Following Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda and ZeniMax, the company has announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard.
With this acquisition, Microsoft will gain franchises such as Call of Duty, Warcraft, Candy Crush, Tony Hawk, Diablo, Overwatch, Spyro, Hearthstone, Guitar Hero, Crash Bandicoot, StarCraft.
“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, chairman and CEO, Microsoft. “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.”
It’ll also studios and teams like Activision Publishing, 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 to Microsoft’s gaming fold.
Microsoft is set to pay $95 per share in an all-cash transaction, valued at $68.7 billion.
After the deal closes, Activision Blizzard and the newly formed Microsoft Gaming are expected to operate independently.
“Players everywhere love Activision Blizzard games, and we believe the creative teams have their best work in front of them,” said Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming. “Together we will build a future where people can play the games they want, virtually anywhere they want.”
According to a blog post by Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming, the Activision Blizzard business will report to him directly.
Pending any regulatory hurdles, the acquisition is expected to be complete in fiscal year 2023.
Once the deal is complete, Microsoft plans to add more Activision Blizzard titles to Xbox Game Pass (which recently passed 25 million subscribers) and PC Game Pass.