Microsoft buys Activision Blizzard for gaming and metaverse expansion
Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard strengthens its own gaming portfolio - including for a possible Metaverse future.
Microsoft plans to acquire Activision Blizzard at an acquisition price of $95 per share. The total value of the transaction is thus around 68.7 billion US dollars.
According to the press release, the group intends the acquisition to "accelerate the growth of Microsoft's games business across mobile, PC, console and cloud, and provide building blocks for the Metaverse."
Microsoft gears up for gaming and Metaverse future
Activision and Blizzard studios are known for games such as Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty, and Candy Crush. The gaming conglomerate employs about 10,000 people worldwide. The acquisition makes Microsoft the world's third-largest games manufacturer in terms of revenue after Tencent and Sony.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sees the acquisition as a strategic one-two punch: "Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting entertainment category across all platforms and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms," Nadella says of the acquisition, promising "a new era of gaming."
Nadella told of future "gaming metaverses" involving virtual reality and augmented reality back in November 2021. "If you look at Halo as a game, it's a metaverse. Minecraft is a metaverse, as is Flight Simulator," Nadella said. "In a sense, they are 2D today, and the question is whether you can now translate that into a full 3D world, and we certainly intend to do that."
With Activision Blizzard's game brands, Microsoft is now bolstering its own portfolio with some of the best-known titles on the market - and their millions of fans.
Bobby Kotick to remain Activision Blizzard CEO
Activision Blizzard's current CEO Bobby Kotick is expected to remain in his role and continue to develop Activision Blizzard. After the deal closes, Kotick will report to Microsoft's gaming chief Phil Spencer. Kotick has come under criticism for, among other things, ignoring incidents of sexual assault known to him or preventing them from becoming public.
"Gamers around the world love Activision Blizzard's games, and we believe the creative teams have their best work ahead of them," Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer said. "Together, we'll build a future where people can play the games they want, virtually anywhere they want."
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