Microsoft has announced plans to acquire the game studio Activision Blizzard for $95 per share. This values the all-cash acquisition deal at a whopping $68.7 billion. The company says that the deal would make the combined entity the third-largest game company in terms of revenue.
The transaction is expected to close sometime in Microsoft’s fiscal 2023 (by June 2023) if regulators and Activision Blizzard shareholders greenlight the move. The boards of directors for both companies have already approved the deal. This puts Microsoft in competition with heavyweights like Tencent and Sony.
As a part of the deal, the Redmond-based giant is also planning to add Activision Blizzard games to Game Pass. Once the deal goes through, popular game titles like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush will come under the company’s wing.
Bobby Kotick will remain Activision Blizzard’s CEO and will report to Microsoft Gaming chief Phil Spencer. However, a report from Wall Street Journal claims that Kotick will leave shortly after the deal is complete.
Talking about the deal, in a company letter, Kotick described Microsoft’s move as a chance to “further strengthen” Activision Blizzard’s workplace culture and “set a new standard” for inclusiveness. He added that there would be “minimal changes” to staff counts after the union was complete.