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Phil Spencer: "I'm always thinking about things that add to our capability"

Microsoft Gaming's CEO discussed the Activision Blizzard acquisition with Bloomberg
Phil Spencer:

In an interview with Bloomberg, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer discussed the progress on the company’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard which, if closed, will be the largest in gaming history.

"I feel good about the progress that we've been making, but I go into the process supportive of people who maybe aren't as close to the gaming industry asking good, hard questions about ‘what is our intent? What does this mean? If you play it out over five years, is this constricting a market? Is it growing a market?" said Spencer.

If closed, the deal will see Activision Blizzard join a growing number of gaming companies owned by Microsoft, which includes names such as Ninja TheoryMojang, and Zenimax, as Microsoft steps up competition against rival gaming company Sony, creator of the PlayStation.

Activision Blizzard and its subsidiaries are behind some of the biggest franchises and games in the world on a multiple of platforms, including mobile hits such as Diablo Immortal and Candy Crush. However, it’s worth noting that the company has been involved in significant controversies as well, including a class action lawsuit raised against the company due to allegations of sexual harassment. The company has pledged to re-evaluate its workplace culture and build a more equitable environment. Spencer stressed that Microsoft had examined Activision’s plans to address the issues before agreeing to the deal.

Joining the family

"When I look at the work that they're doing now — there's always more that can be done —but I believe from the studio leaders there that I know very well, some of them former Xbox members, that they're committed to this journey. And I applaud that regardless of the deal."

Addressing the larger gaming space, Spencer also stated that he believes that platform exclusives are something which will be less and less common going forward, as studios increasingly port their titles across consoles.

"We really love to be able to bring more players in reducing friction, making people feel safe, secure when they're playing, allowing them to find their friends, play with their friends, regardless of what device — I think in the long run that is good for this industry."

Spencer also made it clear that this acquisition is just the latest in many, and that Microsoft will continue to acquire and invest in new games and studios as the company continues to expand its market share.

"I'm always thinking about things that add to our capability," he said. "Even though we've worked on our geographic expansion, I'd still say we have too many of our creators in places that are our traditional markets."

We ranked Activision Blizzard number two on this year’s list of the top 50 mobile game makers.