On January 18 news, Microsoft announced today that it plans to acquire game development and interactive entertainment content publisher, Activision Blizzard, for $95 per share in cash, with a total transaction value of approximately $68.7 billion (Microsoft’s 21st fiscal year). Annual revenue of 168.1 billion US dollars, net profit of 61.2 billion). This could be Microsoft’s largest acquisition ever, making it the world’s third-largest gaming company, behind Tencent and Sony Interactive Entertainment.
Subsequently, Microsoft game director Phil Spencer confirmed in a statement that Xbox has agreed to acquire Activision Blizzard, which now owns Call of Duty, Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Hearthstone, Crash Bandicoot, StarCraft Hegemony, and other IPs; in the future, Activision Blizzard’s games will join the Xbox console and PC version of XGP, and the total number of XGP users has since exceeded 25 million.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to collaborate with Activision Publishing, Blizzard Entertainment, Beenox, Demonware, Digital Legends, High Moon Studios, Infinity Ward, King, Major League Gaming, Radical Entertainment, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, Toys for Bob, Treyarch and Action Watch every team at Blizzard.
“Until the transaction closes, Activision Blizzard and Microsoft Games will continue to operate independently. Once the transaction closes, Activision Blizzard’s business will report to me (Microsoft Gaming CEO).”
As of the press release of Gadget Pixels, Activision Blizzard rose 37.64% before the market.
As a team, our mission is to bring the fun and community of gaming to everyone on the planet. We all know that gaming is the most dynamic form of entertainment in the world, and we have deeply appreciated the social connections and camaraderie that gaming brings.
As we pursue this mission, we are very pleased to announce that Microsoft has agreed to acquire Activision Blizzard.
For decades, the studios and teams that makeup Activision Blizzard have earned the joy and respect of billions of people around the world. We are very excited about the opportunity to work with great, talented, dedicated people at Activision Publishing, Blizzard Entertainment, Beenox, Demonware, Digital Legends, High Moon Studios, Infinity Ward, King, Major League Gaming, Radical Entertainment, Raven Software, great Every team from Hammer Games, Bob Toys, Treyarch and Activision Blizzard.
Activision Blizzard and Microsoft Games will continue to operate independently until the deal closes. After the transaction closes, Activision Blizzard’s business will report to me as CEO of Microsoft Gaming.
When we’re done, we’ll make as many Activision Blizzard games available on Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass as possible, including new titles and titles from Activision Blizzard’s incredible catalog. We also announced today that Game Pass now has over 25 million subscribers. As always, we look forward to continuing to add more value and more great games to Game Pass.
Activision Blizzard’s stellar franchises will also accelerate our cloud gaming initiatives, allowing more people in more places around the world to participate in the Xbox community on phones, tablets, laptops and other devices you already own. Activision Blizzard’s games are popular across a variety of platforms, and we plan to continue supporting these communities going forward.
As a company, Microsoft is committed to integrating our journey into every aspect of gaming, including employees and players. We take a personal studio culture very seriously. We also believe that creative success and autonomy go hand in hand with treating everyone with dignity and respect. We ask all teams and all leaders to live up to this commitment. We look forward to extending our positive and inclusive culture to the amazing team at Activision Blizzard.
Around the world, there is no more exciting place to entertain and connect than video games. There has never been a better time to play. We look forward to welcoming all of our friends at Activision Blizzard to Microsoft Gaming as we expand the fun and community of gaming to everyone.
The following is the full text of the statement issued by Microsoft:
- With 3 billion people playing games regularly and a new generation of players immersed in interactive entertainment, gaming is now the largest and fastest growing form of entertainment. Today, Microsoft announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard, a game developer and publisher of interactive entertainment content. The acquisition will accelerate the growth of Microsoft’s gaming business in mobile, PC, console and cloud computing, and will contribute to the creation of a “metaverse”.
- Microsoft will buy Activision Blizzard for $95 per share, in an all-cash deal valued at $68.7 billion, including access to Activision Blizzard’s net cash. After the deal, Microsoft will become the world’s third-largest gaming company in terms of revenue, after Tencent and Sony.
- Planned acquisitions include Activision, Blizzard and King Studios’ iconic franchises such as Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch , Call Of Duty and Candy Crush, as well as a global esports event through Major League Gaming (MLG). The company has studios around the world and employs nearly 10,000 people.
- Bobby Kotick will continue as Activision Blizzard’s CEO, and his team will continue to focus on driving efforts to further strengthen the company’s culture and accelerate business growth. Once the deal closes, Activision Blizzard executives will report to Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s gaming chief executive.
- Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO of Microsoft, said: “Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting form of entertainment on any platform today, and will play a key role in the evolution of the Metaverse Platform. .We are investing heavily in world-class content, community and cloud computing to usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first, making games safer, more inclusive, and accessible to all can be reached.”
- “Players around the world love the games developed by Activision Blizzard, and we trust the creative team to get their best work in front of players,” said Spencer, Microsoft’s head of gaming. “Together, we will build a future where people can Play the game they want to play almost anywhere they want to play.”
- Activision Blizzard CEO Kotick said: “For over 30 years, our talented team has developed many highly successful games. Activision Blizzard’s world-class talent and extraordinary franchises are combined with Microsoft’s technology, distribution, and acquisition talent. The combination of our pipeline, ambitious vision and commitment to gaming and inclusivity will help ensure our continued success in an increasingly competitive gaming industry.”
- The mobile terminal has become the largest segment of the gaming industry, with nearly 95% of players worldwide prefer to play games on the mobile terminal. Through great teams and great technology, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard will enable players to enjoy the most immersive games, like Halo and Warcraft, almost anywhere they want. With games like Candy Crush Saga, Activision Blizzard’s mobile business presents a significant opportunity for Microsoft in this fast-growing field.
- The acquisition also strengthens Microsoft’s Game Pass portfolio, with plans to add Activision Blizzard games to Game Pass. Game Pass has reached a new milestone with over 25 million subscribers. With Activision Blizzard’s nearly 400 million monthly active players and $3 billion in franchises in 190 countries, the acquisition will make Game Pass one of the most compelling and diverse gaming content platforms in the industry. After the deal, Microsoft will have 30 in-house game development studios, as well as additional publishing and esports game production capacity.
- The success of the deal depends on what are considered customary closing conditions, as well as regulatory scrutiny and Activision Blizzard shareholder approval. The deal, expected to close in fiscal 2023, could help boost earnings per share in Microsoft stock.
- Goldman Sachs is serving as financial advisor to Microsoft and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is serving as legal advisor. Allen & Company is serving as financial advisor to Activision Blizzard and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is serving as legal advisor. The deal has been approved by the boards of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard.
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