Microsoft has announced that it plans to acquire Activision Blizzard for an all-cash transaction, to include all related IPs such as Call of Duty and Warcraft, as well as Major League Gaming esports activities.
This news comes somewhat surprisingly, as Activision Blizzard has spent the recent past under intense scrutiny due to its "frat boy culture". Even more surprising is the news that problematic current-CEO Bobby Kotick will remain in his position. In the press release, he was quoted:
For more than 30 years our incredibly talented teams have created some of the most successful games. 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.
- Bobby Kotick, CEO, Activision Blizzard
Also mentioned in the press release is how Activision Blizzard titles will be launched into Game Pass, much like what happened when Microsoft acquired Bethesda last March. With cloud gaming available on mobile devices, the addition of King to Microsoft's stable will also give them more avenues to explore on Android and iOS.
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.
- Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming
The acquisition is subject to shareholder approval, and will be for $95.00 per share, in an all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 billion. It is set to go ahead in the 2023 fiscal year.