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Blizzard is diving into the survival game genre

Engadget

Blizzard, the studio behind Overwatch, Diablo and World of Warcraft, is getting into a new genre with the announcement that it's working on a survival game. It seems the project is in the early stages of development, so don't expect a finished product (or even a splashy trailer) any time soon, but it's notable that the publisher is playing around with fresh mechanics and new worlds. Blizzard's job post about the survival game says it will be "a place full of heroes we have yet to meet, stories yet to be told, and adventures yet to be lived. A vast realm of possibility, waiting to be explored." The studio has confirmed one detail about the project: It'll be available on "PC and console."


Microsoft's biggest acquisition yet: Game developer Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion

ZDNet

Microsoft is buying Activision Blizzard Inc., a game development and interactive-entertainment content publisher, for $68.7 billion. Activision Blizzard makes games including Call of Duty, Candy Crush, Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, and Hearthstone. Microsoft will get Activision Blizzard's nearly 10,000 employees as part of the deal, which was announced on January 18. Microsoft officials are accelerating the growth in the company's gaming business across mobile, PC, console, and cloud, and say it "will provide building blocks for the metaverse." Microsoft also will get global eSports properties via Major League Gaming as part of the transaction. The $68.7 billion deal makes the Activision Blizzard acquisition the largest in Microsoft's history.


Microsoft will buy Activision Blizzard, betting $70 billion on the future of games

The Japan Times

SEATTLE – Microsoft plans to buy the powerhouse but troubled video game company Activision Blizzard for nearly $70 billion, its biggest deal ever and one that places a major bet that people will spend more and more time in the digital world. The blockbuster acquisition, announced Tuesday, would catapult the company into a leading spot in the $175 billion gaming industry. Games on virtually every kind of device, from bulky consoles to smartphones, have gained even greater popularity during the pandemic. Technology companies are swarming around the industry, looking for a bigger share of attention and money from the world's 3 billion gamers. In an industry driven by big franchises, Activision makes some of the most popular titles, including Call of Duty and Candy Crush.


Activision Blizzard execs respond to harassment and discrimination lawsuit

Engadget

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard this week over alleged sexual harassment and discrimination against women. In a memo to staff obtained by Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier, Blizzard Entertainment president J. Allen Brack wrote that "the allegations and the hurt of current and former employees are extremely troubling." Brack wrote that everyone should feel safe at Blizzard and that "it is completely unacceptable for anyone in the company to face discrimination or harassment." He noted it requires courage for people to come forward with their stories, and that all claims brought to the company are taken seriously and investigated. "People with different backgrounds, views, and experiences are essential for Blizzard, our teams, and our player community," Brack wrote.


'Call of Duty: Warzone' studio will try to unionize without Activision Blizzard's blessing

Engadget

Activision Blizzard had until 6PM ET on January 25th to voluntarily recognize Game Workers Alliance, a group of Raven Software employees that recently gathered the votes to unionize, backed by Communications Workers of America. That deadline passed without recognition from Activision Blizzard, and Raven employees will now move forward with plans to file for a union election through the National Labor Relations Board. "At Activision Blizzard, we deeply respect the rights of all employees to make their own decisions about whether or not to join a union," an Activision Blizzard spokesperson said. "We carefully reviewed and considered the CWA initial request last week and tried to find a mutually acceptable solution with the CWA that would have led to an expedited election process. Unfortunately, the parties could not reach an agreement."