Microsoft Corp has announced plans to buy the ‘Call of Duty’ videogame developer, Activision Blizzard Inc, for $68.7 billion in cash, which is the biggest deal in the sector that would help Microsoft become the third-largest gaming by revenue. This acquisition will accelerate the growth in Microsoft’s gaming business across mobile, PC, console and cloud and will provide building blocks for the metaverse.
When the transaction closes, Microsoft will become the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony. 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. The company has studios around the word with nearly 10,000 employees.
“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.”
Microsoft has been making a lot of investment in gaming, scooping up “Minecraft” maker Mojang Studios and Zanimax in a multi-billion dollar deal in recent years. The acquisition of Activision Blizzard will provide an edge to Microsoft because of some of the most popular titles in the gaming industry, including the Call of Duty and Overwatch.
The Xbox Maker will gain Activision’s nearly 400 million monthly gaming users and access to some of the world’s most popular games, which are expected to form a cornerstone of the metaverse. Combining with Microsoft will also give Activision access to a vast array of artificial intelligence and other programming talent for future projects.
The deal will provide Microsoft with a significant boost against other companies like Facebook, whose renaming of its parent company to Met understood its commitment to the metaverse. Adding Activision under its belt, Microsoft would have an advantage with its Xbox as it competes with Facebook’s Oculus System.
However, until the transaction closes, Activision Blizzard and Microsoft Gaming will continue to operate independently, said the CEO Satya Nadella, who also confirmed that once the deal is closed, Microsoft will offer as many Activision Blizzard games as they can within the Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard’s incredible catalog.
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