Microsoft buys Activision Blizzard for $ 69 billion

In the wake of scandals and lawsuits alleging a culture of discrimination and harassment at Activision Blizzard, Microsoft announced today that it is buying the company. Wait, wait. What. That was not what I expected when Xbox boss Phil Spencer told staff he was “evaluating all aspects of [Xbox’s] relationship “with Activision Blizzard. Microsoft plans to pay $ 68.7 billion (£ 50 billion) for the company that will download those games, including Warcraft, Call Of Duty and Overwatch. Jesus.

Pending approval from shareholders and authorities, Microsoft will acquire Activision Blizzard in a cash transaction worth DKK 68.7 billion. [almost nice -ed.]. They will download video game series including Call Of Duty, Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Candy Crush, Starcraft and Diablo, along with 10,000 studio and weapons staff including Blizzard Entertainment, Infinity Ward, Treyarch, Raven Software, Toys For Bob, Sledgehammer Games , King, Beenox, High Moon Studios, Radical Entertainment and Major League Gaming. They expect the deal to close in their fiscal year 2023, so by the end of June 2023.

Microsoft says that when all is said and done, they will “offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can in Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard’s incredible catalog.”

This is a big leap in the consolidation of the video game industry. Microsoft’s announcement says it “will be the world’s third largest gaming company in terms of revenue, after Tencent and Sony.” They add that the acquisition of ABK will contribute to their cloud gaming push and “will provide building blocks for the metaverse”. Can not forget the M-word when talking to investors.

Microsoft says Bobby Kotick “will continue as CEO of Activision Blizzard” (at least for now?), And once the deal is settled, Activision Blizzard will report to Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer. It’s the same Bobby Kotick who allegedly knew more about problems in the workplace than he claimed, and allegedly intervened to prevent the firing of a Treyarch senior who was accused of sexual harassment. The same Bobby Kotick, whose continued presence as CEO led to a staff in protest. Hopefully Microsoft will handle him, because it does not look like Activision Blizzard will. I would not be surprised if he is out when the transition is complete, leaving billions of dollars from the sale.

“As a company, Microsoft is committed to our journey of inclusion in all aspects of gaming, among both employees and gamers,” Spencer said in the Xbox announcement. “We greatly value individual study cultures. We also believe that creative success and independence go hand in hand with treating every person with dignity and respect. We hold all teams and all leaders to this commitment. We look forward to expanding our culture of proactive inclusion for the amazing teams across Activision Blizzard. “

Probably a good thing that Microsoft last week announced plans to “review the effectiveness of its corporate policies and practices for sexual harassment and gender discrimination.” They are buying a business that also needs other help to improve working conditions. Some Activision Blizzard QA workers have been on strike for seven weeks to protest layoffs at Call Of Duty: Warzone developers Raven.

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