Update 13 October 2023 14:27
Finally, the saga is officially over and Microsoft has acquired Activision Blizzard. The news was announced by Xbox chief Phil Spencer on Twitter.
“Today is a good day to play. We officially welcome Activision Blizzard King to Team Xbox,” tweeted Xbox chief Phil Spencer. “Together, we’ll create stories and experiences that bring players together, in a culture empowering everyone to do their best work and celebrate diverse perspectives.”
Check out Xbox’s announcement trailer below!
Spencer continued: “To the millions of fans who love Activision, Blizzard, and King games, we know that you are the heart and soul of these franchises, and we’re honoured to have you as part of our community.
Original story follows…
It’s an ongoing saga longer than time itself, I am of course talking about Microsoft’s attempted acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
Well actually, this saga has been ongoing since January 2022 when Microsoft set in motion its intention to buy the Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon publisher for an eye-watering $68.7 billion.
Since that time it’s been a rocky road, to say the least with Microsoft trying to gain the approval of market regulators from across the world. Two of the most opposing regulators were the FTC in the United States to which Microsoft recently won a major court battle. Microsoft has also been battling with the CMA in the UK. There were concerns from both regulators that should Microsoft’s acquisition be successful, it would have too much of a firm grip with the monopoly within the video game industry.
Prior to Microsoft taking the measures to acquire Activision Blizzard, the green brand had already purchased Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax Media and as a result of leaked documents from the court battle with the FTC, Microsoft even had intentions to acquire Nintendo. Obviously, the attempts to buy the Japanese giant never came to fruition.
Well, it seems that saga may finally soon be over because the UK market regulator, the CMA has approved the deal. This news should result in this acquisition being concluded within the upcoming months (hopefully). What’s more, it should also result in the entire Call of Duty library being available on Xbox Game Pass, eventually.
In a statement issued on Twitter, the CMA wrote: “We’ve cleared the new deal for Microsoft to buy Activision without cloud gaming rights. In August, Microsoft made a concession that would see Ubisoft, instead of Microsoft, buy Activision’s cloud gaming rights. This new deal will stop Microsoft from locking up competition in cloud gaming, preserving competitive prices and services for UK cloud gamers.”
We’ve cleared the new deal for Microsoft to buy Activision without cloud gaming rights.
In August, Microsoft made a concession that would see Ubisoft, instead of Microsoft, buy Activision’s cloud gaming rights.
Read more: https://t.co/Z4scLEJFy0
— Competition & Markets Authority (@CMAgovUK) October 13, 2023
Celebrating the news with his followers on Twitter, Brad Smith, the vice chair and president of Microsoft tweeted: “We’re grateful for the CMA’s thorough review and decision today. We have now crossed the final regulatory hurdle to close this acquisition, which we believe will benefit players and the gaming industry worldwide.”
No doubt this saga isn’t quite over just yet, but at least we can take comfort in knowing that it’s nearly at its end. We’ll keep you posted as and when we hear of any further developments.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III will be released on 10 November for PC, PlayStation and Xbox.