“We love gaming. We play games, create games, and know first-hand how much gaming means to all of us as individuals and collectively, as a community. And today, we officially welcome Activision Blizzard and their teams to Xbox,” says Xbox chief Phil Spencer. “As one team, we’ll learn, innovate, and continue to deliver on our promise to bring the joy and community of gaming to more people. We’ll do this in a culture that strives to empower everyone to do their best work, where all people are welcome, and is centered on our ongoing commitment of Gaming for Everyone.”
The deal is Microsoft’s largest acquisition ever, far in excess of the $26 billion Microsoft paid to acquire LinkedIn in 2016 and the $7.5 billion it paid to acquire Bethesda in 2021. This is Microsoft’s biggest-ever push into gaming, too, and the company said at the original announcement of this megadeal that it will now be the “third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.”
Microsoft now plans to add many of Activision Blizzard’s games to Xbox Game Pass. “Today we start the work to bring beloved Activision, Blizzard, and King franchises to Game Pass and other platforms,” says Spencer. “We’ll share more about when you can expect to play in the coming months. We know you’re excited – and we are too.”
Activision Blizzard made it clear earlier this week that Modern Warfare 3 and Diablo IV won’t be coming to Xbox Game Pass this year, though. Microsoft hasn’t provided an update on Xbox Game Pass subscription numbers since announcing 25 million subscribers alongside the original Activision Blizzard deal announcement in January 2022.
Microsoft will now add more than nine game studios from the Blizzard side alone to its Xbox Game Studios, alongside games studios in more than 11 locations for the mobile gaming King side of the acquisition. Microsoft has also transformed into a publishing powerhouse after the acquisition, with more than 8,500 Activision employees now joining Microsoft.