Microsoft insiders believe the long-awaited acquisition of Activision Blizzard will be approved by UK Antitrust Regulators clearing the way for the mega-deal to close.
Microsoft first announced the merger in January of 2022 with a price tag of $68.7 billion making it the largest deal in gaming history.
Activision Blizzard was itself the result of a merger between Activision, the makers of Call of Duty, and Blizzard Entertainment, makers of World of Warcraft, Diablo, and Starcraft.
After regulators from the US and UK became involved, the deal stalled and the offer was extended until July of 2023, and then again to October of 2023.
The final hurdle seemed to center on Activision’s streaming rights which the company agreed to sell to Ubisoft in August of 2023.
With the merger, Microsoft will gain a significant game catalog to help feed its multifaceted strategy to draw users to its many gaming platforms.
Activision Blizzard’s portfolio includes Overwatch, a first-person shooter, which was released in 2016 and has a reported 50 million players.
Other titles include the Diablo franchise whose players topped 30 million.
During the height of the pandemic, Call of Duty was being played by over 200,000 concurrent users worldwide.
Microsoft is chasing first-party content that will help drive users to its Xbox and PC gaming platforms.
XBox continues to lag behind platform leader Playstation by a significant amount.
First-party content allows game platform manufacturers to also control the games themselves, providing special consideration and features for popular games not available on other platforms.
Similar to streamers Netflix developing their own shows, these titles will help Microsoft drive sales of its gaming hardware.