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Microsoft Completes Its Activision Blizzard Acquisition

Microsoft Completes Its Activision Blizzard Acquisition - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 13 October 2023 / 5,022 Views

Following the UK regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), approving Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition this morning, Microsoft has closed the deal and now Activision Blizzard are officially part of Xbox.

"We love gaming," said Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer via Xbox Wire. "We play games, create games, and know first-hand how much gaming means to all of us as individuals and collectively, as a community. And today, we officially welcome Activision Blizzard and their teams to Xbox.

"They are the publishers of some of the most played and most beloved franchises in gaming history across console, PC and mobile. From Pitfall to Call of DutyWorld of Warcraft to OverwatchCandy Crush Saga to Farm Heroes Super Saga, their studios have pushed the boundaries of gaming for players around the world.

"I’ve long admired the work of Activision, Blizzard, and King, and the impact they’ve had on gaming, entertainment, and pop culture. Whether it was late nights spent playing the Diablo IV campaign with friends from start to finish, gathering the entire family in the rec room for our weekly Guitar Hero night, or going on an epic streak in Candy Crush, some of my most memorable gaming moments came from experiences their studios have created. It is incredible to welcome such legendary teams to Xbox.

"As one team, we’ll learn, innovate, and continue to deliver on our promise to bring the joy and community of gaming to more people. We’ll do this in a culture that strives to empower everyone to do their best work, where all people are welcome, and is centered on our ongoing commitment of Gaming for Everyone. We are intentional about inclusion in everything we do at Xbox – from our team to the products we make and the stories we tell, to the way our players interact and engage as a wider gaming community.

"Together, we’ll create new worlds and stories, bring your favorite games to more places so more players can join in, and we’ll engage with and delight players in new, innovative ways in the places they love to play including mobile, cloud streaming and more.

"Players have always been at the center of everything we do. And as we grow, we’ll continue to keep players at the heart of it all. We’ll continue to listen to your feedback, build a community where you can be yourself, where developers can do their best work, and continue to make really fun games.

"As promised, we will also continue to make more games available in more places – and that begins now by enabling cloud streaming providers and players to stream Activision Blizzard games in the European Economic Area, a commitment made to the European Commission.

"Today we start the work to bring beloved Activision, Blizzard, and King franchises to Game Pass and other platforms. We’ll share more about when you can expect to play in the coming months. We know you’re excited – and we are too.

"For the millions of fans who love Activision, Blizzard, and King games, we want you to know that today is a good day to play. You are the heart and soul of these franchises, and we are honored to have you as part of our community. Whether you play on Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo, PC or mobile, you are welcome here – and will remain welcome, even if Xbox isn’t where you play your favorite franchise.

"Because when everyone plays, we all win. We believe our news today will unlock a world of possibilities for more ways to play. Thank you for the ongoing support. We have so much more to come in the months ahead – I’m excited for the future and cannot wait to share it with you."

Microsoft first announced its plans to acquire Activision Blizzard in January 2022. The number of first-party Xbox studios has now grown to over 30 as Activision Blizzard adds nine more studios to Xbox.

The list of subsidiaries and divisions under Activision Blizzard include Activision Publishing, Blizzard Entertainment, Beenox, Demonware, Digital Legends, High Moon Studios, Infinity Ward, King, Major League Gaming, Radical Entertainment, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, Toys for Bob and Treyarch.

The most well known IPs that are owned by Activision Blizzard include Call of Duty, Warcraft, Candy Crush, Tony Hawk, Diablo, Overwatch, Spyro, Hearthstone, Guitar Hero, Crash Bandicoot, and StarCraft. In total there are well over 30 IPs owned by Activision Blizzard.

Here is a quick rundown of what studio under Activision Blizzard are best known for.

Beenox

Beenox is a Canadian studio founded in 2000 and acquired by Activision in 2005. The studio has primarily focused on co-developing games with other studios. They have worked on Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2, and many more games over the years.

Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard Entertainment, one half of the Activision Blizzard name, is the biggest developer in the acquisition as they have multiple teams working on different projects. The number of employees is twice that of Bethesda.

The studio would be best known for multiple franchises - Diablo, Warcraft, StarCraft, Overwatch, and HearthstoneThe company is currently developing Diablo IV and Overwatch 2, as well as continued work on World of Warcraft and Hearthstone.

High Moon Studios

High Moon Studios was founded in 2001 and was acquired by Activision in 2008. The studio has been in more of a support role recently having helped development on recent Call of Duty titles and Destiny 2.

Infinity Ward

Infinite Ward was founded in 2002 and has solely worked on the Call of Duty franchise. They have developed the Modern Warfare games, Ghosts, Infinity Warfare, and most recently the battle-royale game, Call of Duty: Warzone.

King

King was founded in 2003 and acquired by Activision in 2016. The company is best known for developing popular mobile games such as Candy Crush Saga. Most recently released Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! in 2021.

Raven Software

Raven Software was founded in 1990 was acquired by Activision in 1997. In the past the company developed Soldier of Fortune, Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, Quake 4, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, as well as support on Call of Duty titles. The studio's main focus right now is continued support for Call of Duty: Warzone.

Sledgehammer Games

Sledgehammer Games was founded in 2009 and has since been a developer for the Call of Duty franchise. Most recently released Call of Duty: Vanguard in 2021.

Toys for Bob

Toys for Bob was founded in 1989 and acquired by Activision in 2005. The studio would be best known for developing the Skylanders games, Spyro Reignited Trilogy, and Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time. Most recently the team lent support on development of 2021's Call of Duty: Vanguard.

Treyarch

Treyarch was founded in 1996 and acquired by Activision in 2001. The studio has solely developed games for the Call of Duty franchise since 2008's World at War. Most recently they worked on the Zombies mode on 2021's Call of Duty: Vanguard.


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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49 Comments
aTokenYeti (on 13 October 2023)

Glad this 18 month saga is finally over

  • +17
siebensus4 (on 13 October 2023)

This should mean that it's guaranteed that we'll see Call of Duty on Nintendo's next gaming system.

  • +11
Ayla (on 13 October 2023)

It's finally over.

  • +10
Angelus (on 13 October 2023)

Deal is dead

  • +10
VersusEvil Angelus (on 13 October 2023)

I wish you would stop with this. Told you it was passing.

  • +6
Angelus VersusEvil (on 13 October 2023)

Stay mad bro

  • +4
trunkswd (on 13 October 2023)

This acquisition was good for views on VGChartz, but I am glad it is finally over. insert GIF of Frodo saying "It's Done"

  • +7
S.Peelman (on 13 October 2023)

Let us rejoice.

  • +3
UnderwaterFunktown (on 13 October 2023)

Hope it satiates their hunger for a while. Call me crazy but I don't want to see all of gaming end up in two or three sets of hands.

  • +2
The Fury (on 13 October 2023)

Nice, can we get back to making games now? Or are these rich people not done throwing money around?

  • +1
2zosteven (on 13 October 2023)

FTC going to file another suit?

  • +1
shikamaru317 2zosteven (on 13 October 2023)

They already did back on September 27th, but the FTC has no real power like the CMA, so they can't actually block Microsoft and ABK from closing the deal. If the FTC somehow wins their suit the acquisition would later be overturned and Microsoft would be forced to divest ABK, but the FTC is expected by legal experts to get soundly defeated a 2nd time.

  • +2
TheLegendaryBigBoss (on 17 October 2023)

Bring back Prototype!

  • 0
KLAMarine (on 13 October 2023)

this kidney stone is finally passing

  • 0
2zosteven (on 13 October 2023)

im sure we all we be talking about this for awhile.

  • 0
darthv72 (on 13 October 2023)

If MS is viewed as "the empire"... then this quote is fitting.

"This will be a day long remembered. It has seen the death of Kenobi, and will soon see the end of the Rebellion." - Darth Vader

  • -1
Libara (on 13 October 2023)

Finally, now MS can look towards their next target.

  • -4
Doctor_MG Libara (on 13 October 2023)

I hope you don't mean buying more publishers. At this point they have more studios than Sony and Nintendo combined. Wanting more is just greed at this point.

  • +2
Libara Doctor_MG (on 13 October 2023)

Whatever benefits my GP sub even further.

  • -7
Ayla Libara (on 13 October 2023)

This

  • -1
Doctor_MG Libara (on 13 October 2023)

So you'd be fine with a complete Microsoft takeover?

Don't be so nearsighted. There are real effects that could damage the industry with MS continuing to purchase publishers and put those games on a sub service

  • +1
SanAndreasX Doctor_MG (on 14 October 2023)

This is unreal. So many people have hard-ons for a monopoly of the whole industry under the company that has done the worst in it as a platform holder.

  • +2
zero129 SanAndreasX (on 14 October 2023)

I wont exactly say that, they have allowed their devs to do their own thing and I guess maybe more people dont mind Ms, since as a platform holder they have been pretty open with their IP's when it comes to PC. with allowing everything day and date, and even allowing games on Sony and Nintendo's platforms.
Where as compared to say Sony who only will release games on PC like a year or 2 after and nothing to Nintendo.
Or IMO even worse Nintendo who wouldnt allow them games on anything but their platform.
But thats not me agreeing that Ms should be allowed to just keep buying up, as i honestly dont think any company should become a monopoly in anything.
Well except for Valve who has always done good even while having a monopoly.
But the video game industry is huge with new massive IP's popping up all the time.
Who knows who is going to make the next CoD, GTA, Minecraft, Fortnite, Destiny etc etc.
Unlike the movie industry the video game industry has become easier than ever for someone who has an idea to try get it out there.
And thats why we have so many million of sellers games from indie devs and such.

  • -1
Pemalite Doctor_MG (on 14 October 2023)

Keep in mind Microsoft is far removed from being number 1 or holding a monopoly in the gaming space.

They are soundly beaten by Valve in the PC market... And beaten by Sony as well as Nintendo in the console Market.

Microsoft can't even break into the mobile market to any notable degree.

  • -1
Doctor_MG Pemalite (on 14 October 2023)

They don't have to be in a monopolistic position to harm the videogame market. I'm more worried of an oligopoly since this is what a lot of other markets have become which has reduced consumer choice, caused poor wages for workers, and prevented smaller companies from being able to compete.

There are real parallels between what is currently going on in the videogame market to markets like movies, music, beer, health care, etc. and how they've been turned into oligopolies without the consumer even knowing because they hide the company under umbrella corporations.

  • 0
Libara Doctor_MG (on 14 October 2023)

Certain people need to realize that providing a more competitive edge against sony does not equal a monopoly or harm to the industry.

  • -6
UnderwaterFunktown Libara (on 14 October 2023)

Certain people need to realize that this deal isn’t about competing with Sony, hardware isn't their priority anymore and they have no intention of trying to sell as many Xbox’s as Playstations. They want to be a ubiquitous actor in the industry (console, PC, mobile) that owns as much of it as possible to bring in more revenue. They don’t need to compete with Sony because they can earn a billion dollars a year selling games on Playstation. On some level it’s halfway convenient that their systems sell as little as they do so they can still claim to be a "distant third" while they now own more big IPs and a significantly larger part of the industry than Sony or Nintendo.

  • +1
zero129 Doctor_MG (on 14 October 2023)

This is a very hard thing to happen with the video game industry atm. Since even you could make a massive IP tomorrow. Its way more easier for someone who wants to make a game to make it and get it marketed than it is for someone to make a movie or a song etc.
I honestly dont even know why people keep comparing this when its nothing a like. How many indie movies with shitty budgets have went on to be massive hits that sells millions?.
How many people even one man developers have worked on indie games that have become massive hits and sold millions of copies.
To compare the two markets is silly imo since the video game market is so dynamic compared to the movie or music or most other markets like it or what people try to compare it to.

  • -3
Doctor_MG zero129 (on 15 October 2023)

You know there is an entire indie genre for both music and movies just like there is for videogames.

The issue isn't about whether it's hard to release something. Music in particular has become difficult for artists not because of exposure but sustainability. In order to make money you have to do extensive touring, have merch, license your music, etc. It's not about album sales anymore. Do you see the parallel there?

I'd actually say music is way easier for someone to make and get it out there than it is for videogames. But that's not a result of the industry but because of social media. And I think those two things shouldnt be conflated.

  • 0
LivncA_Dis3 (on 14 October 2023)

Boo another mega company turned to mediocrity.

  • -5
smroadkill15 LivncA_Dis3 (on 15 October 2023)

Yeah because everyone is so happy with their current output lol

  • 0
Manlytears (on 13 October 2023)
  • -16
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