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Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard, will bring 'many games' to Xbox Game Pass

19 Jan 2022 | Rasmus Larsen |

Microsoft has announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard and intends to bring game franchises like Call of Duty, Warcraft, Tony Hawk and Diablo to Xbox Game Pass, which now has 25 million subscribers.

$68.7 billion deal

Microsoft will acquire game company Activision Blizzard in a record $68.7 billion all-cash deal. It is almost 10x more compared to what Microsoft paid to acquire Bethesda last year. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be closed some time in 2023. Upon close, Microsoft is planning to offer as many Activision Blizzard games on Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass as possible. - "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," said Microsoft. Some of Activision Blizzard's biggest games include Call of Duty, Warcraft, Candy Crush, Tony Hawk, Diablo, Overwatch, Spyro, Hearthstone, Guitar Hero, Crash Bandicoot and StarCraft. Activision Blizzard owns game studios like 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.

Xbox Activision Blizzard

Xbox Game Pass hits 25m subscribers

Microsoft said that the acquisition will accelerate its plans for cloud gaming via Xbox Game Pass. The company also revealed that Xbox Game Pass now has over 25 million subscribers. - "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," said Microsoft. "The fantastic franchises across Activision Blizzard will also accelerate our plans for Cloud Gaming, allowing more people in more places around the world to participate in the Xbox community using phones, tablets, laptops and other devices you already own. Activision Blizzard games are enjoyed on a variety of platforms and we plan to continue to support those communities moving forward." Xbox Game Pass is the leading game streaming service but competition is heating up. Sony has PlayStation Now and is rumored to launch a new initiative soon. Nvidia has GeForce Now while Google has Stadia. Apple and Netflix have both launched game download services. Activision Blizzard has over 400 million monthly active players. When the transaction closes, Microsoft will become the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.

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