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5 Great Activision Blizzard Franchises Microsoft Will Acquire

Once complete, Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard will significantly expand its library of franchises. What are the most important or unlikely IP addresses on this list, and what does the future hold for them?

The gaming industry shook this week with news of Microsoft’s intention to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, a deal that will be finalized in June 2023. When the dust settles, the Xbox house will end up with the keys to a considerable number of established companies. , successful franchises.

There is, however, a lot of work to be done with Activision Blizzard, the publisher, and its intellectual properties. A long history of success in the industry does not prevent the company or its products from coming from the ramifications of toxic behavior within its offices, or the stagnation of business practices and game designs.

Here are five big Activision Blizzard franchises that Microsoft will have available next summer, both big and unexpected:

5) World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft is among the legacy franchises that Microsoft might need to overhaul. (Activision Blizzard)

Blizzard is responsible for some of the biggest names in PC gaming, like Starcraft, Diablo, and Monitoring, but historically their greatest success is World of Warcraft. As the biggest MMORPG in the world for over a decade, it will fit very easily into Microsoft’s PC strategies.

However, he also has a lot of work to do to regain his player base. Over the past few years, Activision Blizzard has seen players flocking from its servers to grassier plains for a variety of reasons – from solidarity with victims of harassment within the company, to disapproval of the game’s current meta, going through old apathy during a long-run live service game. Microsoft will have to breathe new life into an old time sink one way or another.

would bend World of Warcraft in the PC Game Pass to some extent help? Or will it require a much more extensive overhaul of the game itself? Time will tell us.

4) Call of Duty

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Speaking of declining reputation, Call of Duty may be a bit out of order. Although its annual iterations still dominate the sales charts, their receptions are mixed among gamers and critics. According to the platform, its latest entry, Call of Duty: Vanguard, currently sits somewhere between 3.3 and 4.7 with Metacritic users, and around a 73 score from critics. While sales haven’t exactly dried up, unrest is starting to deepen and escalate among his fans.

Like Activision Blizzard, Microsoft could just take advantage of the momentum of the name, continue to produce annual installments and continue to sit at the top of the charts. But how long can this continue? We have already seen other series like Assassin’s Creed Give up the temptation of big annual paydays, and the fan response has been overwhelmingly positive.

Of course, Microsoft could also just stay the course, while doing these Call of Duty games exclusive to Xbox platforms. In recent years, PlayStation has carved out the lion’s share of sales, so that alone would be a blow to Sony.

3) Guitar Hero

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This list is starting to look a lot like the list of games I shot about a decade ago, but yeah, Microsoft could technically acquire Guitar Hero from the Activision Blizzard library. Once a phenomenon, the rhythm game franchise has lain dormant since the lukewarm days of 2015 Guitar Hero live reboot – a disappointing performance which later saw its developer, Freestyle Games, sold to Ubisoft – and Black-smith quietly assumed the power vacuum he left behind.

However, both Guitar Hero and Rock band have seen a small resurgence in the second-hand market and in retro game stores recently, as consumers embrace nostalgic outlets to reduce stress during the ongoing pandemic. Could Microsoft kick off a revival of the series and genre that once sold so many Xbox 360 units? Or would they avoid it, given that the inherent importance of physical peripherals clashes with Xbox’s emphasis on Game Pass and other digital solutions?

2) Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater

Tony Hawk Pro Skater has already been resurrected, and Microsoft could easily oversee a follow-up.
Tony Hawk Pro Skater has already been resurrected, and Microsoft could easily oversee a follow-up. (Sony)

In the same way, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater once flooded the market and then faded away for years. However, Activision Blizzard recently defibrillated the title with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 on modern platforms, reimagining the classics in modern HD and revealing that there was still life in their Airwalks.

The dust has already been swept away from this series, making it a great place for Phil Spencer to invest once the deal closes. If the next game is another HD treatment for THPS 3 and 4, or something more original, there would be a certain sense of victory for Xbox to release a new iteration of a series that started out as a PlayStation title.

1) Crash Bandicoot & Spyro the Dragon

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Sony once poked fun at Nintendo with this ad. Soon, Microsoft might return the favor.

But of course, the most surreal part of this deal might be that Crash and Spyro could potentially become Xbox exclusives, after their stints as turn-of-the-century PlayStation mascots. Both have seen successful HD remasters of their original trilogies in recent years, and Activision Blizzard has released a successor for Crash, 2020 Crash 4: About time, developed by Toys For Bob. The two have been cross-platform names for a while, but now they’re moving into Master Chief’s house – the salt that could rub in Sony’s wounds is probably worth around a billion dollars itself.

However, owning the licenses for Crash and Spyro does not guarantee that Microsoft will use them for new games. Microsoft has indirectly owned the rights to the old Nintendo Banjo-Kazooie pseudo-mascots since it bought Rare in 2002, but the dynamic duo haven’t seen a new game since the middle. Banjo-Kazooie: nuts and bolts in 2008. If anything new comes along, however, you can count on the marketing campaigns flipping a few birds in Sony’s direction.

Again, it’ll be a while before the Activision Blizzard acquisition is finalized, but once it’s done, Microsoft has some serious cleanup to do – and the first place it needs is in the publisher’s offices. However, it could mean big things for dedicated Xbox fans, and we’ll have to wait and see how this infusion of IP affects the platforms’ long drought of exclusives.