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Activision Blizzard is officially part of Microsoft

Bobby Kotick staying on until the end of this year as Phil Spencer says the work to add ABK franchises to Game Pass begins today

Activision Blizzard is now officially part of Microsoft.

Within hours of the UK Competition and Markets Authority giving the long-debated acquisition a final green light, Microsoft announced today that it has completed the deal, making Activision Blizzard a wholly owned subsidiary.

The deal was first announced January 18 of 2022, but held up by regulatory hurdles in the UK, EU, and US.

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer welcomed Activision Blizzard to the fold in a statement on the Xbox Wire site.

"As one team, we'll learn, innovate, and continue to deliver on our promise to bring the joy and community of gaming to more people," Spencer said. "We'll do this in a culture that strives to empower everyone to do their best work, where all people are welcome, and is centered on our ongoing commitment of Gaming for Everyone.

"We are intentional about inclusion in everything we do at Xbox – from our team to the products we make and the stories we tell, to the way our players interact and engage as a wider gaming community."

He added, "Today we start the work to bring beloved Activision, Blizzard, and King franchises to Game Pass and other platforms."

In a letter to employees, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick suggested that the deal will bring his time with the company to a close in the near future.

"I have long said that I am fully committed to helping with the transition," Kotick said. "Phil has asked me to stay on as CEO of ABK, reporting to him, and we have agreed that I will do that through the end of 2023. We both look forward to working together on a smooth integration for our teams and players."

Ubisoft also weighed in on the deal, as Microsoft unloading cloud streaming rights to Activision Blizzard's games to the publisher was the major concession that prompted the CMA to withdraw its objections to the deal.

"We're excited to share that Ubisoft has now obtained the perpetual cloud streaming rights for Call of Duty and all other Activision Blizzard titles releasing over the next 15 years," Ubisoft said. "Ubisoft is a long-standing believer in the power of cloud gaming and these streaming rights will enable us to deliver even more experiences to players in more places than ever before.

"Now that the deal is complete, we can begin working on the operational aspects of bringing these games to Ubisoft+, our subscription offer."

For more on the deal, read through our extensive recap of the 21-month merger process and our own Chris Dring's editorial on what happens now.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar

Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.