Xbox To Acquire ActiBliz The 3Bit Take

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Author:

Jordan Smith

Publish Date:

19 Jan 2022

Yesterday we saw the first of what we hope is many unbelievable gaming news moments of 2022. Microsoft has announced their plans to purchase Activision/Blizzard (ActiBliz) for a whopping $68.7 billion  (approx. £50 billion). Why were they have chosen now? Well, if you have been keeping up with the stock market and recent lawsuits, that would be pretty apparent, but if not, here's a very brief rundown. The stock in ActiBliz has until this week been rapidly declining and is reportedly due to ongoing lawsuits of sexual harassment and workplace misconduct throughout the company, which has, in turn, resulted in walkouts, several shareholders calling for the resignation of CEO Bobby Kotick and most recently, we have seen Raven (Call of Duty) QA testers walkout in protest of their poor work conditions. With this record-breaking deal for Xbox due to finalise very soon, we are here now to explore exactly what that means for us as gamers and take a look at what it could mean for ActiBliz Staff, Current CEO Kotick, The Industry as a whole and of course the new owners of Actibliz, Xbox.

I will start off with us gamers, and this is a mixed bag of seeds for us. If you currently enjoy games like Overwatch, Call of Duty and Diablo AND you are on an Xbox or PC, this is fantastic news for you as you will only see benefits from your side. Which include more console and PC exclusives and several titles even coming to Microsofts incredibly successful Game Pass, which has just hit 25 million subscribers. As for Play Station users, this may come as a bit of a blow, but you will not be seeing as many ActiBliz titles coming to the console in the future. However, according to one of Bloomberg's sources, "Microsoft plans to keep making some of Activision's games for PlayStation consoles but will also keep some content exclusive to Xbox, said a person familiar with the company's thinking.". This has since been followed up by Xbox CEO Phil Spencer, stating to Bloomberg, "I'll just say to players out there who are playing Activision Blizzard games on Sony's platform: It's not our intent to pull communities away from that platform, and we remained committed to that." I hope by this they mean the more prominent multiplayer names such as Call of Duty and Overwatch, games I do not play personally, but I know have massive communities of gamers that would be gutted and maybe even heartbroken if they are unable to play anymore on their console of choice.

But going hand in hand with us gamers is the workers of Actibliz and their current CEO, Bobby Kotick. Over the last few months, we have heard countless stories of allegedworkplace misconduct that are said to be still ongoing in some cases. Currently, Bobby Kotick remains CEO of ActiBliz even after several petitions both from staff and the public calling for his resignation. However, several sources, including the Wall Street Journal, have stated that he shall resign when the deal is closed. It has also been reported that ActiBliz will be reporting directly to Phil Spencer, who has also shared a new gaming leadership team chart with the announcement of the acquisition. However, we also saw an image of a report which was shared by a freelance journalist for thegamebiz.com, which showed a potential payout of almost 300 Million Dollars if Xbox decided to fire the current CEO, Bobby Kotick. Whilst this image is circulating many gaming news pages, we cannot confirm its legitimacy at this time. My Question: If Bobby Kotick was to leave ActiBliz, will Phil Spencer's team at Xbox investigate all of the allegations in more detail, or will they expect everything to return to normality under new leadership? We have had no straight answer to this question for now, but I hope that we will hear something soon after when the potential deal closes.

When it comes to the industry as a whole, Microsoft has claimed this deal will put them into the top 3 gaming companies in the world.; overtaking Apple, which is currently the 3rd biggest gaming company globally.   But will it be enough to push X box past Sony and have them biting at the heels of the current biggest company Tencent. Well, if stocks and shares are anything to go by then, it's a possibility. Yesterday's stock market saw Activision stock rise significantly ( $17 increase a stock). However, its current market value is below what Microsoft brought it for. Actibliz shares now sit at $82 (at the time of writing). However, Microsoft purchased them for $95 even when the market value was $65 a share last Friday. On the flipside, rival console creator Sony saw their stocks dip last night by $10. Moving away from the money will also mean Xbox now has a series of what were once 3rd party games exclusive to them, including many that were once synonymous with Playstation, such as Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon. My question here is, will Sony Respond, and if so, how hard will they hit back?

As this story develops, we will continue to update you, as there is a lot to process and a lot of significant changes that could take place. I would like to add that here at 3 Bit, we have no affiliation with any of the companies mentioned within the article. We hope that this acquisition will only benefit everybody within Activision Blizzard and the majority of the gaming community if successful.

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