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Microsoft has announced plans to acquire game development company Activision Blizzard, which would include rights to gaming franchises such as Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty, and Candy Crush.
The acquisition of the embattled gaming company will include IP from its Activision, Blizzard, and King studios. It will also include global esports activities through Major League Gaming.
In total, the planned acquisition would be valued at $68.7 billion.
“Players everywhere love Activision Blizzard games, and we believe the creative teams have their best work in front of them” Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming, said in a statement.
“Together we will build a future where people can play the games they want, virtually anywhere they want.”
What would the Activision Blizzard acquisition mean for gamers?
Microsoft has announced that the company plans to bring Activision Blizzard games into its Game Pass subscription for PC and Xbox.
It will also bring 30 more game development studios under Microsoft’s umbrella. The company says this will bolster its publishing and esports production capabilities.
However, the deal still needs to go through approvals from regulators and Activision Blizzard’s shareholders.
Current Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will continue in the CEO position as part of the deal’s plan. This is despite mounting criticism and calls to resign for his handling of sexual harassment and discrimination problems at Activision.
The statement notes that Activision Blizzard as a business will report to Phil Spencer.
The deal is expected to close in the fiscal year 2023 if approved.
But until then, the companies will operate independently.
“Upon close, we will offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard’s incredible catalogue,” Spencer noted in a statement on the Xbox blog.
Feature image: Microsoft