Almost exactly a year ago, Microsoft dropped the bomb that became the biggest news of the year, and something that it was reported on every week. We're of course talking about them buying Activision Blizzard, which is the by far biggest acquisition of all time when it comes to video games.
Due to the sheer magnitude of this deal, it was said that it was expected to be finalised in 18 months, which would mean that it is done this upcoming summer. But will it actually happen? At least the Xbox boss Phil Spencer thinks so. While Microsoft has encountered a few speed bumps with regulatory boards in a few key market, he says in a new interview that he is "more confident now" compared to when the acquisition was announced:
"Given a year ago, for me, I didn't know anything about the process of doing an acquisition like this. The fact that I have more insight, more knowledge about what it means to work with the different regulatory boards, I'm more confident now than I was a year ago, simply based on the information I have and the discussions that we've been having."
Spencer continues by explaining his ideas of why this is good and how he has been working to ensure the regulatory boards have all the information they need:
"When we announced a year ago, we talked about an 18-month timeframe. We're 12 months into that. I think we continue to stay focused on getting the deal closed. I think we can do some amazing things together with the teams at Activision-Blizzard-King on the mobile side, and collaborating them with new creative and new ways to deliver their content. And us learning a lot from the work that those teams do in mobile, which is a space that we just don't have a lot of expertise as Xbox, but also is the largest gaming platform in the world.
"So my confidence remains high. We're actively working with the regulatory boards around the world that need to approve for this, and it's been a learning experience for me. A lot of time spent, a lot of travel, a lot of conversations, but they're conversations where I get to talk about our industry and the work that we do and why we do it. I think the more regulators are informed about what gaming is, how the business runs, who the players are, and what our aspiration is as Team Xbox is just a good thing for the industry itself."
Recently, the Microsoft boss Satya Nadella said pretty much the same thing to the company's investors, so it seems they really believe themselves that the deal will eventually go through. Do you think Microsoft will be the sole owner of Activision Blizzard this summer?