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Not too long ago we got the big news about the ZeniMax/Bethesda buyout that brought many franchises to Xbox. And we saw many big titles from the publisher now becoming first-party IPs from Fallout to Elder Scrolls. This also includes franchises like Wolfenstein, Doom, The Evil Within, Prey & most notably new IPs Tokyo Ghostwire and Deathloop. Then there were rumblings of a new purchase. And early in the morning, a bombshell announcement came out as Microsoft acquires Activision in a massive $70 billion cash purchase.

Now, for those not aware for the better part of a year since roughly early 2021 Acti/Blizz has been in the middle of a controversy. And one of the things this has attracted were the heads of the big 3 calling out Bobby Kotick and the current board of directors. Along with several claims of largest and successful Quarters and years and large-scale layoffs and cutting teams. It has not been a good look for the publisher. Along with massive strikes and employee walkouts all to point out horrible conditions. These are all things to consider with Microsoft taking over and the publisher now reporting directly to Phil Spencer as the new CEO of Microsoft Gaming.

This could lead to a large restructuring of management at the publisher. Without a doubt Bobby Kotick will be removed as CEO of Activision. And currently, the President of Blizzard is Mike Ybarra, the former Corporate VP of Xbox Live, Gamepass, & Mixer. He will be returning alongside the former head of The Coalition Rod Fergusson, who left back in 2020 to oversee the Diablo series. So with the publisher joining the growing Xbox Studios it also seems to be a massive reunion of former heads and directors.

What IPs are now owned:

Now Activision has been a massive name within the industry for the better part of two decades. And with some of the largest IPs in the world, it’s crazy to think these are now owned by a 1st party publisher like Xbox. Here is the list of all major IPs currently owned by the publishing giant:

  • Blur
  • Caesar
  • Call of Duty
  • Candy Crush
  • Crash Bandicoot
  • Diablo
  • DJ Hero
  • Empire Earth
  • Gabriel Knight
  • Geometry Wars
  • Guitar Hero
  • Gun
  • Hearthstone
  • Heroes of the Storm
  • Hexen
  • Interstate ’76
  • King’s Quest
  • Laura Bow Mysteries
  • The Lost Vikings
  • Overwatch
  • Phantasmagoria
  • Pitfall
  • Police Quest
  • Prototype
  • Quest for Glory
  • Singularity
  • Skylanders
  • Solider of Fortune
  • Space Quest
  • Spyro the Dragon
  • StarCraft
  • Tenchu (legacy games)
  • TimeShift
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
  • True Crime
  • World of Warcraft
  • Zork

Now of course this is all assuming that everything goes through. But, with a purchase of this size with an announcement, there is no doubt it wouldn’t be stated if there wasn’t a certainty. However, even with the Zenimax purchase that took almost a year before it was finalized and cleared.

Phil Spencer took to Twitter to announce the buyout of Activision Blizzard. Alongside this with the following quote:

“As we extend the joy and community of gaming to everyone, we are incredibly excited to welcome the fantastic teams and iconic franchises of Activision Blizzard to Team Xbox.”

Phil Spencer – CEO of Microsoft Gaming
A Diagram of the Xbox Gaming Leadership Team. Via – Xbox

Current Marketing Rights:

Now, it’s not uncommon knowledge that Sony had marketing rights with Call of Duty throughout the last-gen and currently as well. Though Xbox was the home to COD’s marketing during the 360 & PS3 era. There were modes that launched exclusively on PlayStation first and are locked for a 1-year exclusivity deal. How this purchase will change this is yet to be disclosed. However, if the Bethesda acquisition is any indication, Xbox will honor all current standing deals and contracts. But after that, all bets are off.

Either way, it goes without saying that this is quite the shake-up yet again. And with the moves that Xbox is making they are not afraid to put their money up. Along with making their services the de facto best deal in gaming. And that is without a doubt going to be a focus with the purchase. Adding Activision’s catalog into Gamepass, which also has EA Access, and adding Ubisoft+ in February, continues to be a great deal for gamers. And with now the confirmation of over 25 Million Subscribers, the powerhouse that is Xbox Gamepass is just getting better.

Whether you are on board, against, or unsure of the acquisition; the fact that Microsoft acquires Activision will be a big talking about for 2022.

-Jess (Bloodieknux)

Hey everyone hope you enjoyed my thoughts and breakdowns in the article above. You can keep up with my thoughts & shenanigans by following me on all my social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, & Youtube.

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