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Microsoft Xbox Buys Activision Blizzard for $68.7 Billion Deal

Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard and so now owns the Call of Duty, Warcraft, and Crash Bandicoot franchises.

Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard and so now owns the Call of Duty, Warcraft, and Crash Bandicoot franchises.

Microsoft has confirmed its agreement to buy Activision Blizzard, the creator of Call of Duty, Call of Duty, Warcraft, and Crash Bandicoot for almost $68.7 billion. The Xbox creator is now the third-biggest gaming company in terms of revenue, due to the largest deal in the industry.

Microsoft's offer of $95 per share is a 45 % premium over Activision's Friday closing price. Before being delayed for news, Activision's stock was up over 38% at $65.39. Without a doubt, if authorized, this will be the largest game acquisition in history, beating Microsoft's Bethesda deal from last year.

In a statement, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella stated, "Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today, and will play a critical role in the development of metaverse platforms."

During the pandemic, demand for video games has increased as consumers who are stranded at home play more games to keep themselves engaged.

Microsoft wants to "speed up the expansion" of its gaming company across all platforms by acquiring Activision Blizzard, as well as "supply building blocks for the metaverse." Microsoft has identified certain franchises that it will now control following the acquisition, with major titles like Candy Crush, Diablo, Overwatch, and Warcraft (including the ever-popular MMORPG World of Warcraft), among others. Crash Bandicoot, Guitar Hero, and Spyro the Dragon, among other classic Activision titles, will now fall under the Xbox umbrella as well.

One of the key objectives for Xbox's acquisition of Bethesda was to improve Xbox Game Pass, and the same is true for Activision's acquisition of Blizzard. Activision Blizzard games will be available on Xbox Game Pass on day one, according to Microsoft. This implies that future Call of Duty games, as well as titles like Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2, will be available on Game Pass on day one, assuming the agreement goes through before they're released.

Microsoft has also announced that previously published Call of Duty titles would be added to Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass. Although no specific games were mentioned, it's safe to assume that this would include almost every Activision Blizzard game available on Xbox One and Xbox Series X consoles. As a result, Xbox Game Pass customers should expect practically the entire Call of Duty franchise to be included in the platform at some time in the future.

What does this mean for other platforms, such as Call of Duty? If Xbox makes future Call of Duty games Xbox system exclusives, it will be huge, but it will also be a huge financial risk. However, because Bethesda games will be Xbox exclusive in the future, it's probable that the same will be true for Activision-published games, though precise specifics on how that would work have yet to be revealed.

Since hitting a record high last year, shares of the "Candy Crush" producer have dropped nearly 37%, mostly due to allegations of sexual harassment and other misbehavior at the videogame business.

Since July, the company has sacked or pushed out more than three dozen employees and disciplined another 40.

In terms of Activision Blizzard's volatile culture and workplace issues, it appears that CEO Bobby Kotick will remain in charge until the deal is completed, following which Activision Blizzard will report to Xbox Head Phil Spencer.

Take-Two Interactive, the maker of "Grand Theft Auto," said last week that it will buy Zynga for $11.04 billion in cash and stock, bringing popular mobile games like "FarmVille" under its cover as demand for the on gaming increases.

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