Microsoft Corporation, today, said it is acquiring California-based gaming company Activision Blizzard Inc to expand its gaming business with a particular focus on building its metaverse platforms. The company paying $68.7 billion in cash for the deal.
"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," the company said in an official blog post.
This is Microsoft's biggest acquisition ever. Last year, the company acquired Bethesda Softworks' parent company ZeniMax Media, another renowned gaming firm, for $7.5 billion.
Until the completion of the deal, Activision will continue to operate independently. After the deal, it will be a part of Microsoft Gaming, the Big Tech firm's gaming arm, which is headed by Phil Spencer.
In addition to providing resources to build metaverse applications, the deal will also establish Microsoft as a major force in gaming with some of the most popular gaming titles, such as the Call of Duty series, in its portfolio. According to Activision's Q3 financial results for 2021, the gaming firm had 390 million monthly active users (MAU) across its games.
Though Microsoft has been in gaming for many years with its Xbox consoles and games like Age of Empires, Forza and Halo, it is widely identified as an enterprise solutions company offering Windows OS, Office 365 solutions and Azure Cloud.
The Activision deal is a clear indication of the company's ambitions in gaming and metaverse. “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,” said Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO of Microsoft. “We’re investing deeply in world-class content, community and the cloud to usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first and makes gaming safe, inclusive and accessible to all," he added.