It’s official. Microsoft finally, officially, triumphantly acquired Activision Blizzard.
The CMA officially gave this blessing for the acquisition earlier today, removing the final hurdle for the deal. Now, the news is official, and Xbox has already let loose on social media announcing the finalization of the deal, welcoming Activision Blizzard to the Xbox family.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer communicated the acquisition internally as well. In an internal memo to employees that has been acquired by The Verge, Spencer welcomed Activision Blizzard to the company and spoke about what to expect immediately after the acquisition. The contents of the email bring out some interesting information, including the fact that Activision Blizzard games won’t come to the company’s Game Pass service right away.
Spencer says that the team will be working to make “Activision, Blizzard, and King’s much-loved library of games available in Game Pass and other platforms” but that it will take some time to do so. The Xbox executive says that they’ll have more to share about that plan “in the coming months.”
In addition, Spencer confirmed that the current CEO of Activision Blizzard, Bobby Kotick, will not remain head of the company. However, Spencer says that Kotick will stay on as CEO through the rest of 2023 to help with the transition to handing the reigns over to Spencer and the rest of the Microsoft Gaming leadership team.
It’s a huge deal. Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and OverWatch are all now owned by Microsoft. As a longtime Xbox fan, I’m personally excited to see which games come to Game Pass and where these games are available to play over time whether it be mobile or cloud gaming.
You can read Spencer’s full letter to employees below:
Today is a good day to play. We have completed the acquisition of Activision Blizzard and are welcoming Activision Blizzard and its businesses to Microsoft Gaming.
Activision, Blizzard, and King publish some of the most played and most beloved franchises in gaming history, from Pitfall to Call of Duty, Warcraft to Overwatch, Candy Crush Saga to Farm Heroes Super Saga. By combining Xbox with Activision Blizzard’s skill, knowledge, and amazing legacy of games, we will bring the joy and community of gaming to even more players around the world.
We are eager to learn from their creativity, exchange insights and best practices, and empower our new colleagues to bring their visions to the widest possible audience. And today, we officially start the work of bringing more groundbreaking games to more players than ever before and across new platforms from mobile to cloud streaming. We also begin the work to make Activision, Blizzard, and King’s muchloved library of games available in Game Pass and other platforms — we’ll have more to share in the coming months.
We couldn’t be more excited that Activision Blizzard employees are our colleagues, co-workers, and teammates. Bobby Kotick has agreed to remain in his role through the end of 2023, reporting directly to me, to ensure a smooth and seamless integration. We look forward to working together as a unified team and we will share more updates on our new organizational structure in the coming months.
I‘d like to give a very special and heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make this acquisition possible. We couldn’t have accomplished this without your dedication.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be visiting the Activision, Blizzard, and King offices, along with members of our Gaming Leadership Team. We’ll have the opportunity to welcome our new colleagues at our next virtual all-hands for Xbox employees, and for the greater Microsoft community, we’ll discuss this and more in the November 8 session of the Company Strategy Series.
Together, we can unlock a world of possibilities for players and creators.