Acquisitions have reached a new milestone: Microsoft is buying Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. For this, Microsoft will spend 95 US dollars per Activision share, bringing not only one of the most well-known studios on board, but also around 10,000 employees. In the end, the No. 3 is created worldwide.

400 million active users for Microsoft

Of course, Microsoft's acquisition is about brands like Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty, and Candy Crush, but the games' 400 million monthly active users are also a major win for Microsoft. Because monetization via the platforms will not decrease in the coming years, Microsoft also addresses the topic of franchises directly. The own Xbox Game Pass is to be upgraded in the future with titles from Activision Blizzard.

Microsoft also addresses the issue of inclusion. Recently there was only bad press for Activision Blizzard, in which the allegations of harassment were also directed against CEO Bobby Kotick . Microsoft is not only literally stretching out its hand to bring the departments there up to the level of the year 2022: Every person should be treated with dignity and respect, all managers and teams have to adhere to it. Kotick is not listed in the future Microsoft Gaming org chart, to date "Xbox Gaming".

As a company, Microsoft is committed to our journey for inclusion in every aspect of gaming, among both employees and players. 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.

Supervisory boards have already approved

Only Sony and Tencent will be larger than Microsoft's game studios after the takeover. Microsoft unites 30 studios under one roof, Activision Blizzard will ultimately merge into it. Activision Blizzard includes many smaller studios, notably Microsoft lists Beenox, Demonware, Digital Legends, High Moon Studios, Infinity Ward, King, Major League Gaming, Radical Entertainment, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, Toys for Bob and Treyarch, all of which will change. The fact that Activision Blizzard will continue to operate independently for the time being is the usual procedure that Microsoft will also use here.

Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, is and remains head of the entire department. If regulatory authorities approve the acquisition, it is expected to close in fiscal 2023. The boards of directors of both companies have already approved the deal.

The new management level after the merger (Image: Microsoft)

In the fall of 2020, Microsoft acquired ZeniMax Media, which includes the developer studios Bethesda Softworks (The Elder Scrolls, Fallout) and id Software (Doom, Quake) , for $7.5 billion . At the time, this prize was already considered a record.

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