Following a difficult period for the developer’s leadership, Microsoft has shocked the gaming world with a planned $70 billion buyout of Activision Blizzard.
This news comes after Activision Blizzard was hit with multiple lawsuits following allegations about their workplace environment, which resulted in employee walkouts and a drop in stock prices.
On January 17th, Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier shared some details about the surprise deal saying that Blizzard is valued at $70 billion in this historic deal.
As Jason puts it, the “seismic gaming deal” represents a massive power shift in the industry.
Microsoft confirmed the deal and the company’s goals shortly after and Microsoft Corp. announced its plans to acquire a leader in game development and interactive entertainment content publisher called Activision Blizzard Inc.
According to Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft Corporation, this is the start of a new era in gaming that will make it more inclusive, safe, and accessible to everyone.
The acquisition will be completed in June 2023, according to Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard.
Since Microsoft purchased last year the Bethesd, Xbox Game Pass has benefited greatly from Bethesda’s games. On January 18th, CEO Bobby Kotick sent an email to Blizzard employees explaining why Microsoft was the best suitor.
Kotick reaffirmed his commitment to Activision Blizzard in an email sent out to the entire company.
Despite this, conflicting reports have surfaced, with The Wall Street Journal reporting that the CEO will step down once the deal is finalized in June 2023.
Kotick could earn up to $292,970,341 if he’s removed from his position at the end of that term, according to Activision documents obtained from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Fans of several franchises will be wondering if their ability to play Overwatch, World of Warcraft, and other games will be affected in the future now that this deal has been completed.
When they completed that acquisition, the Xbox boss was relatively quiet about the speculation surrounding Bethesda’s well-known franchise titles, but since then, games like Starfield and Arkane’s Redfall have been confirmed as Xbox exclusives.
Fans of Overwatch, Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and other games are now worried that something similar could happen to their favorites.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Phil Spencer discussed the possibility. While this is good news for PlayStation users, it does not rule out the possibility of these games appearing on Xbox Game Pass in the future.