Microsoft today announced that it will acquire Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion in cash, the biggest deal in the video game industry and Microsoft’s biggest acquisition ever.
With the acquisition, Microsoft plans to accelerate the growth in the company’s gaming business across mobile, PC, console and cloud and to provide building blocks for the metaverse.
Microsoft announced that it will acquire Activision Blizzard for $95.00 per share, in an all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 billion, inclusive of Activision Blizzard’s net cash. When the transaction closes, Microsoft will become the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.
“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. “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.”
The planned acquisition includes iconic franchises from the Activision, Blizzard and King studios like “Warcraft,” “Diablo,” “Overwatch,” “Call of Duty” and “Candy Crush,” in addition to global eSports activities through Major League Gaming.
Back in October, Activision announced the acquisition of mobile game developer Digital Legends for a new Call of Duty mobile game.
Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard. “For more than 30 years our incredibly talented teams have created some of the most successful games,” said Kotick. “The combination of Activision Blizzard’s world-class talent and extraordinary franchises with Microsoft’s technology, distribution, access to talent, ambitious vision and shared commitment to gaming and inclusion will help ensure our continued success in an increasingly competitive industry.”
Last week, rival Take-Two Interactive said it will acquire Zynga for $17.7 billion, marking one of the biggest industry-wide acquisitions of all time.