Microsoft’s $69 billion takeover of Activision Blizzard sees it become the company’s largest acquisition, overtaking the $29 billion purchase of LinkedIn Corporation in 2016.
Since 2011, Microsoft has now spent $144.8 billion on acquisitions, with the cash buyout of Activision Blizzard now representing 53.7% of that money spent.
Of course, included in those takeovers is the purchase of ZeniMax, the parent company of Bethesda, which Microsoft bought for more than $8 billion, adding The Elder Scrolls and Fallout franchises to the list of Xbox titles.
Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, has now said, “When they originally called, we said we would think about it, and then they made this offer, which was incredibly attractive at a 45 per cent premium to the share price. And I think that made a lot of sense.”
Kotick is referring to the perfect timing of Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, who called Kotick to propose the deal.
It came just as Activision Blizzard was planning for the future and realizing that they would need to spend big on hiring experts in AI and machine learning, data analytics, and cybersecurity.
With other companies such as Facebook, now called Meta, Netflix, Sony, Microsoft, and Google already making huge strides towards cloud gaming and streaming, Activision Blizzard couldn’t see a way to compete and chose to accept Spencer’s offer.
For anyone wondering, Kotick will step down once the takeover is finalized, which is expected to happen by June 2023.
IS CALL OF DUTY XBOX EXCLUSIVE?
It may be too early to say what lies in the future for Call of Duty, but Spencer has said that existing games on the PS4 and PS5 platforms will remain on them going forward.
We would expect, though, that future Diablo, Overwatch, CoD, and World of Warcraft titles will find themselves on the Xbox Game Pass and more than likely become Xbox exclusive titles.
We can assume as much after Microsoft confirmed during E3 2021 that Bethesda’s upcoming RPG Starfield will now be an Xbox exclusive title, launching on PC, Xbox Series X and Series S.