January 18, 2022
Microsoft has acquired Activision Blizzard, the game developer and interactive entertainment content publisher, for $68.7 billion in cash. Microsoft expects the acquisition to accelerate the growth of its gaming business across mobile, PC, console and cloud. It also will provide building blocks for the metaverse.
Furthermore, this deal positions Microsoft to become the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony. The planned acquisition includes iconic franchises from the Activision, Blizzard and King studios like “Warcraft,” “Diablo,” “Overwatch,” “Call of Duty” and “Candy Crush. In addition, Microsoft gets global esports activities through Major League Gaming. The company has studios around the word with nearly 10,000 employees.
Microsoft’s Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella is chairman and CEO of Microsoft.
“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,” Nadella said. “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.”
Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard. He and his team will maintain their focus on further strengthening the company’s culture and growing their business. Once the deal closes, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming.
“Players everywhere love Activision Blizzard games, and we believe the creative teams have their best work in front of them. Together we will build a future where people can play the games they want, virtually anywhere they want.,” Spencer said.
Microsoft’s Phil Spencer
Mobile is the largest segment in gaming, with nearly 95% of all players globally enjoying games on mobile. As a result, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard will empower players to enjoy immersive franchises, like “Halo” and “Warcraft,” virtually anywhere they want. Also, Activision Blizzard´s mobile business represents a significant presence and opportunity for Microsoft in this fast-growing segment. Take “Candy Crush” as an example.
Game Pass Portfolio
The acquisition also bolsters Microsoft’s Game Pass portfolio with plans to launch Activision Blizzard games into Game Pass, which has reached a new milestone of over 25 million subscribers. With Activision Blizzard’s nearly 400 million monthly active players in 190 countries and three billion-dollar franchises, this acquisition will up Game Pass’ “game” with more diverse content. Upon close, Microsoft will have 30 internal game development studios, along with additional publishing and esports production capabilities.
Moreover, gaming is now the largest and fastest-growing form of entertainment as 3 billion people actively play games today.
Bobby Kotick is CEO of Activision Blizzard.
“For more than 30 years our incredibly talented teams have created some of the most successful games,” Kotick said. “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.”
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