Microsoft Acquires Activision Blizzard for $68.7 Billion
Microsoft has announced that it has agreed to acquire Activision Blizzard. As in, the creators of Call of Duty, Warcraft, Candy Crush, Tony Hawk, Diablo, Overwatch, Crash Bandicoot, and so much more. Once the deal closes, the Activision Blizzard business will report up to Phil Spencer as CEO of Microsoft Gaming. Until the transaction goes through, Activision Blizzard and Microsoft Gaming will operate independently. The acquisition is described as an all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 billion.
"Players everywhere love Activision Blizzard games, and we believe the creative teams have their best work in front of them," said Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, as part of the announcement. "Together we will build a future where people can play the games they want, virtually anywhere they want."
Today is a historic moment. We are excited to announce that the world-renowned franchises and talented people at @ATVI_AB will be joining Team Xbox!— Xbox (@Xbox) January 18, 2022
Full announcement details here: https://t.co/RwF0QgXVwE pic.twitter.com/jIXuYCcndG
It's hard to accurately describe the magnitude of the deal, should it go through. The acquisition would see Blizzard Entertainment, Beenox, Demonware, Digital Legends, High Moon Studios, Infinity Ward, King, Major League Gaming, Radical Entertainment, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, Toys for Bob, Treyarch, and more report up to Phil Spencer.
"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," said Satya Nadella, Microsoft's chairman and CEO, as part of the announcement. "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."
According to the press release, the closing of the transaction is expected to happen in fiscal year 2023. As noted above, the two companies will continue to operate independently until then, and it will still need to make it through regulatory review, shareholder approval, and the like. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will continue to serve in his position for now. If it does go through, Microsoft will become the third-largest gaming company in the world by revenue with Tencent and Sony ahead of it still.
The Activision Blizzard acquisition is just the latest high-profile purchase by Microsoft. The acquisition of Bethesda Softworks parent company ZeniMax Media concluded in early 2021. You can check out all of our previous coverage of Microsoft in general right here.
What do you think about the announcement that Microsoft is acquiring Activision Blizzard? Do you think this will have seismic ramifications for the two businesses? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to reach out and hit me up directly over on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk about all things gaming!