Microsoft announced on Tuesday a US$68.7 billion acquisition plan of gaming giant Activision Blizzard as part of its reach for the emerging metaverse market.
- “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, in a statement.
- Microsoft’s all-cash purchase of the Fortune 500 firm behind billion-dollar franchises Call of Duty, Candy Crush and Warcraft is slated to make Microsoft the third-largest gaming company by revenue behind Tencent and Sony in the US$174 billion gaming industry.
- Metaverse developments have become key priorities for tech giants, so much so that the near US$900 billion social media titan Facebook rebranded to “Meta” to focus on the metaverse.
- The deal is expected to close in fiscal year 2023 but has yet to receive regulatory approval.
- Microsoft shares (MSFT) were down 2.43% at closing on the Nasdaq Tuesday while Activision Blizzard (ATVI) closed up 25.88%.