A huge gaming deal set to break records is somewhere over the horizon, as Microsoft is near completion of its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the publisher behind the Call of Duty and Warcraft series. The official announcement comes minutes after several insiders leaked the deal, and it would appear that Microsoft has now confirmed it via an official blog post.
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Here’s the announcement via the official post:
With three billion people actively playing games today and fueled by a new generation steeped in the joys of interactive entertainment, gaming is now the largest and fastest-growing form of entertainment. Today, Microsoft Corp. announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard Inc., a leader in game development and interactive entertainment content publisher. 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.
According to Dina Bass of Bloomberg, the deal is $68.7 billion; that is nearly 10 times the amount paid in Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda, a huge number that is set to break records in terms of studio acquisitions.
Official now. Microsoft is buying Activison for $68.7 billion
— Dina Bass (@dinabass) January 18, 2022
As part of the terms of the acquisition, the official press release states that Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzard’s current CEO, will still remain in his position:
Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard, and he and his team will maintain their focus on driving efforts to further strengthen the company’s culture and accelerate business growth. Once the deal closes, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming.
Microsoft has been hot on the heels of studio acquisitions lately, although this is certainly a surprise; just recently, after the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct against some of the company’s higher-ups, Xbox’s Phil Spencer has stated that they are evaluating their relationship with Activision Blizzard. This acquisition is certainly a re-evaluation, but it remains to be seen if this one holds up.
It also begs the question of what will happen to the Call of Duty partnership with Sony. It’s no secret that the franchise has released multiple exclusive content on the PlayStation platform; how will this affect the partnership?