Earlier today, Microsoft Corporation announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard in arguably one of the biggest, most decisive deals in video game history.
Microsoft will acquire Activision Blizzard for $95.00 per share. Therefore, the total transaction is valued at US$68.7 billion. When the transaction closes, Microsoft will be the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony. This incredible acquisition will include some of the biggest gaming franchises in the world, including World of Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty and Candy Crush.
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. 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.Satya Nadella, Microsoft Chairman and CEO
Will Bobby Kotick Stay at Activision Blizzard?
As it stands, Bobby Kotick will continue to be the CEO of Activision Blizzard, despite all of the recent drama surrounding the company. However, once the deal closes, Activision Blizzard will report to Phil Spencer, the CEO of Microsoft Gaming. There are currently rumours surrounding Bobby Kotick stepping down once the transaction is complete, but nothing is certain as of yet.
“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.”
Activision Blizzard Coming to Game Pass
This acquisition also strengthens Microsoft’s Game Pass portfolio with plans to launch Activision Blizzard games into Game Pass. Activision Blizzard currently boasts almost 400 million monthly active players in 190 countries, so this deal will no doubt boost Game Pass’s current 25 million subscribers. When the deal closes, Microsoft will have 30 internal game development studios.
The transaction is expected to close in the fiscal year, 2023, and is subject to customary closing conditions and completion of regulatory review and Activision Blizzard’s shareholder approval. However, the boards of directors of both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have approved the deal.