Just a little over a year ago, Microsoft acquired Bethesda, bolstering its stable of game developers. Showing no signs of slowing down, the company has announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard, known for the Call of Duty, Warcraft, and Diablo franchises, for a whopping $68.7 billion.
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By comparison, the Bethesda acquisition only set Microsoft back a “mere” $7.5 billion. Once this latest deal is complete, Microsoft will be the third-largest gaming company in the world behind Tencent and Sony. In addition to the aforementioned Call of Duty, Warcraft, and Diablo games, Activision Blizzard also develops games like Overwatch and Candy Crush through the King studio.
“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.”Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO, Microsoft
Microsoft has been on a crusade lately to bring “the joy and community of gaming to everyone, across every device” with Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming. Activision Blizzard boasts nearly 400 million active monthly players, and its games will be an excellent addition for the over 25 million Game Pass subscribers. Traditionally focused on console and PC gaming, the inclusion of King and Candy Crush in the deal will give Microsoft an opportunity to expand even further.
Activision Blizzard has been hit hard lately with regards to working conditions and how they treat their employees. Microsoft states that Bobby Kotick will remain as CEO of Activision Blizzard and will be maintaining its focus on further strengthening the company’s culture on top of accelerating business growth.
“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.”Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming
Already approved by both boards, the deal still requires regulatory approval. Once completed, Microsoft will have 30 internal game development studios to draw upon for new games for its game streaming service.
What do you think about Microsoft’s pending acquisition of Activision Blizzard? Are you excited to be able to play games like Call of Duty on Game Pass when they release? Let us know on social media by using the buttons below.