Microsoft has announced that it has acquired of Activision Blizzard. All labels and internal teams under the company – including 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 – will join the Xbox Game Studios lineup.
That means Microsoft has brought in a number of major franchises into the Xbox fold once again, including the likes of Call of Duty, Warcraft, StarCraft, Overwatch, Diablo, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, Hearthstone, Guitar Hero, and many more. The deal is valued at $68.7 billion. In comparison, last year, Microsoft completed a $7.5 billion acquisition of Bethesda parent company ZeniMax Media.
Activision Blizzard has been caught in various controversies in recent months, with reports having emerged of a widespread culture of toxicity and abuse at the company. CEO Bobby Kotick has been under fire as well, with many calling for his resignation. Though Xbox boss Phil Spencer’s Xbox Wire post announcing the acquisition doesn’t address the ongoing situation directly, he does say that once the deal has been completed, all of Activision Blizzard will be reporting to him as the CEO of Microsoft Gaming.
In November, in the wake of reports bringing to light various internal issues at Activision Blizzard, Spencer said that Xbox was “evaluating all aspects” of its relationship with Activision. Just recently, he stated that Microsoft had “changed the way” it does “certain things” with the company.
Over on Xbox Wire, Spencer writes: “As a company, Microsoft is committed to our journey for inclusion in every aspect of gaming, among both employees and players.We deeply value individual studio cultures. We also believe that creative success and autonomy go hand-in-hand with treating every person with dignity and respect. We hold all teams, and all leaders, to this commitment. We’re looking forward to extending our culture of proactive inclusion to the great teams across Activision Blizzard.
“Around the world, there is no more exciting venue for fun and connection than video games. And there has never been a better time to play than right now. As we extend the joy and community of gaming to everyone, we look forward to welcoming all of our friends at Activision Blizzard to Microsoft Gaming.”