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Microsoft to purchase Activision Blizzard for $68 billion

Microsoft announced it would be buying developer and publisher Activision Blizzard. The acquisition is valued at a staggering $68.7 billion, with shares being valued at $95 each.

A statement from the publisher and software developer read: "Today, Microsoft Corp. announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard Inc., a leader in game development and interactive entertainment content publisher. This acquisition will accelerate the growth in Microsoft’s gaming business across mobile, PC, console and cloud and will provide building blocks for the Metaverse."

Microsoft’s Gaming CEO Phil Spencer noted that Bobby Kotick would reprise his role as CEO of Activision Blizzard until the purchase had been completed, however, after such a time, staff of the newly acquired company will report to Spencer.

Spencer also noted that “Xbox will offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from their catalogue. When you think about potential opportunities, like, say, offering Diablo, Call of Duty or Overwatch via cloud streaming to anyone on any device, you can see just how exciting this deal really is."

This is good news for gamers who may have been concerned with the purchase and what it meant going forward. Microsoft’s game pass now boasts 25 million subscribers worldwide.

Microsoft stated that it expects the deal to be completed in the 2023 financial year, which is July 2022 until July 2023: Until the acquisition is finalized, Activision Blizzard will continue to operate as normal. The boards of directors of both companies have approved the transaction. When the deal is finalised, Microsoft will become the third-largest gaming company in the world, behind Tencent and Sony.

Activision Blizzard has been rocked by allegations of sexual assault and workplace harassment. On a conference call, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella addressed the recent workplace controversies: "[W]e believe it’s critical for the Activision Blizzard to drive forward on its renewed cultural commitments. We are supportive of the goal and the work Activision Blizzard is doing, and we also recognize that after close, we will have significant work to do in order to continue to build a culture where everyone can do their best work."