Edge

Microsoft Is Purchasing ‘Call Of Duty’, ‘Warcraft’, And ‘Candy Crush’ Publisher Activision Blizzard

As giant and vast as the video game industry is there are six companies who stand above the rest. They are the three hardware publishers in Microsoft (Xbox), Sony (PlayStation), and Nintendo (Switch), and the three largest software publishers in Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and Activision Blizzard. When a huge AAA game comes out it’s almost always a product of one of these six companies and it’s been this way for quite some time.

On Tuesday, a massive deal was announced that has the potential to impact the entirety of the video game industry. A report from the Wall Street Journal stated that Microsoft planned to purchase Activision Blizzard. Later on, the report was confirmed and Microsoft put out an official statement about Activision joining the Xbox “family.”

As we pursue that mission, it is incredibly exciting to announce that Microsoft has agreed to acquire Activision Blizzard.

Over many decades, the studios and teams that make up Activision Blizzard have earned vast wellsprings of joy and respect from billions of people all over the world. We are incredibly excited to have the chance to work with the amazing, talented, dedicated people across 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, Treyarch and every team across Activision Blizzard.

The deal is fascinating on a number of levels, including the timing, as it comes after months of scandals regarding Activision Blizzard’s treatment of employees, which resulted in Xbox head Phil Spencer telling employees the company was “evaluating” their relationship with the publisher amid calls for Activision CEO Bobby Kotick to resign. How Microsoft handles the Kotick situation and the fallout from the workplace misconduct and sexual harassment scandals that Activision Blizzard has been embroiled with will be one of the first things they have to do with this new acquisition.

Details of the purchase so far are that Xbox will be buying the company for a record $68.7 billion. This is easily the largest acquisition in the history of the industry in not only money but potentially impact. Microsoft isn’t just buying a large name with the Activision Blizard purchase, it’s giving itself exclusive ownership over massive titles like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Candy Crush. These are some of the biggest titles in all of gaming and now they belong to Microsoft.

While this is obviously great news for Microsoft and the Xbox, it is a massive blow against their biggest rival in the console space, Sony. The PlayStation’s largest selling digital games in 2021 featured Call of Duty multiple times across two consoles. Now, if Microsoft wanted to, it could simply make Call of Duty an Xbox and PC exclusive. Will they do that? We’re not sure yet, but it’s a possibility and gives Microsoft and the Xbox a level of power that it has never had before. This deal is massive today and we’re going to be seeing waves from it for years.

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