WOW. Just moments ago, Cara Lombardo of the Wall Street Journal made the shocking claim that Microsoft was poised to buy publishing giant Activision Blizzard. Within minutes, the report was confirmed by Microsoft itself. In a new blog post on the official website, Microsoft says they’re buying out Activision “to bring the joy and community of gaming to everyone, across every device.”
Microsoft is buying Activision Blizzard
Microsoft will acquire Activision Blizzard for $95.00 per share, in an all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 billion. They’ll also acquire Activision Blizzard’s numerous studios and approximately 10,000 employees. The press release specifically highlights Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty, and Candy Crush as key new additions to Microsoft’s lineup, but there are certainly many more. Microsoft CEO and chairman Satya Nadella had this to say about the move:
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. 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.
Xbox head Phil Spencer also chimed in, expressing optimism for the future of Activision IP.
Players everywhere love Activision Blizzard games, and we believe the creative teams have their best work in front of them. Together we will build a future where people can play the games they want, virtually anywhere they want.
This is obviously a massive acquisition that will make waves throughout the industry. With Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard, what will become of popular multiplatform titles? And of course, it must also be noted that this comes at a time of great controversy and turmoil for Activision. Over the past year, they’ve been under intense scrutiny over countless accusations of sexual misconduct and discrimination, and some employees have even gone on strike. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft resolves these problems.
Microsoft’s statement revealed that Activision CEO Bobby Kotick still has a job despite the numerous allegations against him and calls for his resignation from 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 seems Kotick’s job is safe, at least for now. The phrasing makes it unclear what will happen to him after the businesses are fully merged. It’s possible that he’ll only stay with the company through the merger, but that remains to be seen.