In a shocking surprise that many didn’t see coming, Microsoft has made the decision to purchase Activision Blizzard in an all-cash buyout that just became the largest gaming deal in history.
Announced earlier this morning, Microsoft is in the final steps toward closing their deal which costs an incredible $68.7 billion despite Activision Blizzard being valued at closer to $50 billion. While we can’t say for sure, we speculate that this deal came into fruition at such a cust amidst all the allegations of toxic work culture over in Blizzard’s HQ in Irvine, CA. Microsoft, who sees the potential in Blizzard’s IPs, likely wanted to make this a one-and-done deal to acquire what they could and push out those that are holding back the future of these titles and by extension, the ‘Metaverse’. Oh yeah, that was a big factor in all this, to an extent.
“Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms.”
-Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella
All this talk about the Metaverse still leaves much to the imagination considering no one person or entity can really state exactly what that means to the future of gaming and online social interaction but we can’t help but consider Ready Player One every time we hear the term. Regardless, Microsoft has big plans for the Metaverse, though what those plans are haven’t been made clear just yet.
Another big aspect of this purchase is whether or not the Activision Blizzard titles are going to become Microsoft exclusives. At this time, it seems that the intention is to keep the games on the platforms in which they are currently available (WoW being PC-only likely won’t change). Titles such as Call of Duty and Overwatch have a pretty strong presence on PlayStation platforms and it would likely become of better interest for Micorosft to keep selling there in order to get some of their money back after this deal. More information on that will likely come in the future when these titles are up for sequels.
The last bit of juicy news comes in the form of whether or not Bobby Kotick, the CEO of Activision will remain with the company. At this point, it seems Kotick is staying on, despite all the allegations against him and his practices (or lack thereof) that kept many toxic presences in the company even after employee complaints. Apparently, Kotick will stick around for the time and remain the CEO of Activision but chatter online suggests that he will likely depart after the deal is finalized and he is no longer needed. As you can imagine, this has sparked some outrage from fans and current employees of Activision Blizzard but many staff members of the company are grateful to know that the strong work culture from Microsoft that it is known for will have a heavy-handed influence on their work environments as well.
All this news comes way out of left field as many suggested that Activision was becoming or already had become too big to buy. I guess when you are a tech behemoth like Microsoft, there really aren’t that many things you can’t buy.