Microsoft have officially acquired Activision Blizzard King as massive $69 billion deal finally closes

First announced on January 18, 2022, today Microsoft have finally completed the biggest acquisition in the video games industry.

Activision Blizzard King titles are now owned by Xbox, meaning key franchises such as Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Call of Duty, Warcraft, Diablo and Candy Crush Saga, are now part of the platform holder’s First Party lineup.

This massive acquisition has endured plenty of turmoil and at one point seemed dead in the water when the FTC and CMA rejected the proposals, indicating they are breaching competition laws.

But persistence has paid off for Microsoft who have made various concessions within the deal to ensure they are compliant and to help get it over the line.

It means many Activision Blizzard King titles will now be making their way to Xbox Game Pass, with a full list expected in the coming months, increasing the generous offerings already provided by the service.

PlayStation owners will still benefit from key titles, though, including Call of Duty still appearing on PlayStation for the next ten years.

The acquisition has also given Microsoft ownership of a treasure trove of classic, dormant IP which they may already be looking to revive, including hints at a new Guitar Hero and HeXen in recent months.

However, the main desire to acquire the company is so Microsoft can make firm gains in the mobile space, an area they’ve had vested interest in for a long time.

Regardless of which side you fall on, this is a massive piece of news that will change the landscape of the industry for years to come. With so much consolidation happening, historic companies being shutdown and many people being laid off in the midst of unionising and potential strike action, huge amounts of money are still being traded.

It is also suggested that Microsoft is not done with acquiring. While they may take a bit of a break following the long drawn out process with Activision Blizzard King, their intent to buy was announced over a year and a half ago. In the meantime they’ve probably had other conversations, ideas and contracts drawn up. Perhaps similarly themed news is coming much sooner than any of us think.

PlayStation have also said they are still in the market to acquire studios, meaning the back and forth consolidation is probably far from over.

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