In an absolutely historic deal, Xbox is in the process of buying Activision Blizzard. The deal means that Activision games will fall under the Xbox banner, including massive franchises like Call of Duty, Overwatch, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro and more.
This of course is massive news for Xbox Game Pass. Going forward, we're hopeful nearly all Activision Blizzard games will launch on the service, given Microsoft's commitment to first party titles arriving day one. However, it seems like the majority won't arrive until the deal closes, which is expected to happen at some point in fiscal year 2023 (which according to Microsoft's calendar, means somewhere between July 2022 and June 2023).
"Upon close [of the acquisition], we will offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard’s incredible catalog. We also announced today that Game Pass now has more than 25 million subscribers. As always, we look forward to continuing to add more value and more great games to Game Pass."
"With Activision Blizzard’s nearly 400 million monthly active players in 190 countries and three billion-dollar franchises, this acquisition will make Game Pass one of the most compelling and diverse lineups of gaming content in the industry."
This is particularly big news, especially as Activision games don't usually end up in Game Pass. The publisher has worked closely with Sony in recent years, preventing much of anything from them coming to the service.
What do you think of the Activision library coming to Game Pass? Let us know below.
As Long as overwatch 2 comes to playstation as its already been a confirmed platform and too far into development, then I don't care for the rest of their franchises
I mean Deathloop still came and so is ghostwire Tokyo which hasn't got a date yet, existing contracts will be honoured so I would assume diablo 4 and overwatch 2 will still come and for all we know playstation have a long yearly contract for call of duty in terms of exclusive perks and advertising
I mean, it's interesting news. I'm just not sure how this will have a positive effect in the long term. Stagnation, restriction, limitations... these are the negatives. One company having a monopoly like this very rarely turns out to be good.
Maybe I’ll play Crash, Spyro and Tony Hawk games since that’s all I care about from them.
What does this mean for Bobby, will he remain CEO?
I did post on the Redfall delay article the other day that Microsoft needed a surprise announcement for 2022. Bloody hell I wasn't expecting that one though!
next stop: Ubisoft Entertainment
@UltimateOtaku91 I hope Microsoft keeps existing IPs multiplatform. Maybe new IPs should be Xbox exclusive if it makes sense but taking CoD, etc off other platforms doesn't feel right.
Before Microsoft think about any consumer benefits they must think of the safety and working conditions of their employees at Activision-Blizzard.
I wonder if the U.S. government will allow this but if they do it's huge.
Also, please be on watch for Sony fanbois. This is a delicate time.
Really hope they add a lot of classic CoD, Spyro and Crash games on Game Pass in that case.
So Spyro 4 will now be xbox exclusive? What the actual f***
@ParsnipHero Microsoft are only see the dollar signs and subscriber numbers, they don't care about the employees of Activision.
But I can bet you a million bucks Phil will come out with a statement saying how a factor in purchasing them was to look after the employees and sort out internal affairs
Honestly can't keep up already. Do you get more value if you can't actually play any more?
I also think Game Pass prices will have to go up eventually to cover this. $70bn is around 58 million Game Pass (standard) subscribers subscribed for 10 years straight. Let alone the studio and dev burn rate costs.
They are playing the long game and don't think this will be for a few years, but I do think it's inevitable.
@themightyant For a company worth over $1 trillion, $78 bn is pretty light.
Lol, so many Sony people over here mad about it, and "concerned" about monopolies. Of course, now games going exclusive are such a bad thing. Hypocrites! Not fun being on the receiving end this time is it?
@UltimateOtaku91 you're probably right about the first part. I won't be touching any of their Activision-Blizzard games until the studio sees real change.
However, a situation where Microsoft buying the group and not making any changes, basically being complicity in any future wrong doing due to inaction will definitely complicate my relationship with Microsoft.
The U.S. government sadly stopped caring about monopolies long ago.
With Activision Blizzard’s nearly 400 million monthly active players in 190 countries
This is the key part. If Xbox can get even half of this on gamepass then that's job done.
This time? Xbox has been buying up massive companies vs. Sony who buys little ones here and there. This is absolutely a monopoly by definition but nobody will stop it.
@Carck I didn't say they 'lost' anything.
But they did 'spend' $70bn as it was an all cash deal. But you are right they received something in exchange, I didn't say otherwise. Nor did I say their net worth would change. If anything it will go up a little.
Though they now have another X thousand employees at a burn rate of about $10,000 per person per month too and will want to see a return on their $70bn + staff investment. Hence prices will likely have to go up in due course.
But yes as @GamingFan4Lyf said. It's not like they can't afford it!
It's sad to see so many rooting for one company to own everything.
Goes without saying. I've always been interested in the business side of gaming as well so it'll be intriguing to see how much this brings GP subscription numbers up.
@HungryHungryHomer Totally agree with your sentiment but it's not a monopoly yet.
"A monopoly implies an exclusive possession of a market by a supplier of a product or a service for which there is no substitute."
PlayStation and Nintedo are still the market leaders, and there are other options so definitely not a monopoly. Sadly. Don't like the buying up of studios either. Despite, as a long term Game pass subscriber, directly benefiting from this news.
@ParsnipHero It'll probably be like what happened with Bethesda. Existing deals with other companies will be honored, but, going forward, all those franchises are going to be exclusive to platforms that host Microsoft Game Pass. You don't spend 70bil on an acquisition and allow your competition full access to them.
Microsoft not messing about. Great news for gamepass! Will be interesting to see what Sony does with their PS plus offering. If they start releasing games day 1 on that service I may never have to buy a game again. 😂
@Carck I was thinking that. But even candy crush isn't that big anymore.
COD mobile as well is HUUUUGE and Warzone. But $70bn is a LOT of money.
@Chaudy If he does then Microsoft are idiots. He's been called the most overpaid CEO in the industry, and getting rid would help their PR even though it wouldn't really do anything.
@HungryHungryHomer in this instance, you're probably right. I'm not bothered much by this news, but it does make me feel a little weird that MS is arguably being anticompetitive. In any case, I bought into Xbox assuming they'd make big moves so...meh?
But, no games.
Wow that argument seems in a galaxy far, far away.
Game Pass goes from strength to utterly colossal. And it’s definitely the only way they’ll ever get me to even contemplate trying a modern Call of Duty game!
Despite my disdain for their FPS franchise, I’m really looking forward to playing other Activision/Blizzard properties like Crash Bandicoot and Spyro on the service. Maybe even Overwatch 2 whenever it eventually releases.
@ParsnipHero i feel like with COD in particular being a multi billion dollar franchise, it really isn't in Microsoft's best interests to restrict it to one platform. soooo much money on the table there, it could damn near pay for this deal on its own in ten years...
@I_want_avowed I so much don't want that to happen. People gripe but Ubisoft is good just the way they are. And while bested by COD, their games sell great.
Like most people do with games Activision publishes, Microsoft waited for them to go on sale. They've long been after Spyro for Game Pass.
That's...disgusting tbh! I would think they would fire that man.
I think this battle of acquisitions is making me wsnt to just stick to PC for everything now. Seems like the safest bet. Having a PS5 and XSX was meant to compliment each other so I could choose where to play but MS and Sony are seemingly removing that choice as time goes on. At least with PC it's all in one place and if it doesn't go on PC then oh well.
@UltimateOtaku91 yes is announced it will go to those platforms. As long as stuff is announced; MS always follows through. Deathloop and Tokyo Ghostwire as still exclusive to PS right now
@Alpha_Pulse give it another year and all you will need is a PC and a nintendo console
@Carck MS price will even increase as a result of the buyout, people like to think MS overpayed kust to justify their monopoly and bad MS rhetoric
That argument was in regards to lack of MS first party games. I don't know if this really applies to that argument as Activision games were always playable on third parties.
@armondo36 Not as much as they will make by making it exclusive - the whole point is driving the monthly cash flow that is GamePass. COD as an exclusive will also drive console sales - no doubt. Let the salt flow, but Sony has played this game for a decade and when they buy a company no one questions the exclusivity of it.
This is pretty fun. Obviously HUGE deal, I expect Bobby to be out shortly after it's finalized.
I see the armchair FTC concerns, but no, this does not create a monopoly. Sony and Nintendo are STILL the industry leaders. This does, however, attack their ability to justify $60 per first party game (or $70 for Last of Us Games Studios) vs. Gamepass. You can not like change (people rarely do) but it's innevitable, Sony and Nintendo will need to get better to respond.
Nintendo will play the "We're not in competition with Microsoft" line and won't change a thing.
The 3rd (last) place team in the console wars is a monopoly? K....
@UltimateOtaku91 I'm hoping that's the case. MS games already on PC and with Sony PC division I'm hoping they bring more content across. That will seal the deal for me 😀
Spyro and Crash Xbox first party games... The 90s part of my brain just had a melt down (but that could have been all the alcohol and clubbing I did back then...)
Their place in console sales is irrelevant to that argument because this is related to software ownership.
@HungryHungryHomer I love Nintendo, but that's certainly an option. I suspect they'll make moves in their own time and way.
@HungryHungryHomer They are intertwined. You can't sell Xbox console software without buying an Xbox console. What, you think everyone is just using xCloud? This isn't anywhere close to a monopoly yet, in fact, this just brought XBox back to the table with the other big 2.
Of course it applies, it doesn’t matter how you get them. I’ve seen that argument with PS comments that somehow homegrowing is more honorable than buying when the money is still green.
@Hexamex-Tex you think they'll make more money keeping it on Xbox, than they would by just letting the tens of millions of people who already buy COD every year on whatever platform they have now, just give them the money? in most cases maybe, but the COD audience is too big and diverse. i dont know what they're plans are, but COD falls into a special category like Minecraft does. they were smart enough to leave Minecraft as it was.
Maybe some FPS boosts for a few games too... Wishful thinking I know
Most people that don't own xbox (MS) always have plenty negative to say about them.
They have had to deal with being behind for a long time so they start making better consoles, adding game pass, buying companies to improve game pass, Hopefully to start having more high quality exclusives (like PS), the exclusives they do have are even better than ever, they do a console (yes still not readily avaliable) but also have a cheaper option that is more avaliable (especially for the younger market) and to give a chance for more to be able to afford next gen (not like PS, say we will just keep making the old console lol).
So now they're basically becoming the gaming Disney to improve more and try and get to number 1 and so what, the only people that honestly care are those against xbox (MS), reason for that is because especially since series X/S & PS5 they're seriously concerned and butthurt that xbox (MS) are becoming the power house now and PS is on the back foot.
Expected. Waiting for that inevitable GP price hike here soon. Now would be the time to drop that nuggin while everyone is distracted with the acquisition news.
@UltimateOtaku91 Oh, don't worry. Phil Spencer loves his "pre-existing contracts" excuse.
War craft coming to Xbox? That could be interesting.
@UltimateOtaku91 Absolutely! It be a given regardless. But considering the tryhard woke wannabe world we live in today. Expect that to be beaten over our heads nonstop.
@themightyant I've said this for quite a while now. That "best deal in gaming" mantra they keep spinning is going to be a joke before long. Truly believe they're doing the "corner dealer" business model by giving free or cheap just get you hooked. Not be surprised see it jump to $40+ a month....but as bonus, it'll include Xbox Live! Lmao
Now if they can bring WoW to console I will be very happy.
@HungryHungryHomer Let's all be honest. Sony ponies brought this on themselves by constantly saying and putting down with the constant rhetoric of, Xbox got no games. All that did was motivate and kept Microsoft in a corner. Well, they came out swinging. Be careful what you ask for or critize in your neighbor's backyard. When it comes home to roost you get what you ask for.
Dear Microsoft: PLEASE work with Disney to be able to add all the old Activision Marvel games on Game Pass!!!
@UltimateOtaku91 "existing contracts will be honoured so I would assume diablo 4 and overwatch 2 will still come "
Although it's likely that many projects in development will continue to go their course, keep in mind "existing contracts will be honored" is about that, contracts. Unless there is something kept in secret.
Announcing a game for a platform is not a contract.
A contract means exclusivity deals, marketing deals, etc. If Sony already has a deal for exclusive content for the next CoD, then that means the next CoD will be on Sony for sure. Without such contracts, everything is likely on the air, even if they were already announced as multi-platform.
@themightyant "I also think Game Pass prices will have to go up eventually to cover this. $70bn is around 58 million Game Pass (standard) subscribers subscribed for 10 years straight. Let alone the studio and dev burn rate costs."
But these games will not just go to Game Pass. They will be sold, many include DLC or microtransactions, and the mobile offerings are pure microtransactions that bring in billions. In its first year, Call of Duty mobile alone generated almost half a billion dollars.
Microsoft will make their money back, and that's not accounting for the fact that they don't truly have to, since they own this business now. It's like buying a house. You don't buy a house and then ask yourself how you going to make that money back, because the ownership of the thing itself is considered an accountable asset.
Sony threw rocks at Xbox with its acquisitions. This is the equivalent of MS picking up a boulder and smashing their car with it in retaliation. There is no equivalence. Maybe you need to be reminded of how insufferable Xbox fans were in the 360 days. They were the ones at the time saying Playstation had no games. How soon we forget.
If the deal doesn't close until latest June 2023, then I think it's business as usual for the remainder of 2022 for Activision.
What will be interesting is if they treat this like the Bethesda deal.
Will all future games be exclusive and live-service stuff that already exists will remain supported?
This could mean COD becomes Xbox exclusive and PS only gets to keep Warzone.
Big decisions for Phil Spencer to make in 2023...
Instead of jumping up and down like teenage girls PureXbox, can you show some journalistic integrity and point out the pros and cons for gaming as a whole with this pending acquisition?
Pfft who am I kidding...
@HungryHungryHomer Well we can say it again lol
>War craft coming to Xbox? That could be interesting.
Lol, nah that isn't happening. But it could be on PC Game pass.
This is crazy lol, I think i'm actually starting to feel a little sympathy for Sony fans lol..
Can we? What games does Xbox have now that can't be played on PS. Minus the obvious ones, Halo, etc.
You should have sympathy for gamers as a whole because it's bad for the industry.
Your "so what" attitude of letting businesses all buy one another until few remain is part of the problem. Never see the big picture.
Home grown is always better. Fosters more creativity and innovation. Buying everything up dilutes that.
@HungryHungryHomer oh no am I seriously part of the problem, whatever am I going to do.
Oh yes I will continue to enjoy my series x knowing that it's likely more great things are coming with xbox in the future, all whilst not caring about your's or anyone else's opinion's.
Like I said "so what" 👍🏻🤣😂.
@HungryHungryHomer Maybe you missed one of the big stories in gaming news today: Microsoft in all likelihood purchasing Activision. So yea, all those future games (my guess any future game 5 years forward) have good chance being Xbox/PC only.
And when checking the internet for that story, please also check to make sure you are on Playstation website. You would seem more comfortable on those sites I believe.
@HungryHungryHomer You have a good point about companies being bought up is not good for the industry. Especially with the fact that Sony is not buyin.... Oh wait. Ummm, yea.
@armondo36 yes. That is the whole point.
@Tharsman I wasn't suggesting the $70bn was going to be made back through Game Pass subs. Just trying to show the scope of it.
Lets not forget the $70bn is just the start of it. The approx. 10,000 new ABK employees is approx. another $1.2 billion per year as a burn rate. (Calculated from Jason Schreier's number of $10,000 per employee per month, from his book. This covers all studio costs, salaries etc. though the figures are a few years old now)
Also agree that they don't have to pay it back, but they will absolutely want a return on investment. It will be interesting to see how they go about that. If they cut out PS for Warzone for example which is one of their biggest markets.
Xbox making that big splash to bolster the gamepass.
It just says alot about Xbox and their creativity, just buy companies should be their new motto.
Will the guitar hero controller be included with my gamepass ultimate sub?
I was speaking of things bigger than game companies but naturally went over your head. Stick your head back in the sand.
There's a big difference between buying some small companies for a couple billion vs. a humongous one for $70 billion. Not sure why you're not grasping this concept. And for your information I own all three consoles. So when something overall is bad for the industry, I'm gonna call it out no matter who does it.
@themightyant I'm certain they will not remove Warzone from PS, but should they ever feel its time for a Warzone 2, I would not expect such a thing on PlayStation.
Honestly, if this acquisition increases their market share in the console space, that alongside self-sustainability will be seen by Microsoft as a big enough return on investment.
@HungryHungryHomer oh I do apologise is that what you mean, yes I must go back and put my head in the sand. 🤦♂️🤣😂
Wow just came in to comment I was excited by this, and some people are getting so... tense!
Thought I'd logged into eu##gam## by accident.
Let's keep it nice, please
(Half expecting a 'Who do you think you are, my mother?' reply...)
@Medic_Alert I was there. And a SEGA fan boy (only kid in my class with a megadrive.) I'm a wee 41yrs of age so seen a lot since my days of C64. Still amazing that 2 IPs that Sony had as exclusives back in the 90s have (through buy outs) come to be Xbox first party games. Just as they started to get the love again from gamers. I'm surprised Sony, MS or Nintendo hasn't bought SEGA yet. Still time and deep pockets...
Still trying to wrap my head around this acquisition, it's huge.... read about Candy Crush not being what it used to be, but it's still the number one ranked mobile game with like 275 million people playing it a month, and a lot of them are paying for microtransactions, what if you would put Candy Crush into gamepass and remove IAP from it, how many of those 275M would get gamepass at 10$ for an unlimited candy crush experience.... could be huge.
@Tharsman It will increase their market share no doubt. But by how much is the big question. If it makes Xbox far more competitive, or even market leaders again, and brings that Game Pass sub count up towards 40-50+ million over this generation then yes I agree it will likely be seen as a success.
Personally while I don't like all this buying up of the industry, even if I benefit as a long term Game Pass subscriber, i'm also excited where this takes us, and excited to see how Sony and others respond.
Happy Gaming dude.
@Medic_Alert @Beermonkey Banjo to Xbox too was a big one too as was Final Fantasy to PlayStation. But yes Sonic and Crash more tied to platforms identity.
I have the misfortune to pre-date you both by a year or two. lol
Also a Master System and Megadrive owner, didn't own Nintendo till SNES. Though had swapped SMS/MD for a NES a couple of times with friends for a few weeks for the obvious games.
But Amstrad CPC464 with it's cassette tape drive up to 10+ minute load times and just 2-16 colours was where I truly fell in love with gaming.. Gamers nowadays have no idea how sweet they have it
How far we've come!
@HungryHungryHomer how on earth is this 'bad for the industry'?
@Medic_Alert HARRIER ATTACK!
Felt like Maverick from Top Gun at the time. Completely hooked. Just one more go... (jump to 40 years later)
Ghostbusters too. Though my main memory of that was 10 minutes to load, not understanding what to do, dying within seconds and having to rewind the tape and load 10 minutes again. Live. Die. Repeat. Souls are easy by comparison. lol
Agree it was inconvenient, but they had already tapped into that just one more go chemical rush.
EDIT: didn't have the later models (664 or 6128) that featured more recognisable games like Robocop, Space Harrier and Golden Axe, just the base CPC 464.
Other notable mentions: Sultan's maze, Roland on the Ropes, Oh Mummy! And of course Fruit Machine, between that and losing all £5 (a lot of money for me in those days) the first time I used an actual fruit machine it put me off gambling for life. Including loot boxes!!!
I am nostalgic about Pitfall: a Mayan Adventure on the SNES. Hopefully it will be released on Xbox, as well as the classic Atari one. This franchise should be revived, could be Xbox's Uncharted.
Now they just gotta run commercials during loading screens, and they'll be making a profit.
Can't wait, ads are so fun.
@Medic_Alert Ah didn't know that. Missed them all back then. But played them all on SMS. Still learning everyday! Happy memories.
Well, here we are a day after the news and I still can't get my head around it what a day to be an Xbox gamer change was wanted the culture totally smashed down and a healthy one put in place or at least started big balls move from Microsoft and Phil the don and I am all for it good times are here for us the gamers
2019: "Xbox has no games."
2022: "Xbox has all the games."
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