Microsoft’s long-running pursuit of acquiring Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard has finally come to an end. The company has announced that its $69 billion purchase of the publishing giant is complete, bringing franchises like Call of Duty, Candy Crush, World of Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft, Crash Bandicoot, and more under the Xbox fold.
In a post on Xbox Wire, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer said, “Today we start the work to bring beloved Activision, Blizzard, and King franchises to Game Pass and other platforms. We’ll share about when you can expect to play in the coming months. We know you’re excited – and we are too.”
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Spencer also directed a message to the fans of Activision Blizzard franchises, promising continued support of their favourite games, no matter where they are playing. “You are the heart and soul of these franchises, and we are honored to have you as part of our community. Whether you play on Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo, PC or mobile, you are welcome here – and will remain welcome, even if Xbox isn’t where you play your favorite franchise. Because when everyone plays, we all win. We believe our news today will unlock a world of possibilities for more ways to play. Thank you for the ongoing support. We have so much more to come in the months ahead – I’m excited for the future and cannot wait to share it with you.”
To commemorate the occasion, Xbox also released a trailer, which you can watch below:
Microsoft’s path towards acquiring Activision Blizzard wasn’t exactly easy. With months-long court trial, first instigated by Former SIE CEO Jim Ryan, and numerous battles with the UK’s CMA, who cited concerns regarding Xbox’s dominance around cloud gaming and the US’s FTC, the path was fraught with hurdles and blockades.
During the trial, Microsoft was forced to please the courts as much as possible, resulting in them promising continued Call of Duty releases on the PlayStation platform and selling Activision’s cloud gaming rights to Ubisoft.
When Can You Expect to See Call of Duty on Game Pass?
If you were hoping that this year’s Call of Duty will pop up on Game Pass, we have bad news for you. Taking into account the previous agreement between Activision and PlayStation, it seems quite unlikely that will happen. However, Activision Blizzard released a statement on the social media website X recently, where the publisher stated that gamers can expect to see some of their titles show up on Xbox Game Pass starting next year.
“As we continue to work toward regulatory approval of the Microsoft deal, we’ve been getting some questions whether our upcoming and recently launched games will be available via Game Pass,” the publisher said. “While we do not have plans to put Modern Warfare III or Diablo IV into Game Pass this year, once the deal closes, we expect to start working with Xbox to bring our titles to more players around the world. And we anticipate that we would begin adding games into Game Pass sometime in the course of next year.”
Are you happy with the acquisition? Will you be playing Activision games on Xbox Game Pass? Let us know in the comments!
Mufaddal Fakhruddin has been writing about games and technology for the past 15 years. He has lost count as to how many reviews he has written over the years, but he is sure headphone reviews make up at least 70% of that.