Microsoft is planning to become one of the largest gaming firms in the world after announcing its intention to purchase Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. As a result of the agreement, Microsoft will have Bethesda, Blizzard, and its own Xbox Game Studios in its stable of game developers, joining the likes of the famous Call of Duty, Warcraft, Overwatch, and other properties.
King, the creators of the popular mobile game Candy Crush, are also a part of the transaction, suggesting Microsoft may use them to compete in the mobile market. Zynga was acquired by Take-Two Interactive (home to studios such as 2K and Private Division and publishers like Rockstar Games) in early 2021 for a reported $12.7 billion.
The proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft has raised antitrust concerns, as well as questions about how Microsoft might change Activision Blizzard’s toxic company culture and the role of its leadership to foster a more equitable work environment in the future, even though the deal hasn’t gone through yet. Activision Blizzard’s acquisition was announced after the company faced allegations of sexual harassment from prominent individuals, and in July2021, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard for encouraging a “constant sexual harassment” environment.
The FTC stated it was suing Microsoft on December 8 to halt the purchase, citing “we aim to prohibit Microsoft from taking control of a premier independent game company and exploiting it to damage competition in many dynamic and fast-growing gaming marketplaces.” Microsoft’s vice president and chairman Brad Smith stated, “We have been dedicated from Day One to resolving competition issues, including by proposing earlier this week suggested concessions to the FTC.” While we want to work toward a peaceful resolution, we are ready and willing to state our case in court.
Here, we’ll keep you abreast of all the latest developments on Microsoft’s massive purchase, including stories that speculate on the potential positive and negative effects that the company’s ownership of one of the major third-party game studios may have on the gaming industry.
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