Last year Microsoft began the process of acquiring Activision Blizzard but ran into heavy opposition from competitors. Now, one year on, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer is more confident than ever in the deal succeeding.
| 29 January 2023 |
Microsoft first announced their intentions to purchase Activision Blizzard on 18 January 2022, over a year ago, for $68 billion. The conversation about if it was wise for the tech giant to own such an important asset exploded online with many people showing excitement and others distain. It wasn't long before PlayStation and other competitors started to fight against the deal, leaving it looking unlikely to succeed.
In an interview with IGN this week, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer said that after learning more about the process of acquiring such a large stake he is now far more confident than he was a year ago about the deal going ahead.
"Given a year ago, for me, I didn't know anything about the process of doing an acquisition like this. The fact that I have more insight, more knowledge about what it means to work with the different regulatory boards, I'm more confident now than I was a year ago, simply based on the information I have and the discussions that we've been having...So my confidence remains high. We're actively working with the regulatory boards around the world that need to approve for this, and it's been a learning experience for me. A lot of time spent, a lot of travel, a lot of conversations, but they're conversations where I get to talk about our industry and the work that we do and why we do it. I think the more regulators are informed about what gaming is, how the business runs, who the players are, and what our aspiration is as Team Xbox is just a good thing for the industry itself." - Xbox CEO Phil Spencer via IGN.
Resistance to the deal was always expected, with Activision Blizzard controlling so many power-house IPs including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Diablo, Candy Crush and Overwatch. Xbox plans to add as many of these titles as possible to its Xbox Game Pass subscription service, if and when the deal finalizes.
It is likely that this saga will come to an end sometime this year with Microsoft either being successful or not. We will have more updates as the year progresses.