Microsoft’s impending acquisition of Activision Blizzard is the biggest deal of the sort the games industry has ever seen, bar none, so it’s no surprise that the process for finalizing it is proving a little complicated. Authorities are scrutinizing the potential purchase much more deeply, and the competition (read: PlayStation) is worried over the prospect of losing brands as big as Call of Duty to Xbox.
Microsoft, however, remains confident that in spite of the hurdles, the deal will ultimately go through. Speaking recently with Bloomberg, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that the aforementioned scrutiny is expected, and that the company remains confident that the acquisition will be approved by the authorities.
“Of course, any acquisition of this size will go through scrutiny, but we feel very, very confident that we’ll come out,” he said.
“If this is about competition, let us have competition,” he added, referring to Sony’s leading position in the gaming industry, and the fact that PlayStation itself has made a number of acquisitions over the last couple of years.
Recently, Xbox boss Phil Spencer revealed that Microsoft had provided a signed agreement to Sony, committing to keep releasing Call of Duty games on PlayStation for several years beyond Sony’s existing agreement with Activision. PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan issued a statement in response not long afterward, saying that the commitment – which he revealed extends for three years beyond the existing agreement – was deemed “inadequate” by Sony.
Microsoft has also said that once the Activision Blizzard deal is finalized, it intends to keep on investing in more acquisitions.
Earlier this year, Nadella said that Microsoft is expecting to close the acquisition by early 2023. It remains to be seen whether that timeline remains the same.