Microsoft announced it is buying Activision Blizzard in a deal worth a whopping $68.7 billion.
Activision Blizzard is responsible for some of the biggest, most successful game franchises in history, including Warcraft, Overwatch, Starcraft, Diablo, Call of Duty, and Candy Crush. Microsoft sees the acquisition as a way for it to continue to cement its position in developing the metaverse, where in-person and virtual reality merge.
“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, Microsoft. “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.”
At the same time, Forbes is reporting that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is likely leaving once the deal is completed. Kotick has been under fire for his role in Activision’s culture, and has been accused of knowing about sexual harassment and discrimination accusations, but not taking the necessary steps to address the problem.
Given that Microsoft is working to establish itself as a safe work environment, it’s unlikely Kotick would have place within the company once the deal is finalized.
According to NPR, Nadella alluded to the challenges involved in reining in Activision’s culture in a call with investors.
“After the close, we will have significant work to do in order to continue to build a culture where everyone can do their best work,” Nadella said.
In the meantime, here’s to hoping Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard will lead to a Starcraft 3…