Phil Spencer is "more confident" in the Activision Blizzard deal now than he was a year ago

Phil Spencer Xbox 20 Celebration
(Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • In an interview, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer discussed what to expect for the console in 2023.
  • As part of the interview, he stated that he's more confident in the Activision/Blizzard deal now than he was a year ago. 
  • He says the company is "actively working with regulatory boards around the world" in order to make this a reality.

Xbox CEO Phil Spencer discussed several aspects of gaming and what to expect from Xbox in 2023 during an interview with IGN. As part of this, the topic of the Activision Blizzard deal, which has seen a lot of opposition including the FTC suing to block Microsoft over the acquisition, was brought up. 

Spencer stated that thanks to "more insight" and "more knowledge" gained by working with regulatory boards that he's "more confident now than [he] was a year ago" about the deal. He went on to iterate that the company is working with regulatory boards "around the world" to help make sure the deal can go through.

"Given a year ago, for me, I didn't know anything about the process of doing an acquisition like this. The fact that I have more insight, more knowledge about what it means to work with the different regulatory boards, I'm more confident now than I was a year ago, simply based on the information I have and the discussions that we've been having...So my confidence remains high. We're actively working with the regulatory boards around the world that need to approve for this, and it's been a learning experience for me. A lot of time spent, a lot of travel, a lot of conversations, but they're conversations where I get to talk about our industry and the work that we do and why we do it. I think the more regulators are informed about what gaming is, how the business runs, who the players are, and what our aspiration is as Team Xbox is just a good thing for the industry itself."

The Activision Blizzard deal with Microsoft was initially announced about a year ago on Jan. 18, 2022 and shocked the gaming community with the news. This is because Activision Blizzard has created several platform-spanning game series over the years including Overwatch, Diablo, Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and much more. Despite this, Spencer has stated that the company wants to keep the massively popular Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation. The Xbox CEO has also gone on to say that he would like to bring back dormant Activision Blizzard IP like Skylanders, StarCraft, and more. 

When announced, the finalization of the deal was expected to be 18 months away from the initial news. We're currently about 12 months into that time frame. So while the deal, which is valued to be around $68.7 billion, is intended to finalize sometime in June of this year, it's possible it could see delays due to the FTC suing to block it. 

There will undoubtedly be more developments around the Activision Blizzard deal as we get closer to the expected finalization date, but we at Windows Central will be here to report on it. 

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Self-professed gaming geek, Rebecca Spear, is one of Windows Central's gaming editors with a focus on Xbox and PC gaming. When she isn't checking out the latest games on Xbox Game Pass, PC, or Steam Deck; she can be found digital drawing with a Wacom tablet. She's written thousands of game guides, previews, features, and hardware reviews over the last few years. If you need information about anything gaming related, her articles can help you out. She also loves testing game accessories and any new tech on the market.