Microsoft and Xbox is buying Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard for £50.56bn

In a move that will shock the tech world, and not just the gaming world. It has been announced today that Microsoft is acquiring the Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Diablo, and Candy Crush maker Activision Blizzard in a massive deal worth $68.7bn… or £50.6bn.

Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 2:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 2:55 pm

While the deal won’t be fully approved until 2023 it has been confirmed by Microsoft this afternoon in a blog post from the Xbox boss Phil Spencer. Who welcomed the buyout:

"We all know that gaming is the most vibrant and dynamic form of entertainment worldwide and we’ve experienced the power of social connection and friendship that gaming makes possible.”

"As we pursue that mission, it is incredibly exciting to announce that Microsoft has agreed to acquire Activision Blizzard.”

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The Xbox Game Pass service could soon see the inclusion of multiple Activision Blizzard games, including the likes of Call of Duty, Diablo, Overwatch and more. Source: Xbox Wire

What does this mean?

In layman’s terms it’s the largest ever videogame acquisition, as well as the biggest ever in Microsoft’s history.

Xbox (well… Microsoft) will now own huge gaming franchises such as Call of Duty, Spyro, Guitar Hero, Crash Bandicoot and Tony Hawk, Diablo, Overwatch and more.

In his blog post, Phil Spencer said:

The acquisition will see the board of the massive publisher reporting to the head of Xbox. Source: Xbox Wire

“Until this transaction closes, Activision Blizzard and Microsoft Gaming will continue to operate independently. Once the deal is complete, the Activision Blizzard business will report to me as CEO, Microsoft Gaming.”

What happens next?

This mammoth deal means huge changes for the hugely popular Xbox Game Pass service, a monthly subscription that gives subscribers access to over 100+ games for a fee of £10.99 a month.

The Xbox boss, Phil Spencer, said that this would mean that:

“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 catalog. We also announced today that Game Pass now has more than 25 million subscribers. As always, we look forward to continuing to add more value and more great games to Game Pass.”

"The fantastic franchises across Activision Blizzard will also accelerate our plans for Cloud Gaming, allowing more people in more places around the world to participate in the Xbox community using phones, tablets, laptops and other devices you already own. Activision Blizzard games are enjoyed on a variety of platforms and we plan to continue to support those communities moving forward."

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