Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard in record-setting $68.7 billion deal

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Microsoft announced today it would be acquiring Activision Blizzard, adding some of the biggest franchises in gaming to its portfolio, including World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, and Candy Crush. The deal is currently the largest in the history of the video game industry, beating the record set only last week when Take-Two acquired Zynga for $12.7 billion. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick will remain in his current role. While the announcement does not comment on whether or not Activision games will now be exclusive to Microsoft platforms, it does reference Microsoft's intention bolster Game Pass with Activision's portfolio, also announcing that Game Pass has recently reached a milestone subscriber count of 25 million. The deal is expected to close in the fiscal year 2023 and will make Microsoft the third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.

The merger comes at a tumultuous time for Activision Blizzard, after both the State of California and the SEC began investigating reports of sexual misconduct and worker discrimination at the company last summer. This controversy drew responses from across the industry, with PlayStation boss Jim Ryan reportedly condemning the company in an internal memo to employees, and Xbox CEO Phil Spencer stating in November that he would be "evaluating" his relationship with Activision Blizzard moving forward and that he was "disturbed and deeply troubled" by the reports. In an interview with The New York Times last week, Spencer said "we have changed how we do certain things with them, and they’re aware of that. But I also — this isn’t about, for us as Xbox, virtue-shaming other companies. Xbox’s history is not spotless." In a press release accompanying the acquisition announcement, Microsoft CEO and chairman Satya Nadella said “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.” To add to Activision's woes, the last Call of Duty release, Vanguard, reportedly performed below expectations and failed to beat the previous year's release, with some rumours circulating that the next Call of Duty may be moved up in the schedule to compensate.

This acquisition continues Microsoft's recent trend of major acquisitions across the gaming industry. Last September, they acquired publishing giant Zenimax, and have been purchasing scores of smaller studios for the past several years, including Obsidian, Double Fine and Ninja Theory.

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Jayinem

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You're probably looking at Microsoft as a whole though, they were previously split up in an antitrust case. Their Xbox division definitely does not have trillions of dollars to spend on acquisitions.

I don't think it ended up happening that way otherwise there'd be two Microsofts and there aren't. According to time.com

Jackson’s word was far from final. The case found its way to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which rejected Jackson’s remedy and accused him of unethical conduct after it was revealed he had private conversations with reporters about the trial while it was still ongoing. Microsoft would settle the case with the Department of Justice in November of 2001 by agreeing to make it easier for Microsoft’s competitors to get their software more closely integrated with the Windows operating system — a tough pill for Microsoft to swallow, but hardly on the same level as a forced breakup.

Everything I've read shows this as in one lump sum. But yes of course they're not going to use all their money because they have more than games (although Disney is not gaming). It was not a serious discussion because none of the 3 companies would sell to them anyway barring a miracle.

Well, let’s first talk about Microsoft. For Microsoft, the market cap is $2.271T. However, there are a few things to note. Firstly, when it comes to Microsoft, gaming is not the only sector that the company works in. The total market cap is based on all the sectors, so it is not quite the same. Microsoft hasn’t revealed the figures for the Xbox division, so it is difficult to estimate that part.

Coming to Sony, we have a market cap of around $143.12B. Once again, this involves all sectors of the company, so you should keep that in mind as well before you get into all the calculations. Now on paper, Microsoft’s market cap is significantly more than Sony’s. However, that doesn’t quite make one superior over the other. That being said, Xbox’s valuation as a whole should go significantly up now considering the fact that it has acquired Bethesda, Blizzard, and a slew of other developers.


The only thing I've been able to find that is split from Microsoft is expedia and that was back in 1999.
 
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omgcat

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Crash & Banjo crossover when?


But seriously, from the jaws of one beast to another. Not only is Kotick still there, but now Moneyman Gates himself stands on top. What a mess.

bill gates has not been involved with MS for like almost 2 years. he stepped down from the MS board in 2020.
 
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Viri

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Not saying it will happen, but what would be the fallout, if this got blocked?
If the US gave a shit about monopolies, and blocked other monopolies, the US would be a much better place. A US without Procter & Gamble would be a nice place.
 

omgcat

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Yes, there is change, but there really needs to be less monopolizing in the tech scene as well.
>OOH your just jealous and/or envious
Perhaps, yes. But really, just as you think that "toxicity" in gaming is a problem like the current overlord at Xbox game studios would like to have people believe, you fail to see how monopolistic this can end up. Shrugging it off as simple "envy or jealousy" doesn't make it go away. Big Tech is capable and INDEED HAS shown to abuse their power. Not just Microsoft and Twitter, But also Facebook, and Google aka Alphabet stock. But hey, that doesn't matter to you so long as Phil Spencer gets his fat paycheck and you are satisfied by the proper stimuli, good sheep.
whats monopolistic about it? they get wow/overwatch/cod/crash/some marvel stuff/ spyro/ sekiro. i'm pretty sure sony owned WAY more active IPs. on top of this, this is happening because activsions parent company viacom is dumping a toxic asset because of the sexual harassment stuff. when viacom doesn't want anything to do with something, you know it's bad news.
 
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64bitmodels

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Yes, there is change, but there really needs to be less monopolizing in the tech scene as well.
>OOH your just jealous and/or envious
Perhaps, yes. But really, just as you think that "toxicity" in gaming is a problem like the current overlord at Xbox game studios would like to have people believe, you fail to see how monopolistic this can end up. Shrugging it off as simple "envy or jealousy" doesn't make it go away. Big Tech is capable and INDEED HAS shown to abuse their power. Not just Microsoft and Twitter, But also Facebook, and Google aka Alphabet stock. But hey, that doesn't matter to you so long as Phil Spencer gets his fat paycheck and you are satisfied by the proper stimuli, good sheep.
ah yes, this is totally a monopoly when
>Sony's already sold 16 million PS5s, and has over 100+ million PS4s
>nintendo already has the most popular video game console currently and sales for it aren't slowing down
>Valve's steam has 1 billion users.
but nah, MS buying up publishers like activision and bethesda is somehow monopolistic when Xbox's market share is fucking infinitesimal compared to sony and ESPECIALLY nintendos. i dont feel that we're in any danger of a monopoly unless they end up controlling the market in like, 3 years. which is probably not happening lol
 
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SG854

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Activision Blizzard sure wasn't doing anyone any favors as they were. What's the last thing they made that wasn't a remake, clawing specifically at nostalgia? All they've done for years is crank out middling sequels to their biggest IPs and have actually talented side studios work on remasters and remakes. If anything, this might unify the company and get them back on track.

Let alone all the allegations they had. A hopeful good riddance to Kotick, I hope Phil Spencer lets the door hit him on his eventual way out.
Bobby walks away with billions of dollars
 

Prior22

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No chance of future Spyro and Crash games coming to Nintendo I’m assuming. Seems pointless for MS to have the rights to those franchises since cartoonish platforming isn’t associated with the pew pew games MS gamers typically go for.

Very bad news overall for us platforming fans.
 

pedro702

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ah yes, this is totally a monopoly when
>Sony's already sold 16 million PS5s, and has over 100+ million PS4s
>nintendo already has the most popular video game console currently and sales for it aren't slowing down
>Valve's steam has 1 billion users.
but nah, MS buying up publishers like activision and bethesda is somehow monopolistic when Xbox's market share is fucking infinitesimal compared to sony and ESPECIALLY nintendos. i dont feel that we're in any danger of a monopoly unless they end up controlling the market in like, 3 years. which is probably not happening lol
if microsoft buys ubisoft and EA next they basically get a monopolly on all western AAA studios, and i wouldnt count out on xbox buying EA for fifa next imo seems like the next step to get the COD/FIFA crowd all on their ecosystem.

If you buy all the big western AAA studios then nintendo and Sony would be left with only their internal studios and japanese developers which is kinda of a monopoly since indie devs cant do much to fight AAA games, also gamepass is basically killing indie developers now, since people get so many free games to play each month they dont have the urge to try out other smaller indie games, so Microsoft is killing them out too.
 

kisamesama

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By that moronic logic, I suppose since people like Drake and Justin Bieber had best selling albums in 2021, that they are somehow a couple of the greatest musicians on the planet. Popularity and sales do not equate "good". Yet you make comments about ignorance. Smfh. Call of Duty and the majority of Activision/Blizzard games are pure SHIT. Because as is the same with someone like Justin Bieber, I don't care what chart position they have. You can make all the money in the world and still be shit.
thought the discussion was about popularity of COD (not if they are good or not) and if people cares?
Sales show they are still very popular and people somehow cares about it. That's just a fact.
if the game is good or bad I don't know... I haven't played COD for a long time cuz I found them becoming boring.
 

LightBeam

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first off, I don't think it would be possible for them to make COD Xbox exclusive, Activision still has enough autonomy to ensure that, and also some games like COD and Minecraft, would lose too much money if they were made xbox exclusives.

Hopefully this means Overwatch 2 actually happens and hopefully it means that Overwatch, WoW and other slowly dying Blizzard games are revived.
People would say the same about Bethesda games and here we are, I really don't see them not taking advantage of that. Having autonomy does not mean you would be able to release the games wherever you want. I just don't see Microsoft spending almost 70 billions in a deal and not taking advantage of having Call of Duty on the gamepass and exclusive to the Xbox, it would push a lot of people into Xbox.
I can see them still releasing Overwatch 2 on the Playstation for example, OW1 was available on the Playstation 4 and not having OW2 available would mean that Playstation players would just loose access to the game as soon as OW2 get released. But for unannounced games ? While I don't think it's impossible for them to release Playstation games, I just assume they won't.
 
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