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Microsoft Acquiring Activision Blizzard!

Microsoft announced via Twitter that they are acquiring Activision Blizzard, which currently includes five companies. Activision Publishing, Blizzard EntertainmentKing, Major League Gaming, and Activision Blizzard Studios.

The company owns and operates additional studios under an independent studios model under Activision Publishing, including TreyarchInfinity WardHigh Moon Studios, and Toys for Bob. Among major intellectual properties produced by Activision Blizzard are Call of DutyCrash BandicootGuitar HeroTony Hawk’sSpyro/SkylandersWorld of WarcraftStarCraftDiabloHearthstoneHeroes of the StormOverwatch, and Candy Crush Saga. Under Blizzard Entertainment, the company has invested in esports initiatives around several of its games, most notably Overwatch and Call of Duty.

Activision Blizzard, Kotick knew about the sexual misconduct and rape allegations at Activision, but he refused to do anything about it.  Kotick has been under a lot of pressure from investors over the sexual harassment controversies and ongoing executive issues that are currently going on, Activision agreed to be acquired by Microsoft in a $68.7 billion all-cash deal, inclusive of the company’s net cash.

“As a company, Microsoft is committed to our journey for inclusion in every aspect of gaming, among both employees and players,” Spencer wrote in a blog post this morning, implicitly addressing the ongoing unrest at Activision Blizzard. “We also believe that creative success and autonomy go hand-in-hand with treating every person with dignity and respect. We hold all teams, and all leaders, to this commitment. We’re looking forward to extending our culture of proactive inclusion to the great teams across Activision Blizzard.”

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 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 world 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 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 iconic franchises from 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 world with nearly 10,000 employees.

Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard, and he and his team will maintain their focus on driving efforts to further strengthen the company’s culture and accelerate business growth. Once the deal closes, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming. It is rumored that Kotick will step down as CEO after the acquisition is complete.

“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.”

“Players everywhere love Activision Blizzard games, and we believe the creative teams have their best work in front of them,” said Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming. “Together we will build a future where people can play the games they want, virtually anywhere they want.”

“For more than 30 years our incredibly talented teams have created some of the most successful games,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO, Activision Blizzard. “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.”

Mobile is the largest segment in gaming, with nearly 95% of all players globally enjoying games on mobile. Through great teams and great technology, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard will empower players to enjoy the most-immersive franchises, like “Halo” and “Warcraft,” virtually anywhere they want. And with games like “Candy Crush,” Activision Blizzard´s mobile business represents a significant presence and opportunity for Microsoft in this fast-growing segment.

The acquisition also bolsters Microsoft’s Game Pass portfolio with plans to launch Activision Blizzard games into Game Pass, which has reached a new milestone of over 25 million subscribers. With Activision Blizzard’s nearly 400 million monthly active players in 190 countries and three billion-dollar franchises, this acquisition will make Game Pass one of the most compelling and diverse lineups of gaming content in the industry. Upon close, Microsoft will have 30 internal game development studios, along with additional publishing and esports production capabilities.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and completion of regulatory review and Activision Blizzard’s shareholder approval. The deal is expected to close in the fiscal year 2023 and will be accretive to non-GAAP earnings per share upon close. The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard.

For more information about Microsoft acquiring Activision, follow Gamactica Portals.

 

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