Microsoft signs $68.7bn deal to acquire Activision Blizzard

Microsoft has signed an all-cash deal worth $68.7 billion to acquire Activision Blizzard, an American video game company that owns Call of Duty and Candy Crush.

The tech giant expects the popular games, immersive interactive entertainment, and publishing expertise of Activision Blizzard to speed up growth in its gaming business across mobile, PC, console, and cloud. Furthermore, Microsoft expects the video game company to provide building blocks to build the metaverse.

The acquisition is also expected to enable Microsoft to be one of the top gaming companies in the world just behind Tencent and Sony, on the basis of revenue.

Commenting on Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Satya Nadella —chairman and CEO of Microsoft said: “Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms.

“We’re investing deeply in world-class content, community and the cloud to usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first and makes gaming safe, inclusive and accessible to all.”

Shareholders of the publicly-trading video game company will be paid $95 per share in cash.

Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard

Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Image courtesy of Microsoft.

The acquisition includes franchises from the Activision, King, and Blizzard studios covering Warcraft, Diablo, Call of Duty, Candy Crush, and Overwatch, in addition to Major League Gaming.

With studios around the world, Activision Blizzard employs nearly 10,000 people.

With Activision Blizzard on board, Microsoft plans to bolster its Game Pass portfolio by launching the former’s games into its video game subscription service.

Game Pass stands to gain nearly 400 million monthly active players in 190 countries and three billion-dollar franchises from Activision Blizzard. Following the closing of the deal, Microsoft will have 30 internal game development studios and additional publishing and esports production capabilities.

Bobby Kotick — CEO of Activision Blizzard, commenting on Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard, said: “For more than 30 years our incredibly talented teams have created some of the most successful games.

“The combination of Activision Blizzard’s world-class talent and extraordinary franchises with Microsoft’s technology, distribution, access to talent, ambitious vision and shared commitment to gaming and inclusion will help ensure our continued success in an increasingly competitive industry.”

Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard is subject to regulatory approvals, customary closing conditions, and the latter’s shareholder approval, following which, it is expected to be wrapped up in the fiscal year 2023.

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