Xbox CEO Phil Spencer admits that Microsoft’s $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been a learning experience, but he remains confident in it going through.
Speaking with IGN, Spencer said he “didn’t know anything” about this type of acquisition when it was announced in January 2022, but having undergone the process and having conversations with key players, he’s more confident now than he was last year.
“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 said.
“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.”
Spencer would have plenty reason to be a little shaken, however, as several government bodies have moved to challenge the deal in the past few months including the United States’ Federal Trade Commission and UK’s Competitions and Markets Authority. The European Union is also reportedly preparing a statement of objections.
The deal, which would see Xbox own several prolific game franchises including Call of Duty and Overwatch, has also been criticised by various U.S. senators, the city of New York, and the U.S. Justice Department. Despite this, Spencer said his “confidence remains high”.
He continued: “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 more regulators that 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.”
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly listed Xbox’s acquisition as being worth $67.8 billion. We have amended the story with the correct number and regret the error.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer and acting UK news editor. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.