Microsoft is to buy Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard in a deal worth almost $70bn which it says will accelerate the growth of its gaming business across mobile, PC, console and cloud.
In addition to Call of Duty, the deal will see the Xbox maker take ownership of the Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, and Candy Crush franchises and integrate Activision’s games into its Game Pass.
Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard, and he and his team will report to Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming.
“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.”
Spencer added: “Players everywhere love Activision Blizzard games, and we believe the creative teams have their best work in front of them.
“Together we will build a future where people can play the games they want, virtually anywhere they want.”
Kotick commented: “For more than 30 years our incredibly talented teams have created some of the most successful games.
“The combination of Activision Blizzard’s world-class talent and extraordinary franchises with Microsoft’s technology, distribution, access to talent, ambitious vision and shared commitment to gaming and inclusion will help ensure our continued success in an increasingly competitive industry.”