Microsoft Corp. agreed to buy Activision Blizzard Inc. in a $68.7 billion deal, uniting two of the biggest forces in video games to create the world's third-biggest gaming company. In its largest purchase ever, Microsoft will pay $95 a share in cash for one of the most legendary gaming publishers, known for titles like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft but which is also grappling with a cultural upheaval over its treatment of women. Activision Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick will continue to serve in that role only until the deal closes, a person familiar with the deal said. It's unclear what position, if any, he would take afterward. Once the transaction is completed, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, who was promoted along with the deal to CEO of Microsoft Gaming.
Activision Blizzard is behind such successful franchises as Call of Duty and Candy Crush. It is being acquired by Microsoft. Activision Blizzard is behind such successful franchises as Call of Duty and Candy Crush. It is being acquired by Microsoft. Microsoft says it is set to buy games behemoth Activision Blizzard.
Microsoft's planned $68.7 billion purchase of video game giant Activision Blizzard is, literally, one of the biggest deals ever. By raw dollars and cents, it appears to be the biggest acquisition an American tech behemoth has ever made. It dwarfs not just any deal Microsoft has done, but also anything struck up by Apple, Amazon, Google, or Facebook. It makes Microsoft's $26.2 billion LinkedIn shopping spree in 2016 look small. And it's notable not just for its size but for its timing: The deal comes in the midst of months of uproar at Activision Blizzard over its treatment of workers, many of whom have alleged a toxic, sexual harassment–filled culture at the game publisher. The companies expect the deal to close some time in the 2023 fiscal year, but it'll take longer than that to sort through all its ramifications.
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 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.