Welp, apparently the Activision-Blizzard hot potato is hopping to a new owner: Microsoft just announced that it’s acquiring the beleaguered gaming corporation.
“With three billion people actively playing games today and fueled by a new generation steeped in the joys of interactive entertainment, gaming is now the largest and fastest-growing form of entertainment. Today, Microsoft Corp. announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard Inc., a leader in game development and interactive entertainment content publisher. 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.”
According to Activision-Blizzard, the sale is an “all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 billion.”
Activision-Blizzard, of course, has been struggling with lawsuits and labor disputes following the sexual discrimination and harassment scandal that blew up in the middle of last year. But it doesn’t sound as if Bobby Kotick is going anywhere. He’ll still be CEO.
“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.”
Microsoft’s been on a bit of a buying spree of late; it also acquired ZeniMax and Bethesda back in 2020 – for $7.5B.
A propos of nothing, here's how much Activision Blizzard is to pay Kotick if he is terminated as a result of a change of control of the company, per his employee agreement pic.twitter.com/JEA5zexmI1
— Alex (@gamesbizuk) January 18, 2022