As of July 15, 2023, Microsoft’s impending acquisition of Activision Blizzard has raised several questions about its impact on various gaming ecosystems. One of the significant aspects of this acquisition is how it will affect Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass subscription service, which provides gamers access to a vast library of games for a monthly fee.
For Xbox console gamers, the acquisition of Activision Blizzard is expected to follow a similar pattern as the Bethesda acquisition. A large portion of Activision Blizzard’s game library is likely to be added to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass subscription service. This means that Xbox Game Pass subscribers will have access to popular titles like Call of Duty, Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, and more without any additional cost.
PC gamers, who primarily use Microsoft’s Windows operating system, are also expected to benefit from the deal. PC gamers who have a Game Pass subscription will likely be able to access a significant portion of Activision Blizzard’s games on the service at no extra charge. However, it is currently unclear whether Activision Blizzard’s own marketplace for PC gamers, called Battle.net, will continue to operate independently after the deal or if it will be integrated into the Xbox app for Windows.
For PlayStation gamers, Microsoft has assured that it will continue to offer Activision’s marquee series, including Call of Duty, on Sony’s consoles for the next ten years. This means PlayStation players will still have access to these games on their platforms with parity in release dates, content, and features. However, the fate of future titles from the Activision Blizzard stable is uncertain. Considering the example of Bethesda, Microsoft may decide to make many of these games exclusive to Xbox platforms.
In an unexpected turn, Nintendo gamers might become unlikely beneficiaries of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Microsoft has reportedly inked a deal to bring future Call of Duty games to the Nintendo Switch and its rumored successor. This collaboration could potentially expand the reach of Activision Blizzard’s titles to a wider audience.
Furthermore, with the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft will gain ownership of the iconic Crash Bandicoot series and character. The first Crash Bandicoot game was one of the marquee titles on the original Sony PlayStation, and the character Crash was long considered the mascot of the PlayStation brand.
It’s essential to note that once the acquisition deal is complete, Activision Blizzard games will be offered on Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, expanding the availability of these titles to more players . Additionally, Microsoft’s commitment to inclusion and respecting individual studio cultures will likely continue to shape the gaming landscape as the deal moves forward.
Overall, the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft is expected to have a significant impact on the gaming industry, expanding Microsoft’s gaming portfolio and potentially reshaping the exclusivity of titles across different gaming platforms.