Microsoft has bought Activision for nearly $70 billion

Call Of Duty: World War II
(Image credit: Activision)

Microsoft is buying Activision Blizzard, the publisher and associated developer of many titles including the Call of Duty franchise. 

Announced today on an Xbox Wire post, Microsoft has agreed to acquire Activision Blizzard, which includes the development teams at Activision Publishing, Blizzard Entertainment, Beenox, Demonware, Digital Legends, High Moon Studios, Infinity Ward, King, Major League Gaming, Radical Entertainment, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, Toys for Bob, and Treyarch. Microsoft's purchase is set to cost $68.7 billion.

Microsoft has stated that Activision Blizzard will operate independently until the deal is complete, but Phil Spencer does note that once the deal is complete the business will report to him. In an email sent to Activision Blizzard staff (via CharlieIntel), current CEO Bobby Kotick - who is set to remain at the head of the company until the deal is finalised - said that "transactions like these can take a long time to complete," and the process is expected to end in Microsoft's 2023 financial year, which ends on June 30, 2023.

"Upon close, 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," adds Spencer. 

Although the announcement doesn't outright mention the ongoing Activision Blizzard lawsuit, which involves allegations of sexual abuse and harassment, Spencer does add the following paragraph to the blog post:

"As a company, Microsoft is committed to our journey for inclusion in every aspect of gaming, among both employees and players. We deeply value individual studio cultures. We also believe that creative success and autonomy go hand-in-hand with treating every person with dignity and respect. We hold all teams, and all leaders, to this commitment. We’re looking forward to extending our culture of proactive inclusion to the great teams across Activision Blizzard."

It's not clear when the deal will complete, but it's another high-profile acquisition for Microsoft, which also completed the purchase of Zenimax, the owners of Bethesda early last year. 

Sam Loveridge
Global Editor-in-Chief, GamesRadar+

Sam Loveridge is the Global Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar, and joined the team in August 2017. Sam came to GamesRadar after working at TrustedReviews, Digital Spy, and Fandom, following the completion of an MA in Journalism. In her time, she's also had appearances on The Guardian, BBC, and more. Her experience has seen her cover console and PC games, along with gaming hardware, for a decade, and for GamesRadar, she's in charge of the site's overall direction, managing the team, and making sure it's the best it can be. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. She plays across all platforms, and specializes in titles like Pokemon, Assassin's Creed, The Sims, and more. Basically, she loves all games that aren't sports or fighting titles! In her spare time, Sam likes to live like Stardew Valley by cooking and baking, growing vegetables, and enjoying life in the countryside.