Microsoft to buy embattled 'Call of Duty' publisher Activision for $68 billion
Microsoftis buying "Call of Duty" publisher Activision.
- Microsoft is paying $68.7 billion in cash for the game company.
Microsoft is buying Activision, the major video game publisher behind the "Call of Duty" franchise, in an all-cash deal valued at around $68.7 billion.
It's Microsoft's largest ever acquisition, and the largest video game acquisition in history.
The price values Activision's stock at $95.00 per share — a price it hasn't held since July 2021, when
In the deal, Microsoft will become the third-largest video game company, following Chinese giant Tencent and PlayStation-maker Sony.
Microsoft will acquire a huge selection of intellectual property and game development resources: Game franchises like "Call of Duty," "World of Warcraft," and "Candy Crush," in addition to major game studios like Blizzard Entertainment and Treyarch. Activision's approximately 10,000 employees will join Microsoft in the deal.
Beyond IP and development resources, Microsoft said Activision's games will appear on the company's Netflix-like video game subscription service, Game Pass, in the coming months. That service, which has been critical to Xbox's success in recent years, has now reached 25 million subscribers, Microsoft said.
Microsoft is also inheriting Activision's recently reported culture issues, including claims that CEO Bobby Kotick knew for years about a variety of claims of sexual harassment and rape at his company, and did little to fix the problems.
Kotick will continue on with the company, Microsoft said in its press release announcement, and will report to Xbox leader
Microsoft's acquisition of Activision is the latest in an ongoing series of major video game acquisitions, including Take-Two Interactive announcing just eight days ago that it's purchasing Zynga for nearly $13 billion. Microsoft itself has led the charge on acquisitions, starting with a $2.5 billion purchase of "Minecraft" maker Mojang. Most recently, the company purchased game publisher Bethesda Softworks for $7.5 billion.
The deal, if approved, is expected to close within the next year.
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