Today Microsoft announced plans to buy Activision Blizzard Inc., a leader in game development and publisher of interactive entertainment content. This acquisition will accelerate Microsoft’s business with games on mobile devices, computers, consoles and the cloud, and will provide building blocks for the Metaverse.
Microsoft will buy Activision Blizzard for $ 95.00 per share, in a $68.7 billion cash transaction, including Activision Blizzard’s net cash. When the transaction is completed, Microsoft will become the world’s third largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony. The planned acquisition includes cult franchises from Activision, Blizzard and King studios such as Call of Duty, Candy Crush, Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Crash Bandicoot, Tony Hawk and Spyro, in addition to global eSport activities through Major League Gaming. The company has studios worldwide with almost 10,000 employees.
Bobby Kotick will continue to work as the CEO of Activision Blizzard, and he and his team will keep the focus on encouraging efforts to further strengthen the company’s culture and accelerate business growth. When the deal is done, Activision Blizzard will have Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, as its superior.
The acquisition also supports Microsoft’s Game Pass portfolio with plans to launch Activision Blizzard games in Game Pass, which has reached a new milestone of over 25 million subscribers. With nearly 400 million active Activision Blizzard players per month in 190 countries, this acquisition will make the Game Pass one of the most attractive and diverse gaming venues in the industry. Upon closure, Microsoft will have 30 in-house game development studios, along with additional publishing and e-sports production capabilities.
The transaction is subject to the usual conditions of closing and completion of the regulatory review and approval of the shareholders of Activision Blizzard. The deal is expected to close in fiscal 2023, and earnings per share other than GAAP will increase after closing. The transaction was approved by the boards of directors of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard, reports TechPowerUp.