What you need to know
- On Tuesday, Microsoft announced its intention to acquire Activision Blizzard, a prominent games developer and publisher.
- Once the deal completes, Microsoft plans to "offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can" in Xbox and PC Game Pass.
- This plan includes new and upcoming games as well as existing titles from the vast Activision Blizzard catalog.
- Exact plans haven't been revealed yet, and it may be a while before the deal closes and we begin seeing the effects of the acquisition.
On Tuesday, Microsoft woke up the entire gaming industry all at once by announcing its intention to acquire Activision Blizzard in its largest gaming deal yet. In the nearly $70 billion deal, Microsoft will gain a ton of legendary game franchises for the Xbox platform, including franchises like Call of Duty, Diablo, and World of Warcraft. Of course, Xbox head Phil Spencer also mentioned plans for Xbox Game Pass when announcing the planned acquisition.
When the Activision Blizzard acquisition finally closes, Xbox plans to "offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass," according to Spencer. This proposal aligns closely with Microsoft's strategy with acquiring ZeniMax and Bethesda, which has since seen a ton of games and franchises from the legendary studios contained within brought into Xbox Game Pass.
This means Xbox and PC Game Pass can eventually see new additions including the next Diablo game, Call of Duty: Vanguard, and much more. It's too early for Xbox to confirm any exact plans or additions, but once the acquisition deal is finalized and Activision Blizzard firmly rests under the expanding Xbox umbrella, the vast catalog of titles from the publisher is potentially available to Xbox Game Pass.
During the same announcement, Xbox also revealed that Xbox Game Pass now has over 25 million subscribers, a huge milestone that will inevitably only continue to grow over time as the service perpetually adds incredible new games. On Monday night, for example, Xbox Game Pass subscribers were surprised by the sudden addition of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc Anniversary Edition. The list of best Xbox Game Pass games is an ever-changing list of some of the greatest games you can play right now.
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Is the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate the best value in all of gaming? It's possible. Ultimate bundles your Xbox Live Gold subscription, Xbox Game Pass for Xbox consoles and PC Game Pass for Windows devices, and Xbox Cloud Gaming for on-the-go fun. That means access to hundreds of games, with more added all the time, for a single monthly subscription cost.
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Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.