New Delhi: Microsoft announced on Tuesday that it would acquire Activision Blizzard, the maker of popular games such as Call of Duty (CoD) and World of Warcraft, for a record-breaking $68.7 billion in what is the largest gaming acquisition in history.
When the transaction is completed, Microsoft will surpass Tencent and Sony to become the world’s third-largest gaming company in terms of revenue generated.
A number of iconic franchises from the Activision, Blizzard, and King studios, including “Warcraft,” “Diablo,” “Overwatch,” “Call of Duty,” and “Candy Crush,” will be included in the planned acquisition, as well as global eSports activities through Major League Gaming.
The company has studios in various locations around the world and employs nearly 10,000 people.
According to Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO of Microsoft, “We’re investing heavily in world-class content, community, and the cloud to usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first, and that makes gaming safe, inclusive, and accessible to all.”
“Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment today across all platforms,” he continued, adding that it will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms in the future.
This acquisition will help Microsoft accelerate the growth of its gaming business across platforms such as mobile, PC, console, and cloud, as well as provide the foundation for the creation of a metaverse.
Activision Blizzard’s CEO, Bobby Kotick, will remain in his position.
Following the completion of the transaction, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming.
In Kotick’s words, “for more than 30 years, our incredibly talented teams have created some of the most successful games.”
Adding, “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.”
Mobile gaming is the most popular segment of the gaming industry, with nearly 95 percent of all players in the world playing games on their mobile devices.
In addition, Microsoft’s Game Pass portfolio will be bolstered as a result of the acquisition, with plans to add Activision Blizzard games to the service, which has recently reached a new milestone of more than 25 million subscribers.
With Activision Blizzard’s nearly 400 million monthly active players in 190 countries and three billion-dollar franchises, Microsoft’s Game Pass will have one of the most compelling and diverse lineups of gaming content available in the industry, according to the company.
Microsoft will have 30 internal game development studios by the time the deal is completed, in addition to additional publishing and esports production capabilities.
During the fiscal year 2023, the transaction is expected to be completed.