Microsoft announced Tuesday, January 18, 2022, a historic agreement that has turned the entire video game industry upside down. The purchase of Activision Blizzard for the amount of A$96billion is possibly the most important move in history. And makes the company some of the most iconic franchises in the world.
Recently, Microsoft announced that it is in the final stages of acquiring Activision Blizzard, which will bring together studios such as Treyarch, Raven, Toys for Bob, High Moon, Beenox, Sledgehammer Games, and Demonware.
The traditional company Activision Blizzard is responsible for popular titles such as Call of Duty, Diablo, Overwatch, World of Warcraft, Guitar Hero, and many more.
The question that many of you will be asking yourselves is, what will happen to all these emblematic sagas after the purchase of Microsoft? It is not easy to answer it, and for now, everything is assumptions, but I can imagine that the North American company is going to try to give everything.
Activision Blizzard is now owned by Microsoft.
It all started with Bloomberg journalist Jason Schreider, who shared the information on his Twitter, citing “The Wall Street Journal” as the main source.
After a short time later, Microsoft confirmed the information and celebrated the acquisition with a special note on the official Xbox website.
The value of the purchase was not officially mentioned, but several sources cite it to have been around A$96 billion.
The issues surrounding Activision Blizzard
In 2021, the producer was involved in several problems after numerous accusations and lawsuits related to misconduct, sexual, and moral harassment in the work environment.
In the opinion of journalist Jason Schreider, these problems are moving towards a resolution, considering that the acquisition could mean the dismissal of many names involved in the accusations, including the current director, Bobby Kotick, who, until now, continues to work at the company.
Under new direction
As already disclosed by Microsoft, Activision Blizzard and its executives will communicate directly with Phil Spencer as director of the Microsoft Gaming line. It could indicate that Spencer becomes responsible for the company and its restructuring.
Previously, Spencer had already shown some concern for Activision, going so far as to mention that he would rethink the partnership between Microsoft and Activision.
Activision Blizzard will continue to operate freely
In the special presentation note, Phil Spencer indicates that Activision Blizzard will continue to run freely and independently. But without mentioning details of how this will work in practice.
It may also indicate that the company’s games will continue to be cross-platform, such as Mojang with Minecraft, which are also from Microsoft but continue to come out on other devices.
Changes will not be made at first.
At least for now, Microsoft is unlikely to make drastic changes to Activision’s internal team. Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as the company’s CEO, working with his same team as before so that work continues to move forward. However, Phill Spencer will be CEO of Microsoft Gaming effective today. And will be taking over as head of business at Activision Blizzard once the transaction is finalized.
Microsoft also wants to grow in the mobile gaming market. And the large numbers of players Candy Crush Saga must be more than essential for the company to become a possible reference in games for smartphones. Microsoft also hopes to accelerate advances in Cloud Gaming, technology that allows users to enjoy titles without the need for good hardware.
Good news for Linux gamers
Well, Microsoft has a project called Xbox Cloud Gaming or simply xCloud. It is a game streaming service launched in 2019. As the streaming service runs via browser, it is an excellent alternative for gamers who do not have high-performance computers. It allows them to play on any machine and operating system, including the penguin OS.
With the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, it can be speculated that several new titles could reach the Xbox Game Pass catalog, being able to be played through xCloud by those who subscribe to the Ultimate version of the service, as happened with Bethesda, when it was acquired by Microsoft last year.
Microsoft against the world
With the ownership of brands like Call of Duty, Diablo, Overwatch, or Crash Bandicoot, used to being released on the maximum number of systems possible, that could change. It will be Microsoft’s decision to do so, as with Bethesda, or at least include a temporary exclusivity. The idea is to generate maximum profit, so it would be strange if franchises like CoD didn’t appear on PlayStation.
Nothing is eternal, and, what was one of the great PlayStation icons, Crash Bandicoot, is now owned by Microsoft. Everything has an explanation, and it is that the most famous bandicoot in the world was born from the hand of Naughty Dog with Sony as a distributor. After that, Universal would come, the beginning of the end of a saga that abandoned its creator and passed through innumerable hands: Vivendi, Sierra, and, since 2008, Activision, to end up being owned by one of the great rivals of those who were its creators. The twists and turns of life.
Activision Blizzard, infinite potential
Microsoft has not acquired just any company. Activision Blizzard was up to the top in mud, a terrible situation that has ended up forcing them to sell. A ‘goose that lays the golden eggs’ that Microsoft will know how to take advantage of, and the potential is almost infinite, with franchises full of followers, potential in esports, a large number of creatives, programmers, and video game professionals at the highest level. Microsoft receives all this, which could even explore expanding a cinematographic and literary universe that can go a long way, as Blizzard Entertainment has shown at some point.
The possibilities are endless; will Microsoft be able to get the most out of your purchase? Let’s try to be positive; monopolies are not good in any area. But Activision Blizzard’s situation led it to a path of no return. Now its entire universe once again has a big chance to be outstanding.