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.