Microsoft Buys Game Developer Activision Blizzard. The tech giant has paid 68.7 billion dollars for the scandal-plagued game developer.
Both parties announced this on Tuesday. Activision Blizzard is the publisher and developer of games such as ‘Call of Duty’, ‘World of Warcraft’, ‘Overwatch’, ‘Diablo’ and ‘Candy Crush’. Microsoft is willing to pay $95 per share of the publicly-traded company.
The entire company thus becomes part of Microsoft’s gaming division, which also manages the Xbox consoles and associated services. In addition, it appears that with the deal, Activision Blizzard’s games will also be added to Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, Microsoft’s game streaming services.
According to Microsoft itself, this acquisition will make it the third-largest game company globally, after Tencent and Sony. The tech giant also bought game developer Bethesda at the end of 2020, the maker of Doom, Fallout, and The Elder Scrolls.
The acquisition comes for Activision Blizzard after months of criticism and scandal. Far-reaching forms of sexism and discrimination would be tolerated within the company. That is why some American government departments, among others, started investigations into the work culture at the company.
In a lawsuit late last year, Activision already settled Blizzard for $ 18 million with the US federal union service. The company has already fired dozens of employees in the past year, and protests have also repeatedly demanded the resignation of CEO Bobby Kotick (himself several times accused of inappropriate behaviour), who would have let everything last for years.
However, Bobby Kotick would now stay on as CEO, albeit as a subordinate of Phil Spencer, who heads Microsoft’s gaming division. “As a company, Microsoft is committed to inclusion in every aspect of gaming, among employees and players alike,” said Spencer. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of 2023.