Activision Blizzard, the company behind billion-dollar franchises like Call of Duty and Warcraft, immensely popular PC staples like Diablo and Overwatch and, oh yeah, mobile gaming behemoth King and its Candy Crush empire, will be sold to Xbox maker Microsoft for $68.7 billion. The two companies announced the deal, which still must face government regulators and an 18-month closing process, on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022.
This has enormous ramifications for the video game industry, not least in how it concentrates some of the biggest selling names in console gaming under the roof of one of those console makers. Activision Blizzard has also been roiled by workplace scandal over the past six months, including a lawsuit from California regulators, a reckoning with a toxic and discriminatory workplace culture, and questions of chief executive Bobby Kotick’s fitness for the job after more than 30 years in charge.
Here, Polygon rounds up all the coverage of a landmark day in video gaming, what it means for players and fans of Xbox consoles and Activision Blizzard games, and what the future of both companies may look like once the deal is complete.