Following recent reports, Microsoft has issued an official announcement stating that it has successfully acquired Activision Blizzard in a purchase deal valued at almost $70 billion.
"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." - Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox
Until it is stated that the deal has been closed, both Activision Blizzard and Microsoft will be operating independently. If and when it comes to fruition, the team at Activision Blizzard will report directly to Phil Spencer, the CEO of Microsoft's Gaming division. Spencer went on to continue that Microsoft will work to ensure as many games under the Activision Blizzard brand as possible will be added to Xbox Game Pass for consoles and PC; additions that extend to both catalog titles and new games.
The acquisition, according to Spencer, will also help to further accelerate the company's plans for cloud gaming. In response to recent headlines regarding the various lawsuits and controversies under the leadership and culture of CEO Bobby Kotick, Spencer replied:
"Activision Blizzard games are enjoyed on a variety of platforms and we plan to continue to support those communities moving forward... 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." - Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox
Furthermore, it was officially confirmed in a statement by Activision Blizzard that Microsoft will pay close to $100 per share to acquire its competitor for a total payout that is close to $70 billion if the deal manages to pass. Through this purchase, Microsoft will have full ownership over gaming's largest franchises including Call of Duty, Diablo, Overwatch, and Warcraft in addition to some of the greatest eSports brands in history.
The numerous studios and their employee headcount of almost 10,000 will become a key integration into Xbox moving forward. Microsoft will subsequently possess a total of 30 internal studios following the acquisition.
Microsoft's image of leadership will allow cooperation between ongoing CEO Bobby Kotick and CEO Phil Spencer.
"Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms. We're investing deeply in world-class content, community and the cloud to usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first and makes gaming safe, inclusive and accessible to all." - Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft
This is the latest in a recent series of major acquisitions from Microsoft, in the aftermath of its purchase of ZeniMax.