Microsoft announced on Tuesday that it is acquiring Activision Blizzard, the publisher of Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Diablo, in a blockbuster deal worth $68.7 billion.
It’s considered one of the biggest acquisitions in the tech industry in recent years, and Microsoft’s biggest push into gaming. And according to Microsoft, the company will be the “third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony” once the deal closes.
According to a press release detailing the announced acquisition, Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzard's CEO, will remain in his role despite having allegedly been aware of widespread harassment and discrimination problems at the company for years.
Microsoft plans to add many of Activision’s games to Xbox Game Pass once the deal closes. With the acquisition of Activision, Microsoft will soon publish franchises like Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty, and Candy Crush.
“Upon close, we will offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard’s incredible catalog,” says Microsoft’s CEO of gaming Phil Spencer.
“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,” says Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
“As a company, Microsoft is committed to our journey for inclusion in every aspect of gaming, among both employees and players,” says Spencer. “We deeply value individual studio cultures. We also believe that creative success and autonomy go hand-in-hand with treating every person with dignity and respect. We hold all teams, and all leaders, to this commitment. We’re looking forward to extending our culture of proactive inclusion to the great teams across Activision Blizzard.”
Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal comes nearly a year after the company acquired Bethesda (ZeniMax Media) for $7.5 billion.
Microsoft expects the Activision Blizzard deal "to close in fiscal year 2023".