SANTA MONICA (CBSLA) – Microsoft announced on Tuesday that it would acquire Santa Monica-based Activision Blizzard for $ 68.7 billion to gain a foothold in the meta-verse.
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Activision Blizzard – whose studios are behind several successful PC, console and mobile video game franchises such as “Warcraft”, “Diablo”, “Overwatch”, “Call Of Duty” and “Candy Crush” – employs nearly 10,000 people around the world. The Santa Monica video game company also has a global eSports franchise such as “Overwatch League”, “Call of Duty League”, “Hearthstone Grandmasters” and “World of Warcraft Arena World Championship.”
“Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement.
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Microsoft says Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick and his team will remain in their positions and report to Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer when the deal closes sometime this year.
“The combination of Activision Blizzard’s world-class talent and exceptional franchises with Microsoft technology, distribution, access to talent, ambitious vision and shared commitment to games and inclusion will help ensure our continued success in an increasingly competitive industry,” said Kotick. in a statement.
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The acquisition comes just a few months after the company’s management came under fire for their failure to respond to a lawsuit alleging harassment and inequality. Several hundred employees at Santa Monica headquarters staged a walkout last summer, and in a statement to a Wall Street Journal report, Activision Blizzard says they have made “significant improvements, including a zero-tolerance policy for inappropriate behavior” after Koticks instruction.