Tuesday, January 18th, 2022, Microsoft Corp has announced that they will be acquiring Activision Blizzard Inc. For those unfamiliar with the company, you may recognize them as the studio which created Overwatch, Call of Duty, and Candy Crush. Microsoft announced that they would be acquiring the company for seemingly large price tag of $68.7 billion. This marks Microsoft's largest acquisition to date in the company's 47 years.
The acquisition will secure Microsoft's position in the gaming industry, making it the third largest gaming company, just after Tencent and Sony. Bobby Kotick, current CEO of Activision Blizzard will remain in his position, however, after the deal is done he will begin reporting to Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft's Gaming division. However, there has been a mixed response on the news of the acquisition.
Activision Blizzard is currently being investigated on multiple accounts of sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and unequal pay. This includes several allegations against Kotick himself. There is a long list of allegations, which points to years of Kotick's neglect. Microsoft has stated that Kotick's team "... will maintain their focus on driving efforts to further strengthen the company's culture and accelerate business growth."
As of Friday, January 14th 2022, Activision Blizzard stock closed at $65, which is much lower than the $95 per share Microsoft is willing to pay. The reason for the large bet may be due to the gaming company's key role in developing metaverse platforms. As Microsoft CEO and chairman, Satya Nadella announced, "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."
This leaves many players at a loss as studios which were once independent may soon become exclusive to one console. Thus, for those who cannot afford to purchase multiple consoles, they will be left with an ultimatum. Though the repercussions of this acquisition are unknown at this time, one thing is certain, the console manufacture is willing to spend big in order to conquer the gaming domain.