Microsoft’s bid to acquire Activision Blizzard, one of the leading gaming companies, is on the verge of becoming a reality.
Despite the Federal Trade Commission’s efforts to halt the acquisition for over a year, recent developments suggest that the deal is closer to completion than ever before.
The Acquisition Journey
The acquisition journey has been a rollercoaster ride, with several legal and commercial hurdles. Sony’s recent agreement to a Call of Duty deal with Microsoft marked a significant milestone in the acquisition process.
With the UK’s CMA opposition being the only major obstacle remaining, the deal is likely to go through unless a significant issue arises soon. This acquisition would give Microsoft and Xbox a significant boost in intellectual properties.
The Deadline: July 18
The contract stipulates that Microsoft and Activision Blizzard must finalize the deal by Tuesday, July 18.
If the deal is not completed by this date, even due to third-party antitrust concerns, Microsoft will have to pay Activision Blizzard a hefty fee of $3 billion, unless both parties agree to extend the deadline.
This puts the deal on a fast track to completion. A recent ruling by a federal judge, which prevented the FTC from blocking the deal, has further increased the likelihood of the acquisition’s success. This was during the judge’s acknowledgment of further scrutiny involving the acquisition. In other words, Microsoft won the case.
Sony’s Concerns and the Call of Duty Franchise
Sony’s primary concern regarding the acquisition was the future of the Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation consoles. However, Sony’s decade-long Call of Duty deal ensures that the franchise will remain available on PlayStation for the foreseeable future.
This aligns with Microsoft’s assurances that the franchise will remain on PlayStation. Given that PlayStation is a significant revenue source for Activision, it makes sense for Microsoft to continue supporting the franchise on this platform.
And it’s highly likely that a new Switch successor might be in the works, as one document from Microsoft actually stated it’s possible.
If all else didn’t make sense to you, here’s a video from Twitter summarizing and skimming all hefty info from the case:
Microsoft’s Vision for Call of Duty
Microsoft appears to be keen on making the Call of Duty franchise available on as many gaming platforms as possible.
The company recently criticized Activision Blizzard’s decision to remove Call of Duty from Steam, indicating that it is unlikely to restrict the franchise to a single gaming ecosystem.
Microsoft’s potential acquisition of Activision Blizzard has reignited the age-old console wars, with gamers debating the superiority of their preferred gaming platforms. With a publisher as significant as Activision Blizzard potentially coming under Microsoft’s control, the next phase of this ongoing “war” promises to be intriguing.