New Delhi: Microsoft Corp will be buying gaming company Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion in the biggest gaming industry deal in history. Activision Blizzard is the maker of the extremely popular games ‘Call of Duty’ and ‘Candy Crush’. Microsoft announced the deal on Tuesday.
“Together with @ATVI_AB, we will usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first and makes gaming safe, inclusive, and accessible to all,” CEO Satya Nadella said on Twitter.
The deal, biggest-ever, is set to be the largest all-cash acquisition on record. With this, the over $2 trillion giant Microsoft will further push its dominance in the booming videogaming market where it takes on leading gaming companies like Tencent (0700.HK) and Sony (6758.T).
The deal also represents the Microsoft’s attempt at challenging the Facebook or Meta in the “metaverse,” virtual online worlds where people can work, play and socialize, as many of its biggest competitors are already doing.
“Gaming has been key to Microsoft since our earliest days as a company. Today, it’s the largest and fastest-growing form of entertainment, and as the digital and physical worlds come together, it will play a critical role in the development of metaverse platforms,” CEO Satya Nadella told employees in a written communication.
Activision Blizzard itself is a $65 billion market cap company. Microsoft’s offer of $95 per share represents a premium of 45% to Activision’s Friday close. Activision’s shares were last up 27 per cent at $83.11.
2022 will see Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Meta, go up against each other in the virtual world as all of them have plans to release products and software for gaming this year.
“Large tech platforms are now looking towards augmented reality as the next computing platform shift,” Goldman Sachs analyst Eric Sheridan had observed earlier.