Microsoft has announced that it will buy Activision Blizzard for a whopping $68.7bn (R1,06tn) in an all-cash deal. The acquisition will add games like Call of Duty, Warcraft, Candy Crush, Tony Hawk, Diablo, Overwatch, Spyro, Hearthstone, Guitar Hero, Crash Bandicoot, and StarCraft to Microsoft's already impressive game offering.
Once the transaction is complete, Microsoft will also become the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony, according to a statement by the company.
Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO of Microsoft, said: “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.”
Until the transaction closes, Activision Blizzard and Microsoft Gaming will continue to operate independently. Once the deal is complete, the Activision Blizzard business will report Nadella as the CEO of Microsoft Gaming.
CEO of Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will continue serving in his current role.
“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 catalogue. We also announced today that Game Pass now has more than 25 million subscribers. As always, we look forward to continuing to add more value and more great games to Game Pass.
“The fantastic franchises across Activision Blizzard will also accelerate our plans for cloud gaming, allowing more people in more places around the world to participate in the Xbox community using phones, tablets, laptops and other devices you already own. Activision Blizzard games are enjoyed on a variety of platforms and we plan to continue to support those communities moving forward,”said Nadella.