Xbox manufacturer Microsoft revealed on Tuesday that it has agreed to buy Activision Blizzard, a prominent video game publisher.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the transaction is worth $68.7 billion in cash.
Blizzard Entertainment is the publisher behind popular titles including World of Warcraft, Diablo, Candy Crush and Starcraft.
In light of Activision Blizzard’s recent controversies, the agreement was struck. In July, the state of California filed a lawsuit against the publisher, alleging sexual harassment, wage disparity, and other violations.
Following the litigation, shareholders and business partners of Activision Blizzard called on CEO Bobby Kotick to step down. Activision Blizzard CEO Tony Kotick will continue to report to Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer after the acquisition, according to Microsoft.
“The Microsoft team is dedicated to making gaming more inclusive for everyone, from workers to gamers. Individual studio cultures are very important to us. Success in the arts requires treating everyone with decency and respect, which is something we adhere to wholeheartedly “Spencer made the remark in a press release.
“All teams and their leaders are held to this promise. We’re excited to share our proactive inclusion culture with the outstanding teams at Activision Blizzard, “he went on to explain.
Today is a historic moment. We are excited to announce that the world-renowned franchises and talented people at @ATVI_AB will be joining Team Xbox!
— Xbox (@Xbox) January 18, 2022
Activision Blizzard and Microsoft Gaming will continue to function as separate companies until the deal is finalised. Activision Blizzard titles are also expected to be available on Xbox Game Pass in the near future.
The future of Activision Blizzard games on other gaming systems, such as PlayStation and Nintendo, is still up in the air. For the time being, Microsoft will continue to support other platforms.
When Microsoft bought ZeniMax Media in September of 2020, it became the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, a significant video game publisher.
The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom, Wolfenstein, and the forthcoming Starfield, all developed by Bethesda Softworks, will be available exclusively on Xbox One and PC on November 11th.