Phil Spencer Discusses The Future of Activision Blizzard King Following Acquisition
Microsoft recently completed its acquisition of Activision Blizzard King, meaning that the Xbox brand now owns iconic franchises such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, and Starcraft. While this is incredibly exciting for some gamers, it has also left a lot of questions regarding the future of the IPs and how Microsoft will navigate this acquisition in regards to exclusivity, and the vast library making its way to Xbox Game Pass, which recently surpassed 30 million subscribers.
During a sit-down interview on the official Xbox YouTube channel, Phil Spencer discussed the future of Activision Blizzard King following its recent acquisition by Microsoft which was finalized earlier this month. With the acquisition of such a large publisher, the possibilities are endless regarding what Microsoft and the Xbox brand could do to capitalize on them now owning some of gaming’s IPs. Still, Phil Spencer appears to be more conservative regarding making the most of what Microsoft now owns.
“This acquisition is definitely long-term. So the fact that we’re not hitting day one with a bunch of games dropping into Game Pass is a little bit of a downer, but I’m very excited about the future.”
This was expected as with the Bethesda acquisition it did take a while before many of its games made their way to Game Pass. It is also worth noting that hearing the word “2024” makes it seem like it will be a long time before we get to see franchises such as Call of Duty on Game Pass, but the new year is only a couple of months away so we should begin to see Activision Blizzard King’s library trickle onto the subscription services in the coming months.
Will Call Of Duty Receive Exclusive Content On Xbox?
Understandably, one of the biggest questions that has been asked throughout the acquisition is “What does this mean for the future of Call of Duty?” As we’ve seen with games such as Starfield bypassing Sony’s PlayStation after initially being announced, it is understandable that many saw the move as a way to drive players away from the PlayStation to the Xbox ecosystem in order to play the most popular first-person shooter franchise. Phil Spencer has confirmed that the goal is 100% parity when it comes to Call of Duty and making sure that whether you’re on PC, Xbox, PlayStation, or even Nintendo, no content is exclusive to a specific platform.
“We have no goal of somehow trying to use Call of Duty to get you to buy an Xbox console.”
Could We See Old IPs Come Back In The Future?
With such an expansive history of IPs, many gamers are wondering what the acquisition could mean in terms of bringing some beloved franchises back. Some notable IPs that have become moments in time include the likes of Spyro’s Skylanders spin-off series, Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk, and The Lost Vikings. It is possible that we could see some of these return in the future, but Phil Spencer stated that they would have to be done by passionate teams that want to make a difference rather than being motivated by financial gains.
“I want to make sure that when we’re going back and visiting something, that we do it with our complete ability– a motivated team that wants to go work on something and make a difference, not just create something for financial gain, or create something for a PR announcement and not deliver on the product.”
Tony Hawk’s 1+2 Remastered saw the first two games in the series return in 2020 to huge fanfare, which left many confused when a sequel was seemingly canceled. There have also been discussions on social media among gamers about the possibility of Guitar Hero returning. It would be interesting to see whether Activision Blizzard King could recapture the magic of the early games, but its main competitor Rock Band is still active with new weekly content for Rock Band 4, so there is at least some level of demand still there for a new game.
It will be an interesting time over the coming years to see how Microsoft capitalizes on the acquisition and whether it turns out to be a good thing for the company and for gamers alike.