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Microsoft buying Activision: What it means for PlayStation owners, other Call of Duty fans

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

If you own a PlayStation, how worried should you be the company behind the rival Xbox could soon own one of the industry's biggest games? Microsoft's announcement Tuesday that it planned to buy Activision Blizzard – the video game publisher behind Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and other flagship franchises – stirred some concerns on social media over whether Call of Duty would remain on PlayStation platforms if the deal is cleared. The deal, which is expected to close no later than June 2023, would give the tech giant another trove of video game properties to bolster the Xbox as well as its Game Pass subscription service. The announced deal comes two months after reports surfaced Microsoft was evaluating its relationship with Activision Blizzard following allegations its CEO, Bobby Kotick, knew for years about sexual misconduct claims at the company. And as gamers pondered, it could also deliver a significant setback to PlayStation maker Sony if the acquisition is approved. It's a far cry from 2015 when Andrew House, then the president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, revealed a deal with Activision to deliver early access to Call of Duty content with the launch of hit title "Call of Duty: Black Ops III." "PlayStation is the new home of Call of Duty," House proclaimed during a press event at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in 2015.


Microsoft Buying Activision Blizzard Might Be Good For Gamers, But Bad for Developers

TIME - Tech

On Tuesday tech giant Microsoft announced its proposed purchase of gaming company Activision Blizzard for nearly $69 billion. The deal would grant Microsoft ownership over globally recognized franchises like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush, to name a few. It also creates a new division in the company, Microsoft Gaming, to be led by the company's head of its Xbox division, Phil Spencer. For Activision Blizzard, this couldn't have come at a better time. The company, run by CEO Bobby Kotick since 1991, has been the subject of scrutiny and lawsuits based on numerous allegations of discrimination, sexual harassment, and a toxic workplace culture at the company.


Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard in $69BN metaverse bet

Al Jazeera

Microsoft Corp. agreed to buy Activision Blizzard Inc. in a $68.7 billion deal, uniting two of the biggest forces in video games to create the world's third-biggest gaming company. In its largest purchase ever, Microsoft will pay $95 a share in cash for one of the most legendary gaming publishers, known for titles like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft but which is also grappling with a cultural upheaval over its treatment of women. Activision Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick will continue to serve in that role only until the deal closes, a person familiar with the deal said. It's unclear what position, if any, he would take afterward. Once the transaction is completed, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, who was promoted along with the deal to CEO of Microsoft Gaming.


Monopoly money: is Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard good for gaming?

The Guardian

In 2014, Microsoft bought Minecraft's developer Mojang for what seemed, at the time, an eye-popping figure: $2.5bn (£1.8bn). It was the first in a series of bullish video-game studio acquisitions by the tech giant, whose games division has been led by executive Phil Spencer, a long-time advocate for video games within Microsoft and the wider business world, for the past eight years. More studios followed, for undisclosed amounts: beloved Californian comedy-game artists Double Fine, UK studio Ninja Theory, RPG specialists Obsidian Entertainment. It seemed that under Spencer's leadership, Microsoft was cementing its commitment to the Xbox console and the video-games business by investing in what makes games great: the people who make them. Then came 2020's deal to acquire Zenimax (and with it Bethesda), for a properly astonishing $7.5bn.


The Morning After: Microsoft is spending $68.7 billion on the makers of 'Overwatch' and 'Call of Duty'

Engadget

Microsoft's been buying up studios for the last couple of years, adding notable developers and game series to the Xbox, righting the wrongs of previous generations of the company's console -- namely the lack of exclusive games. And while the purchase of Bethesda last year seemed the biggest deal made in modern gaming, Microsoft picking up Activision Blizzard blows it out of the water. There's been a mixed response, however. First off, the studio is mired in multiple investigations into allegations of sexual harassment and gender discrimination at the company, with calls for CEO Bobby Kotick to step down. Further, as Senior Editor Jessica Conditt lays out, this puts an incredible amount of industry power -- and titles -- in the hands of one gaming platform.