Microsoft announced it will acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. This would be the largest gaming publisher acquisition ever.
That is, assuming the deal moves forward.
This will predictably have the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s full attention. Activision Blizzard is one of the world’s largest gaming companies. As such, antitrust will surely be a topic of conversation as the FTC looks into the deal.
Then there is the toxicity with Activision Blizzard. The company currently faces several lawsuits from government agencies over allegations of workplace misconduct. These allegations also include sexual misconduct and employee mistreatment.
Those lawsuits and allegations will not go away if Microsoft successfully closes the acquisition. That said, it seems current Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will not remain once the deal closes and the transition period ends.
As for other executives, they would report directly to Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer. In addition, it sounds like Activision Blizzard would continue to operate as a separate studio.
That leads into the gaming ramifications. With the deal, we will see franchises like Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty, and Candy Crush on Xbox Game Pass?
All of these franchises would allow Microsoft to lay claim to the title as the third-largest gaming company by revenue. Whether that’s good for the industry is a separate conversation, however.
Microsoft expects to close the deal by the end of its fiscal year 2023.