Microsoft announced Tuesday it will acquire Activision Blizzard in a massive deal that will bring “legendary games, immersive interactive entertainment and publishing expertise” to the company.
- Microsoft said the $68.7 billion purchase will also “accelerate growth in Microsoft’s Gaming business across mobile, PC, console and cloud.”
Quote: “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,” said Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO, Microsoft, in a statement. “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.”
Why it matters: Activision has faced a number of troubling headlines in recent months, including a crisis surrounding multiple reports of sexual misconduct and discrimination within the organization, according to Reuters.
- Activision is the publisher behind major games Call of Duty and World of Warcraft — two major video game franchises that will now belong to Microsoft.
Our take: This is akin to Disney buying Marvel back in 2012. Microsoft now owns a major piece of the video game landscape, including two of the most famous video game franchises to date.
- “Players everywhere love Activision Blizzard games, and we believe the creative teams have their best work in front of them,” said Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming. “Together we will build a future where people can play the games they want, virtually anywhere they want.”
What to watch: Microsoft said it expects to add many of Activision’s games to the Xbox Game Pass, which could mean Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty and Candy Crush could all find their way onto the Xbox platform.
- “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,” Spencer said, per The Verge.