During an Xbox panel called “What’s Next for Gaming,” head of Xbox Phil Spencer was asked by the moderator for the current status of the drawn-out process of attempting to acquire Activision Blizzard.
“So, it’s been a long journey,” Spencer said. “I have to admit that when we started this, some of us up here, maybe more than 18 months ago were thinking about where our strategy was and what we could add to our capability. That Activision Blizzard King acquisition, I’ll just be honest, it’s been a real learning experience for me in a good way. And so many people up here – [head of Xbox Game Studios] Matt [Booty] and [corporate vice president] Sarah [Bond] – have spent a lot of time leading and strategizing and thinking about where we are. You think about our progress as a company, I think there are 40 countries that have approved the deal, and there’s 2 countries we’re really focused on getting approval. Those are kind of the two that are there in front of us.”
“I’d say the company, Microsoft – which is obviously important when you’re thinking about spending $70 billion, which is crazy to think about – they’re very committed,” Spencer continued. “We are very committed. We think there’s a real capability that Activision Blizzard King has, specifically in mobile and PC, and just growing our portfolio that will help us find more players and reach more players. The work is ongoing, but we remain confident when we think about the work. We’re out there to find solutions with the regulators that have questions. And that’s what we’re actively doing from Brad Smith, who is our chief counsel at the company, [or] Sarah spending a lot of time on the road with regulators, we’re trying to get to solutions. We did that with the European Commission, and I’m confident that we’ll find solutions for the other areas as well. It’s taking time. It’s taking focus. But I’m confident.”
Xbox’s intention to acquire Activision Blizzard was first announced in January 2022, but the acquisition has been in process in the time since, with several speed bumps along the way.