Microsoft eyeing up Call of Duty developer Activision Blizzard, in a deal worth nearly $70 billion
Microsoft is lining up to buy Activision Blizzard, Inc. the computer games developer, publisher and distributor of some of the most iconic games of the last two decades. This offer values the Call of Duty games publisher at the same market value as BMW and FedEx. This acquisition would make it the biggest in Microsoft's history and is expected to be finalised in 2023, giving Microsoft ownership of the games franchises such as the holy trinity of computer games, Call of Duty, Warcraft and Overwatch.
Microsoft has been growing its video-games franchises since 2014 with the acquisition of Mojang, Minecraft's developer for $2.5bn, a tiny sum now, considering the huge impact it had on online live-gaming. Other acquisitions followed, with Double Fine, Obsidian Entertainment and the UK studio Ninja Theory. Under the umbrella of Microsoft, this shows their future commitment to the Xbox console and their long term plans for the video-games business and its various gaming platforms.
In 2020, Xbox owner Microsoft bought the games company ZeniMax Media for $7.5bn, parent company of Bethesda, the creator of blockbuster titles such as Fallout, Doom, Wolfenstein and Skyrim, thus adding to the arsenal of games available on Xbox. These games were then added to Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass, which currently has over 25 million subscribers worldwide and bringing over $4bn in revenue during 2022.
Activision Blizzard has over 10,000 employees in its worldwide studios and is the name behind games such as Candy Crush, Warzone, Sekiro, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, Spyro, Skylanders and the legendary Call of Duty franchise and are some of the most popular games in the world. There are now over 400 million monthly active players in over 190 countries.
Microsoft is one of three key players in the computer games arena, competing with Nintendo and Sony's Playstation for top spot. With the 2023 acquisition of Activision Blizzard, this will place it firmly in the future of creating content for the console and PC games market, and sees Microsoft as the place where everyone will want go to play games. A Netflix of gaming.
Microsoft has the money for further acquisitions of other leading games developers to build its solid foundation as the key player and top performer in the huge computer gaming market. The product of this is not in a tangible form, but is seen as entertainment and the games themselves as content and Microsoft wants to own the environment where and how we play them.