Microsoft has said that it plans to buy Activision Blizzard in a deal worth almost $70 billion, which is a major deal.
The all-cash deal is worth $68.7 billion, and Microsoft says it will make it the third-largest gaming firm in terms of revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.
It’s one of the most significant acquisitions in the computer business in recent years, and it’ll help Microsoft gain traction in the burgeoning gaming market.
According to a news announcement announcing the acquisition, Bobby Kotick, the controversial CEO of Activision Blizzard, will remain in his position.
Employees at Activision have previously staged walkouts in protest of Kotick’s alleged knowledge of rampant harassment and discrimination issues at the company for years.
In September, Activision Blizzard agreed to an $18 million settlement with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in response to a separate claim.
In that complaint, the corporation was accused of sexually harassing female employees and retaliating against them for reporting the harassment, as well as of “discriminating against employees owing to their pregnancy.”
The purchase is expected to finalize in 2023, subject to regulatory approval and Activision Blizzard shareholder approval. The firms will function independently until the deal is completed, at which point Activision Blizzard will report to Spencer.
The inclusion of Activision Blizzard titles and the almost 400 million monthly active gamers that come with them would improve Microsoft’s gaming industry. According to Microsoft, the business would also buy Activision’s global game studios and approximately 10,000 people.
The metaverse has been heralded as the next big thing in technology, and while there’s still a long way to go before such a virtual world becomes a reality, video games are expected to play a key role.
In a statement, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said, “Gaming is the most dynamic and interesting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a major role in the development of metaverse platforms.”
Activision Blizzard’s stock jumped more than 30% before the market opened Tuesday morning, while Microsoft’s stock plummeted by 1.5 percent.