Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal has finally closed

microsoft activision deal

After months of drama and bits of paperwork flying around, Microsoft now officially owns Activision Blizzard.

The biggest deal in video game history has finally closed: Microsoft has acquired Activision Blizzard in a move worth $68.7 billion.

Microsoft’s large major hurdle began to wobble in late September, when the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) finally reversed its stance over the proposed deal. With Microsoft having assuaged the CMA’s concerns over its dominance of the cloud gaming sector by making certain concessions, the body approved the deal earlier today.

Within hours of that approval, Microsoft officially closed the deal with Activision Blizzard. To mark the occasion, Microsoft Gaming boss Phil Spencer published a celebratory blog post, in which he welcomed “the legendary teams at Activision Blizzard King to Team Xbox”.

“As one team, we’ll learn, innovate, and continue to deliver on our promise to bring the joy and community of gaming to more people,” Spencer wrote. “We’ll do this in a culture that strives to empower everyone to do their best work, where all people are welcome, and is centered on our ongoing commitment of Gaming for Everyone. We are intentional about inclusion in everything we do at Xbox – from our team to the products we make and the stories we tell, to the way our players interact and engage as a wider gaming community.”

The deal marks the end of an at times dramatic few months, with the US’s Federal Trade Commission taking Microsoft to court in order to block the acquisition back in June. Microsoft eventually won that case, and with it having finally won the CMA over – by agreeing to sell off its cloud gaming rights to Ubisoft for the next 15 years – the final bit of the jigsaw puzzle fell into place.

In the wake of the buyout, Activision Blizzard boss Bobby Kotick has said he’ll remain at the publisher until the end of 2023 “to ensure a smooth and seamless transition” (thanks, Eurogamer).

“I have long said that I am fully committed to helping with the transition,” Kotick wrote in a statement. “Phil has asked me to stay on as CEO of ABK, reporting to him, and we have agreed that I will do that through the end of 2023. We both look forward to working together on a smooth integration for our teams and players.”

Don’t feel too sorry for Bobby, though – according to reports back in July, it was estimated that Kotick could receive somewhere in the region of $375 million from the acquisition. That should fund a reasonably plush retirement.

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