After Bethesda Softworks, Microsoft has now bought another well-known and, above all, huge publisher. With a proud purchase sum of almost 70 billion US dollars, the Xbox creators have now also added Activision Blizzard to their ranks. This means that successful game series such as “Call of Duty” or “Diablo” could now appear exclusively for the Xbox.
Bang for the buck at the beginning of the year
The 2022 gaming year is starting off with a real bang that should amaze video game fans around the world. Today, Microsoft officially announced that it is welcoming Activision Blizzard, another publishing giant, to its ranks. At least as remarkable as the name of the purchased company are the financial spheres in which we are moving here. The Redmond-based US company is said to have put about 68.7 billion US dollars on the table to get hold of the publisher.
By comparison, we already found the purchase of Bethesda Softworks to be a strategic masterpiece in 2020, which could, however, be categorized as an “expensive affair”. The 7.5 billion US dollars paid about one and a half years ago, however, seem more like a pittance in view of the purchase price now paid. But this sum is by no means completely outlandish. Activision Blizzard, with brands such as “Call of Duty”, “Diablo” and “Warcraft”, is one of the most successful and thus also most valuable publishers in the world.
Gamepass is growing and thriving
It is really remarkable how much money Microsoft takes in hand to buy piece by piece new studios. But what is the impetus to spend so much money on publishers? Here, it is worth taking a look at the current ace that the Xbox makers have up their sleeves. The Xbox Game Pass. While PlayStation is rumored to still be working on a suitable counterpart, Microsoft can already boast a proud number of subscribers with 25 million. And the trend is rising. With Xbox Game Pass, the user pays a monthly fee to access a lot of current AAA titles.
Games from in-house Xbox studios also find their way directly into the Game Pass game library upon release. Once the purchase is complete, this will also apply to all games from Activision Blizzard and thus most likely also to upcoming hits like Diablo 4. But not only that. On top of that, we can probably assume that already released games from the publisher will also be made available in Game Pass. This gives Microsoft a gigantic selling point for an Xbox console and a Game Pass subscription.
Microsoft is overjoyed
Of course, Microsoft is more than pleased with the deal that took place. This could be especially Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft’s gaming division, quite noticeable. He expressed himself with the words:
“Around the world, there’s no more exciting place for fun and connection than video games. And there’s never been a better time to play than now. As we extend the joy and community of gaming to all, we look forward to welcoming all of our friends at Activision Blizzard to Microsoft Gaming.”
And what about the other consoles?
PlayStation in particular, but also Nintendo are now of course rightly afraid that on their consoles Activision Blizzard games will not be available in the future. But as has already been seen with the purchase of Bethesda, it should be at most delayed releases. Xbox doesn’t seem to have exclusivity for its own console in mind. Rather, the company seems to simply want to increase the attractiveness of its own Xbox Game Pass even more. In this regard, Phil Spencer continued to say:
“Activision Blizzard’s fantastic franchises will also accelerate our plans for cloud gaming, enabling more people in more places around the world to participate in the Xbox community using phones, tablets, laptops and other devices they already own. Activision Blizzard’s games are enjoyed on a variety of platforms and we plan to continue to support these communities in the future.”