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Microsoft to Acquire Activision Blizzard in a US$68.7 Billion Deal

Last night, Microsoft announced its plans to acquire gaming giant Activision Blizzard for US$68.7 billion (~RM288 billion). The blockbuster deal would catapult Microsoft into a firm standing in the growing gaming industry but let's not forget about the recent toxic culture in the gaming company. Microsoft says the transaction will make the company the third-largest gaming company by revenue, only behind Tencent and Sony.

Under the deal, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick will continue his role during the transition, who was previously called out to resign over the cultural problems within the company. However, Activision will have to report to the Chief Executive of Microsoft's gaming business Phil Spencer after the deal closes, which implies that Kotick could be out of the game after the transition. The Wall Street Journal also reported that Kotick is expected to step down after the deal closes.

The agreement is currently pending regulatory view and Activision Blizzard shareholder approval, with the deal expected to close in 2023. Microsoft has been pretty aggressive in its growth in the gaming industry as the company bought Minecraft's developer Mojang for US$2.5 billion (~RM10.5 billion) in 2014 and acquired Bethesda for US$7.5 billion (~RM31.4 billion) last year.

When the deal is completed, we could expect that Activision games like Call of Duty would be made exclusive to Xbox as Spencer commented, "Our goal is to allow the content to reach as many players as possible."


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