Microsoft shocked the industry when they announced they would be acquiring the publisher Activision Blizzard. The nearly $70 billion deal will join together two of the biggest gaming companies, with Activision Blizzard holding the rights to some of the most successful franchises in the industries history. Of course, this will now blend in with the ever-expanding Microsoft universe.
The size of this deal comes from Activision’s own ability to acquire studios throughout the last few decades. In 2008, Activision merged with Blizzard, bringing World of Warcraft under one roof with the annual heavy-hitter, Call of Duty. Blizzard has several other big IPs, including Overwatch and the WoW spin-off Hearthstone.
Activision also delved into the mobile market, after they acquired King in 2016. That buyout was the most profitable for Activision, with huge mobile franchises like Candy Crush pushing the narrative. This is significant, as Microsoft has been obviously looking at the mobile market–especially with the emphasis on its cloud gaming through Game Pass.
According to Axios reporter Stephen Totilo, documents show several other older and defunct trademarks will also become property of Microsoft if and/when this acquisition is finalized. This includes IP like Hexen, Pitfall!, and Gabriel Knight.
Of course, a deal of this magnitude is going to cause a stir and people have so many questions about what the future holds. The biggest ones being what games will remain multiplatform, when Activision’s extensive library will be added to Xbox Game Pass, and what Microsoft plans to do about the acquired companies’ corporate culture.
You can check out a full lineup of Activision Blizzard’s franchises, which Microsoft will own once the deal goes through.
- Call of Duty
- Crash Bandicoot
- Guitar Hero
- Spyro the Dragon / Skylanders
- Tony Hawk
- Lost Vikings
- World of Warcraft
- Bubble Witch Saga
- Candy Crush
- Diamond Diaries Saga
- Farm Heroes Saga
- Pet Rescue