Microsoft will acquire video game publisher Activision Blizzard in a $68.7 billion transaction. The acquisition will accelerate Microsoft’s gaming business and bring franchises such as Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty and Candy Crush to Microsoft’s mobile, PC, console and cloud platforms.
Bobby Kotick will remain CEO of Activision Blizzard and will report to Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, upon completion of the deal, which is expected to be within Microsoft’s next financial year.
“Players everywhere love Activision Blizzard games, and we believe the creative teams have their best work in front of them,” said Spencer. “Together we will build a future where people can play the games they want, virtually anywhere they want.”
Microsoft aims to leverage Acitivision Blizzard’s success with games such as Candy Crush to find new opportunities in the fast-growing mobile gaming space. It also plans to launch Activision Blizzard games into Game Pass, adding approximately 400 million monthly active players and three billion-dollar franchises.
“For more than 30 years our incredibly talented teams have created some of the most successful games,” said Kotick. “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.”
The new acquisition builds on Microsoft’s previous purchases of game developer ZeniMax Media and its publisher Bethesda Softworks in 2020.