Microsoft has announced a deal to buy Activision Blizzard in what is the largest 3rd party developer acquisition in gaming history. The deal, which will see games such as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft owned by Microsoft/Xbox, has come in at a gargantuan $68.7 billion dollars.
Activision Blizzard is responsible for an impressive array of popular games. These include: Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, as well as many other older, popular franchises. It is not yet clear what Xbox plans to do with their first party gaming rights, but the possibility for these franchises to become Xbox exclusives is, of course, a genuine change.
Microsoft and Xbox have been busy in the last year. They have now twice flexed their purchasing capabilities by acquiring Bethesda (Starfield, Fallout, The Elders Scrolls) and now, Activision Blizzard.
Although the amount of this deal is extreme and has blown other deals out of the water, it is seen largely as an impressive business move on the part of Xbox. The ongoing debate over quality of consoles is becoming slowly obsolete. With the purchasing capacity of Xbox, their long-term goal is obviously to acquire as many top-tier gaming studios as possible in the hopes of making their offering irrefutable.
This acquisition of Activision Blizzard will make for an interesting few months as Sony will surely look to pool their resources and create similar value for their customers. The hope is that these deals and the resulting fallout will only be good for the end consumer.