Microsoft Buys Activision Blizzard – For About the Same Disney Paid For Fox

In a groundshaking deal for videogames, Microsoft has just snapped up Activision Blizzard for nearly $70bn.

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In a ground-shaking deal for video games, Microsoft has just snapped up Activision Blizzard for nearly $70bn.

Microsoft Buys Activision Blizzard for Close to $70bn

In the biggest corporate takeover in the history of videogaming, Microsoft has opened its chequebook again, to the tune of a staggering $68.7bn. The transaction gets Microsoft a whole host of assets, including Candy Crush Saga, Warcraft, Call Of Duty and more.

The deal has been confirmed in an announcement from Microsoft’s CEO of gaming, Phil Spector. He wrote in an official statement that “it is incredibly exciting to announce that Microsoft has agreed to acquire Activision Blizzard”.

The deal also confirms the many development studios on the Activision Blizzard asset register. As he points out, they’ll all remain independent entities until the deal closes, after which they’ll report to him.

Spector also adds that the intention is to add as many Activision Blizzard games to Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, a huge salvo from the firm in the ongoing console battle between Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation.

Microsoft's launch Xbox Series X in London before they bought Activision Blizzard

Microsoft’s launch of the Xbox Series X in London

The deal clearly goes beyond just the current generation of the console war – although urgent meetings will surely be taking place at Sony. That said, Spector also adds that “the fantastic franchises across Activision Blizzard will also accelerate our plans for Cloud Gaming, allowing more people in more places around the world to participate in the Xbox community using phones, tablets, laptops and other devices you already own. Activision Blizzard games are enjoyed on a variety of platforms and we plan to continue to support those communities moving forward”.

The value of the purchase is staggering. The price tag is just a little short of the amount Disney paid when it bought the assets of 21st Century Fox for just over $73bn. It comes after a taxing year or two for Activision Blizzard, with the Blizzard arm in particular facing very public criticism for its corporate culture.

The deal still has regulatory hurdles to negotiate, but Microsoft must be assuming it can get through them okay. Then, the real ramifications of the deal will become even clearer…

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