Microsoft has announced it intends to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, a deal that will make Microsoft one of the largest gaming companies in the world. With the deal, popular game franchises are loving Duty, Warcraft, Overexpectedand there will be more in the fold of Microsoft’s ever-expanding portfolio of studios, in addition to Bethesda and its own Xbox Game Studios.
Also included as part of the deal is King, the makers of Candy Crush, indicating that Microsoft can use the company to compete in the mobile space. In early 2021, Take-Two Interactive (which houses developers like 2K, Private Division, and Rockstar Games) bought Zynga for $12.7 billion.
While the deal did not materialize, Microsoft’s intention to acquire Activision Blizzard raises questions about antitrust and how Microsoft can manage Activision Blizzard’s toxic corporate culture and adjust its leadership role to ensure a fair work environment in the future. promote. The acquisition was announced after several high-profile sexual harassment claims were filed against Activision Blizzard, and in July 2021, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) sued Activision Blizzard for promoting a culture of “constant sexual harassment”.
On December 8, the FTC announced it would sue Microsoft to block the deal, saying, “We are seeking to prevent Microsoft from taking control of a leading independent game studio and using it to harm competition in multiple dynamic and high-growth gaming markets.” Microsoft Vice President and Chairman Brad Smith responded by saying, “We have been committed to addressing competition concerns since day one, including by offering proposed concessions to the FTC earlier this week. While we believed in giving peace a chance, we have complete confidence in our cause and welcome the chance to take our case to court.”
We’ll keep you up to date with the latest on the big acquisition here, with reports exploring how the gaming world could change (for better and for worse) with one of the largest third-party game studios owned by Microsoft.