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Microsoft snaps up Activision Blizzard for almost US$70 billion

By Kenneth Ang - on 19 Jan 2022, 9:10am

Microsoft snaps up Activision Blizzard for almost US$70 billion

Image: Microsoft

If you're looking for a spot of news that will make you spit out your morning coffee (or late night tea, depending on where you live), then this is probably it. According to a press release published by Microsoft, they've managed to buy out embattled publisher Activision Blizzard for close to US$70 billion, making this the most monstrous acquisition in the gaming industry to date.

Needless to say, this means that all of the latter's substituent studios, such as Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games, Raven Software, Toys for Bob, Treyarch and Demonware, among numerous others will come under the Microsoft umbrella, pretty much allowing them to monopolise the PC gaming sphere as we know it. After all, Activision Blizzard has churned out countless successful franchises over the years, including the likes of Overwatch, Diablo, Call of Duty and Warcraft.

As one might expect, Xbox Chief Phil Spencer is iover the moon, saying that they (Microsoft) are "incredibly excited" to be able to work with the numerous talents over at Activision Blizzard. However, the takeover doesn't appear to be immediate - a subsequent corporate statement has mentioned that both entities will continue to work independently until the deal has been finalised, and a corporate email sent out by Spencer to Microsoft staff offers that it will take place within the next fiscal year. 

Going over the numbers, a statement from Activision Blizzard's end notes that Microsoft is buying them out at US$95 per share, which comes to approximately US$68.7 billion in total. But while that is certainly a hefty bit of coin, it's probably going to be really worth it in the long run, given the takeover also means Microsoft now controls Activision Blizzard's esports initiatives too. 

But as surprising as the takeover might be, there is some room to argue that it was already in the cards somewhere. After all, Activision Blizzard hasn't been the best place to be lately, considering the whole fiasco surrounding CEO Bobby Kotick and the abusive work culture he promoted during his tenure. Regarding this topic, Spencer has commented that while he respects "individual studio cultures" and the obvious importance of treating staff with "dignity and respect", he also hopes to extend Microsoft's "culture of proactive inclusion" to the teams over at Activision Blizzard. So, as outrageous as it might sound, this whopping US70 billion acquisition might just be what the doctor ordered.

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