As it turns out, this corporate version of Mr. Bones' Wild Ride does actually end.
Text: Xbox + Activision Blizzard King. Image: Four characters from Xbox and Activision Blizzard Games including Master Chief, Ghost from Call of Duty, Tracer from Overwatch, and some other character.

Activision Blizzard King are now officially a part of Team Xbox. As of today, all Activision Blizzard studios and their teams are a part of the Xbox division at Microsoft. This also means that Activision Blizzard IPs such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Candy Crush Saga, and hundreds more are now owned by Microsoft.

This entire saga of a tale began back on January 18, 2022 when Microsoft announced that they were moving forward with a plan to acquire Activision Blizzard in a deal worth almost $70 billion (USD). Since that initial announcement, there were stories about how Microsoft would release Activision Blizzard games still on PlayStation, bring these games to Nintendo hardware, and even promise to release games on Nvidia's GeForce Now service. There were multiple battles with the Federal Trade Commission and the UK's Competition and Markets Authority. There was a bunch of hoopla over cloud gaming. There were also so very many leaked documents that dished some Microsoft secrets they very much didn't want public.

But now, it's over. It's finally over.

Phil Spencer shared the news today via the Xbox Wire. As the head of Xbox, Spencer shared some words about what this acquisition means to him, the company, and those that play games.

"We love gaming. We play games, create games, and know first-hand how much gaming means to all of us as individuals and collectively, as a community. And today, we officially welcome Activision Blizzard and their teams to Xbox. They are the publishers of some of the most played and most beloved franchises in gaming history across console, PC and mobile. From Pitfall to Call of Duty, World of Warcraft to Overwatch, Candy Crush Saga to Farm Heroes Saga, their studios have pushed the boundaries of gaming for players around the world."(...)

"Players have always been at the center of everything we do. And as we grow, we’ll continue to keep players at the heart of it all. We’ll continue to listen to your feedback, build a community where you can be yourself, where developers can do their best work, and continue to make really fun games. As promised, we will also continue to make more games available in more places – and that begins now by enabling cloud streaming providers and players to stream Activision Blizzard games in the European Economic Area, a commitment made to the European Commission. Today we start the work to bring beloved Activision, Blizzard, and King franchises to Game Pass and other platforms. We’ll share more about when you can expect to play in the coming months. We know you’re excited – and we are too."
Microsoft even made an "official trailer" for the this whole thing finally coming to a conclusion. You kind of have to wonder just how long the Xbox team were sitting on this one.

Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard is valued at $69 billion. It is the largest buyout in the history of video games. Right now, work is beginning on bringing several Activision Blizzard titles to Game Pass, but it may take a bit of time for them to show up. We already know that Diablo 4 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 won't arrive on Game Pass until some time in 2024.

As for the fate of Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick? Well, he'll be gone by January 1, 2024. Kotick will be leaving Activision after serving 30 years as CEO. He stands to make upwards of $520 million from the sale of Activision Blizzard to Microsoft.