Microsoft to Acquire Activision Blizzard for $70 Billion

For some people, January 18th is a Tuesday, but for us in the gaming world, it’s another massive announcement out of left field. News broke on this day that Microsoft, fresh off of their recent Bethesda acquisition, is now set to acquire Activision Blizzard for a staggering $68.7 billion dollars! This is pending final approval from regulatory bodies, but if this goes through, it will make Microsoft the third largest gaming company in terms of revenue, beaten only by Sony and Tencent. Of course, you’re probably wondering why this matters to a PlayStation gaming site. For starters, a lot of games you may play on PlayStation could be going exclusive to Xbox now, not to mention the ongoing harassment investigations and toxic culture at Activision Blizzard. There’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s dive in. Microsoft Acquires Activision Blizzard: Could Call of Duty Become an Xbox Exclusive? Getting past the huge amount of money changing hands here, what does this mean for Activision Blizzard’s catalogue? We’re talking about Call of Duty, Overwatch, Diablo, and yes, Candy Crush. This is one of the biggest companies in gaming that’s merging with Microsoft, so does that mean some of your favorite titles are going to go exclusive to Xbox? Right now the best answer is “maybe.” We had a similar line of questioning when Microsoft acquired Bethesda. As it turned out, Starfield is going to be exclusive to Xbox. This may not be a blanket policy for Bethesda titles, but the other options aren’t much better for PS5 gamers. Future Bethesda studio titles could be timed exclusives that come to PS5 a year after Xbox, or they could have exclusive content, which brings us back to Call of Duty. Call of Duty games have often had PlayStation exclusive content or modes in the multiplayer. Obviously, if this deal goes off without a hitch, that’s no longer going to be the case. What could happen is that Xbox enjoys that type of content and COD remains a multiplatform title. My gut says this is how it will be, only because of things like Warzone being multiplatform and Call of Duty being such a decidedly multiplatform title. Of course, $70 billion is a lot of money, so maybe Sony needs to bring back something like Resistance or Killzone to fill the gap if COD goes Xbox exclusive. Without more detail, we can only speculate here, but it’s safe to assume that at least a few big franchises won’t be on PlayStation going forward. Addressing the Kotick in the Room Now, something that cannot be left off the table is the ongoing accusations of harassment and toxic culture at Activision Blizzard. The entire scope of this ongoing investigation is worthy of its own entire article and discussion, but you can get caught up on everything with this piece from PC Gamer. In addition to the horrible stories coming out of Activision Blizzard since last year, it’s curious that just one week prior to this … Read More