In a recent interview with IGN, head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, spoke on his current thoughts about the pending Activision Blizzard acquisition, which has now been pending for over a year, and, surprisingly, Spencer stated that he's "more confident now" that it will go through than he was over a year ago.
This is particularly notable, given the amount of resistance Microsoft has faced from regulators in its attempt to purchase Activision for nearly $69 billion. Regulatory institutions from the United Kingdom and the European Union continue to extend their investigations, while in the United States, Microsoft is set to face trial against the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), which is suing them to attempt to block the deal. Spencer, however, stated that "based on the information I have and the discussions that we've been having," he believes that the deal will eventually go through regardless.
Spencer further pointed to his newly acquired experience of communicating with regulators. He explained that, at first, he "didn't know anything about the process of doing an acquisition like this." Though Microsoft did acquire publisher Bethesda only a year prior, it was certainly a much smaller purchase at only $7.5 billion.
The process has apparently been a "learning experience" for Spencer, but his confidence remains high, as he now has more knowledge and insight into "what it means to work with different regulatory boards." Spencer believes that all these discussions with regulators are a benefit to the industry, as it behooves everyone for these institutions to be more informed about "what gaming is, how the business runs, who the players are."
In this very interview, Spencer also spoke about the current state of Xbox and its first-party titles. He admits that 2022 "was too light on games" and shifts that blame upon himself, as he is, in the end, "the head of the business." He expressed his excitement, however, of jumping into 2023 with a lot more to show. He specifically references the Developer Direct that recently took place, and mentions the Xbox summer showcase, which will occur in June. He touted the importance of having things to show, and showing dates, so fans can have something tangible to look forward to, which they did recently with Redfall, and the shadow drop of Hi-Fi RUSH.
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