Microsoft is buying Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard in a $68.7 billion (roughly Rs 5.12 lakh crores) deal. This is one of the biggest acquisition in the gaming sector, making Microsoft the third-largest gaming company in terms of revenue, only behind Tencent and rival Sony. The deal is said to be Microsoft’s biggest acquisition so far, making it the largest push into gaming. This deal is set to establish Microsoft’s position in the gaming sector even further, and the company plans to bring many of Activision’s games to Xbox Game Pass once the deal is finalised.
After this deal, Microsoft will become the publisher of major titles like Call Of Duty, Overwatch, Warcraft, Diablo, and even mobile games like Candy Crush. Microsoft’s gaming chief Phil Spencer has said that Microsoft will offer as many Activision games as it can with Xbox Game Pass. This means that Microsoft Xbox Game Pass subscribers will get free access to many of their favourite Activision titles that they were paying extra money to buy in order to play on their respective consoles or PCs.
Xbox Game Pass has about 25 million subscribers, meaning it will give Activition’s titles a wider user base than it already enjoys. One of the most exciting crossover here is the availability of the Call of Duty franchise on Xbox Game Pass, something many people have wished for in the past.
Last year, Microsoft had acquired Bethesda Studios for about $7.5 billion (roughly Rs 56,000 crores). After that deal, Microsoft’s Xbox Game Studios expanded to a total of 23 developers and came as a big boost for Xbox Game Pass. With the Activision Blizzard deal, it is said to expand even further.
With AR/VR also becoming more and more mainstream, it is being said that the Activision Blizzard acquisition is also aimed at bolstering virtual gaming. Apart from Microsoft’s known venture into the metaverse, gaming chief Spencer was quoted in a report in The New York Times as saying “Our vision of the metaverse is based on intersecting global communities rooted in strong franchises.”
The deal is also said to give Microsoft a major presence in the mobile gaming space. With mobiles becoming a big platform, Microsoft has lacked presence in the segment. Spencer also told NYT that with mobiles being the largest platform currently, the company needed a major presence there, something the new deal also aims to fulfill.
While there are a lot of nuances that can be looked into with the latest Activision-Microsoft deal, only time will tell how it will shape or change the gaming industry. We are excited about Activision titles showing up on Xbox Game Pass and how Activision will help Microsoft in its metaverse and mobile gaming ambitions. Only time will tell. Microsoft has said that it expects the Activision Blizzard deal “to close in fiscal year 2023,” which means there is still time before we see results coming out of the merger.