Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion

Microsoft is acquiring Activision Blizzard, the troubled publisher of Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Diablo. The deal will value Activision at $68.7 billion, far in excess of the $26 billion Microsoft paid to acquire LinkedIn in 2016. It’s Microsoft’s biggest push into gaming, and the company says it will be the “third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony” once the deal closes.

More on Xbox Game Pass

Microsoft plans to add many of Activision’s games to Xbox Game Pass once the deal closes. With the acquisition of Activision, Microsoft will soon publish franchises like Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty, and Candy Crush. “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,” says Microsoft’s CEO of gaming Phil Spencer.

Xbox Game Pass now has 25 million subscribers, as Microsoft continues to acquire studios to boost the subscription service.

Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard
Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard

Microsoft vision

Microsoft doesn’t detail exactly how it will approach solving these issues, and the company says Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard for now. It looks like Kotick won’t remain once the deal is fully closed and after the transition period to Microsoft, though. Spencer, formerly head of gaming at Microsoft, is now CEO of Microsoft Gaming, and the company says the Activision Blizzard business will report directly to Spencer.

“As a company, Microsoft is committed to our journey for inclusion in every aspect of gaming, among both employees and players,” says Spencer. “We deeply value individual studio cultures; also, we believe that creative success and autonomy go hand-in-hand with treating every person with dignity and respect. We hold all teams, and all leaders, to this commitment. We’re looking forward to extending our culture of proactive inclusion to the great teams across Activision Blizzard.”

Microsoft’s huge Activision Blizzard deal comes nearly a year after the company acquired Bethesda (ZeniMax Media) for $7.5 billion. At the time, that acquisition bolstered the company’s first-party Xbox game studios to a total of 23 and was seen as a huge boost for Xbox Game Pass.

By Enrico

My greatest passion is technology. I am interested in multiple fields and I have a lot of experience in software design and development. I started professional development when I was 6 years. Today I am a strong full-stack .NET developer (C#, Xamarin, Azure)

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