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Microsoft will buy Activision Blizzard, betting $70 billion on the future of games

The Japan Times

SEATTLE – Microsoft plans to buy the powerhouse but troubled video game company Activision Blizzard for nearly $70 billion, its biggest deal ever and one that places a major bet that people will spend more and more time in the digital world. The blockbuster acquisition, announced Tuesday, would catapult the company into a leading spot in the $175 billion gaming industry. Games on virtually every kind of device, from bulky consoles to smartphones, have gained even greater popularity during the pandemic. Technology companies are swarming around the industry, looking for a bigger share of attention and money from the world's 3 billion gamers. In an industry driven by big franchises, Activision makes some of the most popular titles, including Call of Duty and Candy Crush.


Microsoft to buy Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard for nearly $70bn

The Guardian

Microsoft is to pay almost $70bn to buy Activision Blizzard, the publisher of mega franchises including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush, in the biggest ever takeover in the tech and gaming sectors. Microsoft said that the $68.7bn (£50.6bn) It is the biggest deal in tech history, eclipsing the $67bn paid by Dell to buy the digital storage giant EMC in 2015. The deal will see the Xbox maker become the world's third-biggest gaming company by revenue behind China's Tencent and Japan's Sony, maker of PlayStation games consoles. "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, the chairman and chief executive of Microsoft.


Microsoft's giant bet on Activision Blizzard is its ticket to the metaverse

ZDNet

Microsoft sent shockwaves through pretty much every corner of the tech industry when it announced its plans to acquire game publisher Activision Blizzard. The $68.7 billion ($95 per share) transaction is Microsoft's largest acquisition ever, and will create the third largest gaming brand in the world, behind Japan's Sony and China's Tencent. It will serve as a foundation for the creation of Microsoft Gaming, a new division that will encompass the entirety of the Windows maker's PC, console, and mobile gaming brands, as well as one other very important – indeed, perhaps even more important project: its plans to enter the'metaverse'. As mixed reality comes into its own, these are the best headsets for an immersive experience. As with any transaction of this size (more than double the company's $26.2 billion purchase of LinkedIn), there are plenty of big questions that need to be answered.


Activision Blizzard earnings miss estimates after Microsoft deal

The Japan Times

Activision Blizzard Inc. reported earnings and revenue that missed analysts' estimates just weeks after Microsoft Corp. announced its $69 billion acquisition of the video game publisher. Adjusted revenue fell 18% to $2.49 billion in the fourth quarter, Activision Blizzard said in a statement Thursday. Analysts had expected $2.84 billion, according to an average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Adjusted earnings per share were $1.25, compared with analysts' forecasts for $1.31. The company cited "lower than expected performance" in its Activision division, which produces Call of Duty. Microsoft swooped in at a crucial time for Activision Blizzard, which is behind hit games such as Candy Crush and World of Warcraft.


Microsoft consolidating the video game industry is bad for everyone

Engadget

It was cute at first. When Xbox head Phil Spencer took the stage at E3 2018 and announced the acquisition of five notable studios – Undead Labs, Playground Games, Ninja Theory, Compulsion Games and The Initiative – the air inside the Microsoft Theater turned electric. It felt like the company was righting a wrong in its business plan and finally building an internal roster of exciting games that it could offer exclusively on Xbox platforms. You know, a few friends to keep Master Chief company. Today's announcement that Microsoft is buying Activision Blizzard, the largest third-party publisher in the video game industry, doesn't feel as harmless.