In a move no one saw coming, Activision Blizzard was acquired by Microsoft earlier this week. The publisher had been watching its stock prices fall dramatically after a multitude of lawsuits and allegations rocked the company. Still, Microsoft ended up paying an eye-watering $68.7 billion to close the deal. It’s unclear whether the acquisition will result in the ousting of CEO Bobby Kotick. Microsoft executives wasted no time in laying out their new plans for Xbox Game Pass.
It’s no secret that Microsoft is leaning heavily into Xbox Game Pass, and it’s often cited as the best deal in gaming. Its latest acquisition is another step towards crafting the ultimate subscription service. According to Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella, members will eventually get to play Activision Blizzard titles.
“We will bring as many Activision Blizzard games as we can to our Game Pass subscription service across the PC, console and mobile,” said Nadella. “Including both new games, as well as games from Activision Blizzard’s incredible catalog offering even better value and more choice for our gamers.”
The acquisition won’t be finalized until sometime during 2023. We might have to wait quite a while before titles from Call of Duty, Diablo or Overwatch begin cropping up on Game Pass.
As for PlayStation fans, Xbox head Phil Spencer said that the acquisition isn’t meant to “pull communities away from the platform.” For now, it sounds like all the games you enjoy on PlayStation will continue to exist. It’s unclear if future Activision Blizzard games will be sold beyond the Xbox family of consoles.
It’s no doubt exciting to see more great content heading to Xbox Game Pass. But all will be for naught if Microsoft isn’t able to correct Activision Blizzard’s culture. With dozens of complaints and an official lawsuit from California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Microsoft must take swift action to hold onto the trust of the gaming community and build a healthy work environment for its new employees.
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