It certainly came as a huge, huge surprise to the gaming crowd, but Microsoft is set to officially acquire Activision-Blizzard for a whopping US$68.7 billion, which would go down in the history books as one of the most groundbreaking takeovers for a video game studio.
The deal is expected to close sometime in 2023, with the two companies continuing to operate independently until then. Once the transaction is done, there will be big changes in the pipeline, including adding Activision-Blizzard titles like Overwatch, Call of Duty, and World of Warcraft to the Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, as well as appointing Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer to oversee the business.
With such shake-ups soon to follow, the news has certainly sparked a string of reactions and serious discussion on social media. Here are some of the more tongue-in-cheek, lighthearted comments on Twitter:
Humour aside, it’s imperative to consider the implications and deeply-rooted concerns that come with this acquisition effort. This is particularly severe in light of the embattled Activision-Blizzard, who continues to be in the limelight after proof of gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and a toxic work culture have surfaced. Bloomberg reporter and gaming journalist veteran Jason Schreier sums it all up in his tweets, with other users expressing their sentiments, apprehension, and wary optimism on the matter:
And of course, how can we can miss out on the sheer feeling of reeling from disbelief when the news was first confirmed? Incredulity, shock, and confusion? Been there, felt that.
The winning comment on Twitter, though, makes itself known here:
Despite everything, the call for improved work environment, employee welfare, and workplace treatment shouldn’t be forgotten. Activision-Blizzard is still a mess, but it’s now Microsoft’s mess to clean up, so hopefully the latter won’t disappoint just like the once-gaming great did on so many levels.