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These are the IPs Microsoft Will Soon Own

The Microsoft/Activision deal has been given a preliminary approval by the UK’s CMA and that means it will be closing within a fortnight. The biggest deal in tech history is coming to a close.


This has been by no means a foregone conclusion. The deal made a lot of legal sense, but some regulators seemed desperate to shut it down. We went from being fairly positive it would close, to some industry analysts giving it a less than 20 percent chance of clearing. And now it will be done.

That’s mostly down to it being Microsoft. They spent the time and money – and no doubt used a lot of clout – to get this deal through. It’s a landmark moment in our industry.

It’s a bit premature to talk about the implications of this now. We’ll wait until the middle of October, when the deal will likely actually formally close. Instead, I wanted to take a quick look at all of the classic IP that Microsoft and Xbox will now hold in their vault.

Activision IP

  • Blur
  • Caesar
  • Call of Duty
  • Candy Crush
  • Crash Bandicoot
  • Diablo
  • DJ Hero
  • Empire Earth
  • Gabriel Knight
  • Geometry Wars
  • Guitar Hero
  • Gun
  • Hearthstone
  • Heroes of the Storm
  • Hexen
  • Interstate ’76
  • King’s Quest
  • Laura Bow Mysteries
  • The Lost Vikings
  • Overwatch
  • Phantasmagoria
  • Pitfall
  • Police Quest
  • Prototype
  • Quest for Glory
  • Singularity
  • Skylanders
  • Solider of Fortune
  • Space Quest
  • Spyro the Dragon
  • StarCraft
  • Tenchu (legacy games)
  • TimeShift
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
  • True Crime
  • World of Warcraft
  • Zork

Microsoft and Activision – Analysis

I know what you’re thinking. At last, a chance at a new DJ Hero. Make it happen Microsoft.

On top of the games above, you can add in a bit of mystery around Sekiro. It was published by Activision worldwide and so likely can be placed on Game Pass. But they don’t own the IP. So who knows what will happen?

I don’t need to point out the big hitters here. Call of Duty speaks for itself. As does Crash, Spyro (and Skylanders), Warcraft and Starcraft, Diablo and Candy Crush. All of these games will be represented in Game Pass, and will have new entries or ongoing support. You can take that to the bank. It’s a matter of when, not if.

But it’s the less obvious IPs that make this interesting. True Crime is a nostalgic classic that disappeared into Sleeping Dogs (which equally, sadly, disappeared). It could give Xbox its own GTA clone with an in-built audience. Gun, similarly, could be revived as a Red Dead-a-like. They wouldn’t be as good, but they don’t need to be. They just need to exist.

Tenchu is now owned by From, the same From who had a massive hit with Elden Ring. A revival of that franchise would be a decent exclusive, and a chance to get in on the continued Souls hype.

Prototype always felt like Infamous’s ugly brother. It didn’t score as well, and it wasn’t made by Sony. But it has great potential in the modern era, especially in a world where the last Infamous is nearly ten years old.

And that’s just some of the obvious things. Dig deeper and the potential for big games is massive.


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blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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Twitter: @matgrowcott