Microsoft Acquires Gaming Giant Activision Blizzard

Microsoft has officially announced the completion of its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the illustrious game developer behind blockbuster titles such as “Call of Duty,” “World of Warcraft,” and “Overwatch.”

by Faruk Imamovic
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Microsoft Acquires Gaming Giant Activision Blizzard
© Getty Images News/Belinda Jiao

Microsoft has officially announced the completion of its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the illustrious game developer behind blockbuster titles such as “Call of Duty,” “World of Warcraft,” and “Overwatch”.

Widely recognized as one of the most monumental tech acquisitions to date, the merger signifies a new chapter for the video game industry.

UK Regulators Give the Green Light

The acquisition encountered its share of regulatory challenges.

The deal was initially unveiled to the public in early 2022. However, by April of the same year, it met resistance from the UK’s competition watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Their concerns centered around competition and the future landscape of cloud gaming.

Responding to the regulator's reservations, both Microsoft and Activision worked diligently to address and resolve these concerns. They put forth a revised merger proposal which ultimately secured the CMA's approval. One major concession involved relinquishing specific cloud gaming rights.

The CMA heralded this move as “a game-changer,” emphasizing its potential to promote “competitive prices and better services”. Furthermore, the regulatory body stated, “The new deal will stop Microsoft from locking up competition in cloud gaming”.

The decision also paves the way for cloud gaming providers to utilize non-Windows operating systems when dealing with Activision content. This flexibility is expected to bring down costs and bolster efficiency.

Positioning Microsoft for the Future of Gaming

Activision Blizzard's reputation in the gaming world is unparalleled.

Their vast portfolio of popular games places them among the top echelons of global video game developers. Microsoft, on the other hand, is renowned for its Xbox gaming console and offers services such as the Xbox Game Pass and a cloud-based video game streaming service.

With this strategic acquisition, Microsoft stands to greatly enhance its presence in the gaming sector. The move is predicted to position Microsoft more formidably against gaming industry titans Tencent and Sony. After the announcement, Microsoft President Brad Smith took to X, the platform previously known as Twitter, expressing gratitude for the regulator’s comprehensive review and eventual approval of the merger.

He said, “we’re grateful for the CMA’s thorough review and decision”. As industry watchers keenly observe, this merger marks the dawn of a new era in gaming, promising innovations and enhanced gaming experiences for players around the globe.

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