Editorial: Microsoft buys blizzard


by Paige O'Connor, Photo Editor

Sorry, but not the kind from Dairy Queen. Microsoft Corporation, founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, bought Activision Blizzard Incorporation in an all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 billion. That is a lot of ice cream.

For those who are unfamiliar with Activision Blizzard, you might know them for their games like Overwatch, World of Warcraft, Call of Duty or perhaps the most common being Candy Crush.

This is a big deal for the gaming community, as it will make Microsoft the third biggest gaming company in the world, right behind Tencent (known for League of Legends and PUBG) and Sony (think of Marvel’s Spider-Man and God of War). Microsoft has gained extra popularity after buying “Minecraft” from Notch in 2014.

Ultimately, what makes this information exciting is the ever-expanding Xbox Game Pass that Microsoft offers. Do you have Netflix, Hulu, Disney+? The game pass is basically like those, but for streaming video games. Regardless if you are a console or PC gamer at heart or a mix of both, there is something for everyone.

With Microsoft snatching up Activision Blizzard now, that means their most popular titles could be added to the game pass for users to play. Hundreds of dollars of games in an easy-to-access library for only $10 per month? I want that for my PC. Sony has my money though with their Plus pass because PlayStation is the better console – only when compared to Xbox.

This deal will not only do wonders for PC and console gamers but those who enjoy mobile applications as well. Activision Blizzard has major connections for mobile gaming, and Microsoft will have the potential to grow from it as well.

Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have started the transaction and it is expected to close July 2023. The nearly $69 billion deal will be a major investment for Microsoft’s gaming future as more people are exposed to the new games they can offer. It feels like an opening door for more people to enjoy the same games together online.  

Do you know what truly makes this an exciting deal? The potential this has on the future of gaming. Microsoft is growing its ownership to surpass everyone’s expectations. Another highlight is Microsoft will be able to expand their collection further as more sequels present themselves eventually – Diablo 4 or Overwatch 2 anybody?

My one main concern with all of this is if certain games no longer are ‘free-to-play’ because of the game pass. On PC, some of Blizzard’s games are free, except WoW requires a subscription and Diablo games are charged individually. Besides that, games like my personal favorite Heroes of the Storm are playable at no cost to me. These games support themselves with optional micro-transactions in-game.

Activision Blizzard is having a lot of problems regarding staffing and misconduct in the workplace. A major highlight is Microsoft will be able to address the issues surrounding the sexual harassment and gender discrimination cases. These problems have been developing for years now, but the new ownership will hopefully clean up the toxic work culture.

I have been an active fan of Blizzard since 2015, and their franchise will continue to have my support in the foreseeable future. My ultimate hope is Microsoft will carry Activision Blizzard to new heights and continue to break user expectations. Maybe one day they will adapt WoW to be compatible with virtual reality technology.