Here’s all the Activision Blizzard IP Microsoft just bought

Activision Blizzard is a lot more than just Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. Before the Microsoft acquisition, the Irvine-based company was a conglomerate all on its own.

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 01: A general view of the atmosphere at BlizzCon 2019 at the Anaheim ...
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Activision Blizzard (AB) contains Activision and Blizzard, obviously, but it also owns mobile game company King and other game development studios like Raven Software, Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games, Toys for Bob, Treyarch and Vicarious Visions are all a part of AB.

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Activision, a portmanteau of “active” and “television,” was founded in 1979 by a few former Atari employees and Jim Levy, a music executive who became its first CEO. Today, it’s CEO is Bobby Kotick.

From 1997 until 2008, Activision acquired seven gaming companies before merging with Vivendi Games, which owned Blizzard.

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Call of Duty

There have been more than 30 CoD games across PC, console and mobile since the first CoD game released back in 2003. There are currently five WWII-themed CoD games, five Modern Warfare games, six Black Ops games and three standalone CoD games.


Spyro the Dragon

Originally a late ‘90s PlayStation title, Spyro has since become a game franchise all on its own. The platformer centered around a purple dragon protagonist has spawned numerous sequels and three trilogies so far.

Activision Blizzard


Skylanders games are action-adventure fantasy titles for kids centered around characters that use different elements to fight evil. There are six Skylanders games as well as a Netflix animated series and IRL collectible figurines.

The franchise has been largely retired.

Activision / Toys for Bob

Crash Bandicoot

Naughty Dog Games, creator of The Last of Us, was behind the Crash franchise before it was handed off to AB. Like Spyro, Crash is also a platformer series where gamers play as the titular animal protagonist.

There are more than 20 Crash games, including a main canon of eight games, a number of racing games, and a few mobile titles.

Activision / Toys for Bob


Activision owns the rights to all the Tony Hawk skateboarding video games. Since 1999, more than 20 have been published. The development of this franchise has slowed since its heyday in the early 2000s but Hawk remains a Millennial icon, so it’s unlikely Microsoft will retire this IP permanently.Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

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Guitar Hero

The Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero games were primarily developed by Neversoft, a now-defunct gaming company that Activision absorbed back in 2014. There are 23 Guitar Hero games, including mobile titles.

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Guitar Hero was super popular in the early 2000s, but it’s no longer “cool,” apparently. Which is the perfect time for a reboot. There hasn’t been a game released under the franchise since the iOS mobile game Guitar Hero Live came out in 2015.

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Activision merged with Blizzard in 2008 when Activision bought Vivendi Games. Blizzard began as a racing game developer for Nintendo consoles in the early 90s. Since then, it’s transformed itself into a brand synonymous with PC gaming.

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Blizzard’s Warcraft IP includes three Warcraft games, World of Warcraft Classic (aka vanilla WoW) and World of Warcraft. The IP has spawned a collection of board games, countless novels, comics, manga and other merch.


Warcraft III: Reforged

Warcraft III: Reforged is Blizzard’s remake of the 2002 real-time strategy game Warcraft III.


World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft (WoW) is Blizzard’s most famous franchise. The all-consuming fantasy MMORPG has become a cultural touchstone of epic proportions since it was first released in 2004. WoW has been featured on South Park and even got its own CGI-heavy feature film inspired by the game’s lore.

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Blizzard develops the Diablo games, which are a series of gothic, dungeon-crawling RPGs. Blizzard is currently working on Diablo IV for PC and console as well as Diablo Immortal, an infamous mobile game.

Neither have a confirmed release date yet.



Hearthstone is a free-to-play digital card game inspired by Warcraft characters and lore. The game continues to receive patch updates and has an esports scene.

Hearthstone has been critiqued for its pay-to-win structure, as players must buy card decks in order to expand their roster of playable characters.



Overwatch is a first-person PvP shooter with MOBA elements. Teams must work together to eliminate enemies while securing objectives or pushing payloads.

Overwatch has a massive esports scene and a ravenously passionate community, despite the delay of Overwatch 2 and the departure of the Overwatch team’s lead dev, Jeff Kaplan.

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Blizzard is the developer behind Starcraft and Starcraft II. In Starcraft II, the real-time strategy experience resembles a game of sci-fi chess. One player must fight against another by building, mining and attacking as one of three “races.”

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Heroes of the Storm

Also known as HoTS, this Blizzard game is often scathingly referred to by gamers as a “Walmart” version of League of Legends. As such, the HoTS esports scene is officially dead. Blizzard has all but abandoned the game in terms of future development.

Nevertheless, HoTS can be fun for any die-hard Blizzard fan, as the game’s characters have all been pulled from other Blizzard titles.


The Lost Vikings

The Lost Vikings is a retired Blizzard franchise. It was a 90s puzzle-platform game for Nintendo’s Super NES console. Each of the playable Vikings have different abilities. One sequel was published in 1997.



Blackthorne is another 90s Blizzard game that has since been retired. It’s a sci-fi fantasy game set on the planet Tuul. And the protagonist — equipped with a shotgun — is out for revenge.



King is a massive mobile gaming company acquired by AB in 2016.


Candy Crush

Candy Crush is one of the biggest mobile games of all time, with more than 1 billion installs just from the Google Play Store alone. It’s just a cutesy matching puzzle game.


Bubble Witch Saga

King has made three Bubble Witch mobile games so far. The game is about a witch who fights evil.


Pet Rescue Saga

King’s Pet Rescue is a matching mobile game where players have to match color blocks to “save” virtual pets.


Farm Heroes Saga

King’s Farm Heroes is another mobile puzzle game, but this one is about an evil raccoon, spoiling crops and magic beans.


What does this all mean?

Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard (and King) likely means you’ll be seeing ABK titles on Xbox Game Pass.

As corporate America continues to operate with a conglomerate mindset in the name of revenue, Microsoft edges closer to a monopoly over an entire industry.

This is watershed moment for the gaming industry.

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