It’s official: Microsoft’s Activision acquisition has been closed

In a significant development in the world of video games, Microsoft has officially closed its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, marking the completion of the largest video game merger to date. The deal was finalized ahead of the October 18 deadline, with Xbox boss Phil Spencer confirming the news in a post on Xbox Wire.

Spencer expressed his excitement by stating, “we officially welcome Activision Blizzard and their teams to Xbox”. He emphasized the unity of the merged teams, highlighting the collective goal of providing joy and a sense of community to gamers worldwide. Spencer also emphasized Microsoft’s commitment to inclusivity and empowering individuals to achieve their best work.

Throughout the acquisition process, Microsoft faced regulatory scrutiny, including a lawsuit from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and objections from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The CMA initially raised concerns about potential competition limitations in the UK’s cloud gaming sector. In response, Microsoft agreed to sell the cloud streaming rights for both existing and upcoming Activision games to Ubisoft over the next 15 years, addressing the CMA’s concerns.

The updated merger deal received final approval from the CMA on October 13, following the preliminary approval granted last month. Martin Coleman, chair of the independent panel that reviewed the proposal, praised the revised deal for its positive impact on competition, consumer welfare, and economic growth.

With the acquisition complete, Microsoft now holds the rights to several iconic gaming franchises, including Overwatch, Spyro the Dragon, and the highly popular Call of Duty series. In a previous statement, Spencer assured PlayStation owners that they would still be able to enjoy Call of Duty games on their consoles following the merger.

Looking ahead, Microsoft plans to bring beloved Activision, Blizzard, and King franchises to its gaming subscription service, Game Pass, as well as other platforms. Spencer promised more updates on game availability in the coming months, acknowledging the shared excitement among gamers.

For a comprehensive look at upcoming games, be sure to check out our roundup. Additionally, discover the best Xbox Series X games to play right now.