Software giant Microsoft has acquired Activision Blizzard in a deal announced Jan. 19 in a major gaming acquisition.
The acquisition sees Microsoft take ownership of blockbuster franchises Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush, consolidating their position in the highly competitive gaming market.
The deal was reported to be for 68.7 billon dollars, Wired reported.
The deal solidifies Microsoft as one of the top 3 video games companies in the world and sees them broaden their focus from console and PC gaming the New York Times reported.
“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.” Phil Spencer announced via the Xbox press release.
Microsoft has a history of acquisitions in the video games sector after purchasing ZeniMax the company behind the popular DOOM and Fallout series in late 2020 for $7.5B CNET reported.
Microsoft also bought Swedish game studio Mojang, the creators of Minecraft for $2.5 billion in 2014 The Wall Street Journal reported.
“We expect this acquisition to close in FY23” Phil Spencer said in an email to employees IGN reported.
In a sales report released by data analytics firm NPD, Call of Duty, one of Activision’s flagship titles once again topped Sony PlayStation game sales in the US highlighting the significance of the deal.
The deal is subject to regulatory approvals.
United States non profit consumer advocacy group Public Citizen released a statement condemning the move.
“Once again, Microsoft, one of the biggest of the Big Tech companies, is shamelessly gobbling up a competitor to try to strengthen its market position. No way should the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice permit this merger to proceed.” – Alex Harman said via press release on the groups website.
Drew Roller is a Filmmaker, Musician and stay at home dad. He enjoys films about sword swinging immortals, 90s games about British spies and long conversations online that push at the boundaries of polite conversation.