BrandArena: Biggest Video Game Deal in History: Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard for $69 Billion

Thursday 20 January 2022

Biggest Video Game Deal in History: Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard for $69 Billion

Tech giant Microsoft has announced the biggest video game deal in history, acquiring Activision Blizzard Inc., a leader in game development and interactive entertainment content publisher for a whopping $68.7 Billion.

This acquisition will accelerate the growth in Microsoft’s gaming business across mobile, PC, console and cloud and will provide building blocks for the metaverse.

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. When the transaction closes, Microsoft will 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 to global eSports activities through Major League Gaming. The company has studios around the world with nearly 10,000 employees.

Microsoft added that the addition of Activision Blizzard would make it the world's third-largest game company by revenue, behind only Tencent and Sony.

According to the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, gaming would play a key role in the development of the metaverse and Microsoft is investing big in the development of safe and accessible gaming.
The purchase of Activision for $95 per share in a transaction valued at $68.7 billion has been approved by the boards of directors of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard and this signifies a big entry by Microsoft into the metaverse.

"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 Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella. "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."

In November, Xbox head Phil Spencer sent an email to employees saying Microsoft leadership was "disturbed and deeply troubled" by what happened at Activision Blizzard, adding that he was "evaluating all aspects of our relationship with Activision Blizzard and making ongoing proactive adjustments."

Microsoft has said that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will continue to serve in that position, but will report to Spencer after the deal closes.

"With Activision Blizzard's nearly 400 million monthly active players in 190 countries and three billion-dollar franchises, this acquisition will make Game Pass one of the most compelling and diverse lineups of gaming content in the industry," Microsoft said in announcing the deal.

Microsoft did not say whether Activision Blizzard's franchises would be made exclusive to Xbox platforms.

"Upon close, we will offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard's incredible catalog," Spencer said in a blog post. "We also announced today that Game Pass now has more than 25 million subscribers. As always, we look forward to continuing to add more value and more great games to Game Pass."

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