Microsoft has revealed its intention to acquire Activision Blizzard – with the move significantly accelerating the growth of Microsoft’s gaming business across mobile, PC, console and cloud, while also providing building blocks for the metaverse.
Microsoft 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.
The planned acquisition includes franchises from the Activision, Blizzard and King studios such as Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty and Candy Crush, in addition to global esports activities through Major League Gaming.
The company has studios around the world with nearly 10,000 employees.
Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as ceo of Activision Blizzard. Once the deal closes, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, ceo of Microsoft Gaming.
“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 at 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.”
Bobby Kotick, ceo of Activision Blizzard, added: “For more than 30 years our incredibly talented teams have created some of the most successful games.
“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.”
The deal is expected to close in fiscal year 2023.