Tech giant Microsoft has reached an agreement to buy video game publisher and developer Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, it said in a statement Tuesday.
The transaction will be in cash and Microsoft will pay $95 for each of the shares of Activision Blizzard, which is a 46% premium to the price at which the shares closed on Monday.
The company run by Satya Nadella has underlined that after finalizing the agreement it will become the third largest video game company worldwide by revenue, only behind Tencent and Sony.
This deal far exceeds Take-Two’s purchase of Zynga for $12.7 billion, announced last week and which had become the largest acquisition deal in the video game segment.
In 2020, Microsoft also announced the purchase of ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, one of the world’s largest private video game developers and publishers, for $7.5 billion.
Activision Blizzard owns the popular video game sagas ‘Call of Duty’, ‘Warcraft’, ‘Diablo’, ‘Overwatch’ or ‘Candy Crush’. It has 10,000 employees and in 2020 it recorded net profits of $2,197 million and a turnover of $8,086 million.
Activision CEO Bobby Kotick will retain his post, although once the deal closes, the company will report directly to Phil Spencer, the CEO of Activision’s video game division. Microsoft.
In recent months, Kotick has been under pressure after the newspaper ‘The Wall Street Journal’ published that the executive had been aware for years of the sexual harassment problems of the company’s female employees but without having informed the board of directors.
Microsoft hopes to incorporate the Activision catalog into its ‘Game Pass’ subscription, which recently reached the figure of 25 million subscribers. After finalizing the agreement, the company that owns Xbox will have 30 internal game development studios.