Microsoft gets its hands on the largest video game publisher, whose productions will integrate its Game Pass offer.
Microsoft strikes a blow. The American group announced on Tuesday the acquisition of the video game publisher Activision-Blizzard. The latter is at the origin of some of the most powerful franchises in the sector, such as call of duty, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Where candy Crush through mobile game publisher King. To afford Activision, Microsoft puts on the table no less than 68.7 billion dollars, settled in cash.
The management of Activision-Blizzard, shaken by a series of scandals in recent months, remains in place. Bobby Kotick retains his position as the publisher’s managing director. But according to information from wall street journal, Microsoft and Activision have agreed that the CEO will leave the company once the transaction is completed. This is expected to take place in 2023.
Microsoft becomes world number three in video games
Microsoft becomesthe world’s third largest video game player in terms of revenue behind Tencent and Sony“, notes the group in its press release. The American group had already got their hands last year on the publisher Bethesda (the games Fallout, Doom, Wolfenstein, Skyrim…), but at a much lower cost: 7.5 billion dollars. It has also multiplied the acquisitions of smaller studios in recent years in order to inflate its catalog of exclusives.
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Activision-Blizzard productions are intended to join Game Pass, Microsoft’s service allowing you to play a large catalog of games at will against a monthly subscription starting at 9.99 euros per month. It is still unknown if future games from Activision will be exclusive to Xbox Series consoles. This scenario would be a blow to Sony. License call of duty is traditionally one of the biggest annual sales for PlayStation consoles.
The acquisition of Activision comes as the video game industry is in the midst of a consolidation phase. Sony multiplies the acquisitions of studios, such as Insomniac Games (Spiderman) or Housemarque (Returnal), in order to increase the number of exclusive games for its PlayStation 5 console.