Crash Bandicoot 4 ImageSource: Activision

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is acquiring Activision Blizzard for Xbox in a deal worth nearly $70 billion.
  • In an interview with the Washington Post, CEO of Microsoft Gaming Phil Spencer talked about how the deal will allow Xbox to revive older Activision games.
  • Spencer also touched on some of the issues surrounding Activision-Blizzard's culture and legal problems.

Microsoft is acquiring Activision Blizzard, a gaming publisher known for franchises like Call of Duty, Candy Crush and World of Warcraft. In an interview with the Washington Post, CEO of Microsoft Gaming Phil Spencer talked about how he wants Xbox to revive older games, with Activision having a long library of IP that haven't been used as the company pivoted every internal studio to work on Call of Duty.

"We're hoping that we'll be able to work with them when the deal closes to make sure we have resources to work on franchises that I love from my childhood and that the teams really want to get," Spencer said. "I'm looking forward to these conversations. I really think it's about adding resources and increasing capability. Some of the franchises that have been set aside in favor of Call of Duty include Activision IP like Spyro and more."

Spencer also touched on the consequence of tech giants entering the gaming industry, noting that he trusts both Sony and Nintendo to not damage the industry, but sees a difference with companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon. Microsoft sees the acquisition of Activision Blizzard as an opportunity to expand the gaming metaverse, something Spencer thinks shouldn't be workplace-only, referencing how he had a meeting with The Elder Scrolls Online developers within the game.

Activision Blizzard still faces a lawsuit, with legal issues stemming from alleged systemic sexist workplace practices and abusive behavior. Spencer explained that Microsoft talked with Activision Blizzard to ensure there was a plan in place.

"We had to look at that forward plan and ensure we had a kind of confidence in that," he explained.

Microsoft agreed to acquire Activision Blizzard for Xbox in a deal worth almost $70 billion. The deal is currently expected to close at some point by June 2023. When the deal closes, Activision Blizzard will join Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda Softworks as the third publisher in the Xbox first-party group, which will consist of well over 30 game development studios.