For a whopping sum of $68.7 billion, making it one of the largest acquisitions done by Microsoft’s Xbox team, it was today announced that Microsoft is planning to acquire the video game publisher and developer Activision Blizzard. With the stated objective of this acquisition to ” accelerate the growth in Microsoft´s gaming business across mobile, PC, console, and cloud” and provide “building blocks for the metaverse”, this will see them also acquire many of the brand’s major IPs such as Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty and Candy Crush, in addition to global eSports activities and studios encompassing around 10,000 employees.
If all goes to plan, Microsoft will acquire Activision Blizzard for $95.00 per share, in an all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 billion, inclusive of Activision Blizzard’s net cash. The process will not be an immediate one, so until this happens, Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard, with the idea that “he and his team will maintain their focus on driving efforts to further strengthen the company´s culture and accelerate business growth”. Once the deal closes, Activision Blizzard will report directly to Phil Spencer, Microsoft Gaming’s CEO.
On a gaming company end, when this deal closes, Microsoft claims this will see them become the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony. It will also see Microsoft have 30 internal game development studios, following previous acquisitions including Bethesda Softworks and Mojang.
What Activision looks like under Microsoft is still a mystery, and whether many of Activision’s popular franchises will become exclusive to PC and Xbox platforms, rather than the multiplatform approach they have taken in the past. For those who have an Xbox, game on the PC and/or own every console, this is sure to be exciting news. For those who may be limited to gaming on PlayStation or Nintendo consoles… some question marks may be lingering right now.
However, short term plans announced includes Activision Blizzard games being included in the Xbox Game Pass subscriptions service, which recently celebrated its 25 Million subscriber milestone.