Game developer

Microsoft’s Biggest Acquisition Ever: Game Developer Activision Blizzard for $68.7 Billion

Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard Inc., a game development and interactive entertainment content publisher, for $68.7 billion. Activision Blizzard makes games such as Call of Duty, Candy Crush, Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, and Hearthstone. Microsoft will get Activision Blizzard’s roughly 10,000 employees as part of the deal announced on January 18.

Microsoft officials are accelerating the growth of the company’s gaming business across mobile, PC, console and cloud, and say it will “provide building blocks for the metaverse.” Microsoft will also get global esports properties through Major League Gaming as part of the deal.

The $68.7 billion deal makes the acquisition of Activision Blizzard the biggest in Microsoft’s history. Until today, LinkedIn – which Microsoft bought in 2016 for $26.2 billion – was its biggest acquisition, followed by Nuance Communications for $19.7 billion last year.

Microsoft officials said Phil Spencer will become CEO of Microsoft Gaming once the transaction closes, and Activision Blizzard’s business will report to him. Microsoft executives also said that once the deal is finalized, Microsoft will become the world’s third-largest games company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.

Microsoft officials said the acquisition will also bolster the company’s Game Pass portfolio, as Microsoft will integrate Activision Blizzard games into Game Pass. Microsoft says Game Pass now has 25 million subscribers. Activision Blizzard has nearly 400 million monthly active players, Microsoft officials said. After the deal closes, Microsoft will have 30 in-house game development studios, officials added.