Microsoft Acquire Activision Blizzard, Including World of Warcraft, Overwatch, StarCraft and Diablo

Microsoft Acquire Activision Blizzard, Including World of Warcraft, Overwatch, StarCraft and Diablo

Did you know that Facebook could have potentially acquired World of Warcraft and all of ActiBlizz’ games? Yup, we dodged a bullet boys. Just take a moment here to imagine having to log in to WoW, Diablo or Overwatch via Facebook. I almost threw up in my mouth a little.

So I needed to cover this. Not only is it potentially the largest MMO-related news.. probably in the last decade, but at the same time this is an MMO that has defined almost half my life.
In an announcement nobody was expecting, Phil Spencer confirmed via a blog post on January 18th on the official Xbox website that Microsoft would be acquiring Activision Blizzard in a gargantuan deal.

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And let me stop there for a moment. I know what some of you are thinking: What about Bobby Kotick? You know, the slimy douchebag that is currently CEO of ActiBlizz?
As noted in the blog post, Phil went on to state “Once the deal is complete, the Activision Blizzard business will report to me as CEO.”
This is further elaborated on by Bloomberg, who goes on to state “Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, 58, will continue to serve in that role only until the deal closes, a person familiar with the deal said.
Once the transaction is completed, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, who, as part of the deal was promoted to CEO of Microsoft Gaming.”

A comment was left by Relnor over on the WoW subreddit that is both disgusting to think about, and potentially the reality of the situation.

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But back to Phil’s blog post..

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This is an interesting paragraph that I want to take a moment to address as well.
Phil notes “we will offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard’s incredible catalog.”
Does that mean they have plans of altering the business model for World of Warcraft? I’m well aware the affordability of a game like WoW that requires a premium, monthly subscription fee is far too high for the vast majority of MMO players.
And you couple that with sub-fees for already existing MMOs like Final Fantasy XIV, but imagine for a moment the potential for WoW – for players to access WoW that never could in the past.
Adding World of Warcraft to the Game Pass could be one of the largest changes to the game, and could mean an increase in active players unlike anything they could have envisioned. This could bring WoW back. And under new direction.. this could – once again I use the word “potentially,” here, be “the” change the game really needs to return to form.
What’s more, this could also mean Microsoft have intentions of porting WoW over to Xbox, which would mark the first time the game had a console release of any kind, joining the ranks of other games like Black Desert, The Elder Scrolls Online and Neverwinter.

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This could mean that Microsoft are going to move Blizzard’s servers on over to Microsoft’s Cloud, which would mean less lag, less congestion, especially on patch days and expansion releases. Regardless, that’s a solid way to close the blog post, Phil. Well done.

So the “too long; didn’t read” of the announcement is that Microsoft is buying Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion US dollars. Yes, I guarantee they left that $0.3 billion out for a reason.
This is more than every one of you watching will likely make in your entire life.. combined. And then.. tripled.
ActiBlizz haven’t been having a good last couple years, with lawsuits concerning acts of sexual misconduct and discrimination to name a few. But the announcement that Microsoft would be purchasing the entire company is a positive.
Not only have Microsoft not been repeatedly taken to court for the above acts of misconduct recently, but they have reaffirmed their stance of treating every person with dignity and respect, holding every team and every leader to that commitment.
And I hope, I expect them to do so after all of this.

This could potentially bring about a re-emergence for various different Blizzard titles.
World of Warcraft could have an entirely altered business model. Free to play? Added to the Game Pass? A console version? A more competent team? A larger pool of resources for future content?
Overwatch might… okay, you know what? I actually have no hope for Overwatch 2 at all.
But StarCraft? Diablo? This could spell fantastic news for every intellectual property they have and in my opinion – which I know some of you might not necessarily agree with – is a massive win for us as not only gamers, but also fans of each of those respective properties.

It’s unlikely we’ll see much of a change this year, but 2023 and 2024 will be the ultimate deciding factor on whether this is a positive or negative change for us.
I’m optimistic. But I’ve been burned before. So cautiously optimistic I guess at best.

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