crash bandicoot running across a red hot pipe with aku aku over his shoulder
Image via Activision Blizzard

Microsoft now officially owns PlayStation mascots Crash and Spyro

I never thought I'd see the day...

Today, Oct. 13, after 20 months of legal hurdles, Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard King has been finalized. This now means that Microsoft owns iconic PlayStation mascots Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon.

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An Xbox news post by Xbox CEO Phil Spencer (via The Verge) announced the news just moments ago. “Today, we officially welcome Activision Blizzard and their teams to Xbox,” Spencer wrote. “As one team, we’ll learn, innovate, and continue to deliver on our promise to bring the joy and community of gaming to more people.” It took a while to convince regulators, however.

The 20 months since the acquisition was announced have been fraught with legal battles. The U.K.’s regulatory body the CMA was the last to hold out, and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission also had to be won over. Microsoft has to sell Activision’s cloud gaming rights to Ubisoft, but that seems a small price to pay to acquire the rest of ABK.

Spencer wrote in his news post that Xbox will endeavour to make Activision Blizzard games available via cloud streaming in the European Economic Area and will start the work needed to get ABK games to Game Pass—just don’t expect to see Modern Warfare 3 on there this year.

I hope this is good news for gamers, but I don’t think it will be in the long term. The gaming industry continues to see large mergers, with small studios being subsumed and turned into support for live-service titles, just like how Crash 4 developer Toys for Bob was turned into a CoD support studio, or Burnout developer Criterion was made into an EA Entertainment support studio.

Dot Esports has reached out to Activision and Microsoft.

Activision pointed Dot in the direction of emails to employees from CEOs Phil Spencer and Bobby Kotick. Spencer wrote to Microsoft staff, “Bobby Kotick has agreed to remain in his role through the end of 2023, reporting directly to me, to ensure a smooth and seamless integration.”

Kotick wrote to ABK employees: “Amid the uncertainty of the last 21 months, you’ve remained focused, as always, on serving our players and supporting each other.”


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Author
Issy van der Velde
Issy loves his video games and his guinea pigs. He's been writing about games for a few years now, but esports is new to him, so please be nice and treat him like the fragile little baby he is.