Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard in $68 billion deal

The gaming giant has been sold.

Image via Activision Blizzard

Microsoft is set to acquire gaming industry giant Activision Blizzard.

Activision Blizzard is one of the most renowned game developers and publishers in the industry, responsible for franchises including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo, and StarCraft.

Microsoft is set to pay an eye-watering $68.7 billion for the acquisition of the company. “Microsoft will acquire Activision Blizzard for $95.00 per share, in an all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 billion, inclusive of Activision Blizzard’s net cash,” Microsoft said in a press release today.

With this acquisition, Microsoft will become the third-biggest company in the world in terms of revenue behind Tencent, a Chinese multinational technology and entertainment conglomerate, and Sony, a Japanese tech giant.

Phil Spencer, the CEO of Microsoft Gaming, didn’t hide his enthusiasm about the transaction, underlining the importance of Activision Blizzard. “Players everywhere love Activision Blizzard games,” he said. “Together we will build a future where people can play the games they want, virtually anywhere they want.”

This news comes after reports indicated Activision Blizzard’s CEO, Bobby Kotick, had been hiding information amid workplace misconduct. The company has been at the center of controversy due to reports of sexual harassment and other misconduct that’s reportedly taken place over the last decade.

Despite this, Kotick will remain in the position of Activision Blizzard’s CEO, according to Microsoft. “He and his team will maintain their focus on driving efforts to further strengthen the company’s culture and accelerate business growth,” Microsoft said.

The Activision Blizzard business will “report to” Phil Spencer, however.