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Microsoft finally completes US$68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard

By Kenny Yeo - on 16 Oct 2023, 11:06am

Microsoft finally completes US$68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard

After 20 long months, the deal is done. Microsoft has finally completed the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the company behind hit gaming titles like Call of Duty, Warcraft, Diablo, and more.

At US$68.7 billion, this is Microsoft's largest acquisition ever, dwarfing the US$26 billion it paid for LinkedIn back in 2016. 

It's also the company's most dramatic push in the gaming space and a clear sign of its intent to be a force to be reckoned with in the gaming industry. The company acquired Bethesda back in 2020 for US$7.5 billion and Minecraft for US$2.5 billion further back in 2014.

But this deal almost did not happen. It faced opposition from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The latter, in particular, was concerned about the impact the deal could have on cloud gaming competition. As a result, to appease the CMA, Microsoft had to restructure the deal by transferring cloud gaming rights for existing and new Activision Blizzard games to Ubisoft.

Gamers are understandably excited at the prospect of having Activision Blizzard titles added to Xbox Game Pass, to which Phi Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, said: 

Today we start the work to bring beloved Activision, Blizzard, and King franchises to Game Pass and other platforms. We’ll share more about when you can expect to play in the coming months. We know you’re excited – and we are too.

Regardless of what titles do come to Xbox Game Pass, the acquisition will certainly make the service more compelling for gamers and it'll be interesting to see how the gaming landscape will change and what Microsoft intends to do after this mega acquisition.

Source: Microsoft

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