Gamers React to Microsoft’s Activision Acquisition

Taking the temperature of the reactions across social media pertaining to the bombshell acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft.

This morning’s massive announcement of Microsoft’s $68.7 billion cash acquisition of Activision Blizzard and all of its development studios and IPs sent shock waves throughout the industry. Reactions and hot takes were a dime a dozen as gamers questioned what it would mean for the future of video games, the “console war,” Activision Blizzard’s ongoing legal and work culture struggles, and more.

Most of the talk and reactions surrounding Microsoft’s buyout of Activision mainly existed on two fronts: What does this mean for future Call of Duty releases, and how Microsoft settle Activision Blizzard’s ongoing workplace culture issues. As the day wore on, some stances were clarified by Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, and other statements compiled by the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Video Games Chronicle, and others.

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First off, what does it mean for the future of Call of Duty and other multi-platform games? Reactions were strongest as Xbox will now control two of the biggest FPS games on the market in Call of Duty and Halo. Activision still has a marketing deal with Sony to bring certain exclusive content to PlayStation first until 2024. After that, all bets are off that the console will even get another Call of Duty game. And what will that mean for Overwatch, Diablo, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Crash Bandicoot, and more games that were traditionally multi-platform and exist under the Activision publishing roof? Statements by Phil Spencer made some vague assurances that some titles will remain multi-platform. But the same was also said after the Bethesda deal and outside preexisting agreements to release games like Deathloop and the upcoming Ghostwire Tokyo, everything else is almost expected to be Xbox exclusives.


On the other side of the discourse coin, Activision Blizzard is still very much mired in controversy surrounding its workplace culture and the many loose ends that still need to be resolved before the acquisition is officially finalized. The Activision workgroup A Better ABK made a statement after the announcement was made committing the group’s efforts to make Activision Blizzard a better place to work regardless of who was in charge. There are still 18 months to make changes in the company before it becomes a Microsoft entity and the group wants to make sure that in that time, the situation will be changed for the better. Concurrently, the status of current Activision CEO Bobby Kotick was called into question. At first, it seemed like he would be remaining with the company in the future and benefit greatly from the deal. In later clarifying statements, it was revealed that at some point, Kotick will be set to depart, albeit with a sizable severance.


The dust is still settling on many of the circumstances surrounding this bombshell announcement. There are some whispers that the deal may even ruffle some federal antitrust feathers. However, that’s only been questioned in some circles and may not blow up into an official intervention by the FTC or the Biden Administration’s crackdown on tech giant monopolies. The gaming community has a year and a half to sit with this announcement and there should be more answers to the long list of remaining questions in that time.



Source: Gamerant

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