all die from the resulting black hole.
Beamboom 18 Jan
I don't think this will make much difference at all, really.
Monopoly, boo! hiss!
elmapul 18 Jan
"$68.7 billion"
xbox division dont have this kinda money AFAIK, so i guess the main microsoft company is involved, i doubt its to compete against sony and nintendo, this probably is their answer to valve.

"which is so much money I can't even begin to imagine it."
mandatory meme:
link


Last edited by elmapul on 18 January 2022 at 5:00 pm UTC
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  • Supporter
It is big news, yes, but it's hard to foresee a positive impact.

I would rather have game makers get more independence, creatively speaking. That went already downhill during the Activision merge, so this is looking less promising.

Pretty likely, that they got them on the cheap: no presence in the games awards this year, no blizzcon this year. It is a very good move by Microsoft. Reminds me of Nokia...
Mohandevir 18 Jan
Quoting: elmapul"$68.7 billion"
xbox division dont have this kinda money AFAIK, so i guess the main microsoft company is involved, i doubt its to compete against sony and nintendo, this probably is their answer to valve.

which is so much money I can't even begin to imagine it.
mandatory meme:
link

My guess is that it's an answer to Tencent acquisitions more than an answer to Valve. The US government as become pretty chilly, across the board, with China acquiring US interests, lately. Microsoft seems pretty fine with Valve and the Steam Deck.


Last edited by Mohandevir on 18 January 2022 at 3:51 pm UTC
elmapul 18 Jan
Quoting: rustybroomhandle
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.

i remember reading somewhere that blizard had an internal build of warcraft running on linux, people especulated that they plan to relase it soon, years have passed and nothing happened, i always assumed that the linux comunity miss interpret the news, an headless server without any graphical pipeline to draw stuff on screen became "it has an native linux port, blizzard might relase it at any moment" only false hopes to convince people to not giveup on linux...
but now, reading this, i think their build was true, it just wasnt native...
fagnerln 18 Jan
I don't know why you guys are worried, Activision/Blizzard is a cancer, a lot of bad practices. (I read that Diablo 2 ressurected has some "check in DRM" which you need to login every 30 days to keep playing)

And the first party games usually works on proton.

I mean, the war is against Sony, which to be honest, even with that huge amount of studios, PlayStation is still more interesting than XBox.
QuoteSince 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.


I'm thinking this is more of them building a moat around Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass.
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