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(Pocket-lint) - Xbox's parent company, Microsoft, has agreed to buy Activision Blizzard for a whopping $68.7 billion.

It's a deal that has the potential to shake up the gaming industry on a huge scale. Some of the biggest franchises in the world will soon be under the Xbox Game Studios umbrella.

These include Call of Duty, Activision's crown jewel, but also Blizzard's biggest titles, Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo and more. It certainly fuels immediate speculation about what Xbox plans for these game series in terms of platform exclusivity.

XboxMicrosoft buys Activision-Blizzard in huge gaming deal photo 1

It makes clear in its release announcing the purchase that it intends to make as many games from the Activision Blizzard catalogue as possible available to Xbox and PC players through its Game Pass membership, which will be music to the ears of those already subscribed.

Whether this means that next year's Call of Duty will not come out on PlayStation 4 and PS5, though, is a huge question, given the rival platforms normally represent the biggest single share of COD's annual sales. We know that future games from Bethesda will not be coming to PlayStation after Xbox acquired it. That could represent a precedent, but it's very early days.

This purchase, once it completes, will dwarf that of Bethesda, though - that deal cost $7.5 billion, so we're an order of magnitude away from it when talking about Activision.

Touching on the ongoing controversy around historic alleged abuse and harassment at Activision Blizzard, Phil Spector said "We also believe that creative success and autonomy go hand-in-hand with treating every person with dignity and respect. We hold all teams, and all leaders, to this commitment. We’re looking forward to extending our culture of proactive inclusion to the great teams across Activision Blizzard."

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Writing by Max Freeman-Mills. Editing by Rik Henderson.