Upon the closing of the deal, Microsoft will rank third in the world’s gaming revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.
Activision, Blizzard, and King are planning to acquire iconic franchises such as “Warcraft,” “Diablo,” “Overwatch,” “Call of Duty,” and “Candy Crush,” in addition to global eSports activities through Major League Gaming.
Nearly 10,000 employees work in the company’s studios around the world.
“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”, said Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO, Microsoft.
“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,” he added.
Microsoft will now be able to grow its gaming business across mobile, PC, console, and cloud platforms and provide the building blocks for the future of gaming.
The CEO of Activision Blizzard will remain Bobby Kotick.
Upon closing of the deal, Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, will be responsible for the Activision Blizzard business.
“For more than 30 years, our incredibly talented teams have created some of the most successful games,” said Kotick.
“The combination of Activision Blizzard’s world-class talent and extraordinary franchises with Microsoft’s technology, distribution, access to talent, ambitious vision, and shared commitment to gaming and inclusion will help ensure our continued success in an increasingly competitive industry,” he added.
Globally, 95 percent of gamers enjoy mobile games, making mobile gaming the largest segment of gaming.
Activision Blizzard games will also be added to Microsoft’s Game Pass, which has recently reached a new milestone of over 25 million subscribers.
By combining Activision Blizzard’s 400 million active players in 190 countries and three billion-dollar franchises, Microsoft intends to create the industry’s most compelling and diverse lineup of gaming content.
When it is completed, Microsoft will have 30 internal studios dedicated to game development and additional publishing and esports production facilities.
Microsoft plans to close the deal by 2023.