Microsoft Acquires Activision Blizzard for $68.7 Billion, A Race to the Metaverse
How does this affect Microsoft?
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A top story from the past week is Microsoft buying-out Activision for $68.7 billion in cash. This is notable for various reasons, one being it’s a very large acquisition of a company that’s had very bad PR over the last year. More than 30 Activsion employees left the company since July 2021 because of issues surrounding sexual harrasment in the workplace.
The acquisition also raises concerns on antitrust violations, as adding Activision would make Microsoft the third-largest gaming company in the world, only behind Tencent and their rival Sony. However, the deal is expected to go through, and should significantly help Microsoft stay ahead of newer gaming competition like Amazon and Google, and make a gain on Sony. Microsoft plans for the transaction to add significantly to it’s 25 million Game Pass subscribers, as now they’ll have more games, along with some of Activision's 400 million monthly active players.
Most notably about this acquisition, is it’s an extreme bet on gaming, which like I mentioned in one of my previous posts, is really a bet on the metaverse. Microsoft framed this acquisition as a way for them to position themselves in the metaverse.
“This acquisition will accelerate the growth in Microsoft’s gaming business across mobile, PC, console and cloud and will provide building blocks for the metaverse," via Microsoft News.
“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.
I love this move by Microsoft as a metaverse play. Bill Gates, the evil, cutthroat, manipulative genius he is, actually understands the metaverse and that virtual reality gaming is the bridge that’s needed to get there.
How can acquiring Activision accelerate VR gaming?
Microsoft now has one of the biggest game developers in the world to work on their VR. Activision owns multiple of the largest gaming franchises, such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Candy Crush, in addition to 10,000 employees and studios around the world. Upon close, Microsoft will have 30 internal game development studios.
Activision would be Microsoft’s second acquisition of a big game developer in the last couple years, as in Sept. 2020 they acquired Bethesda for $7.5 billion. This gave them ownership of multiple studios and major franchichies in Fallout and The Elder Scrolls. Microsoft themselves has Xbox Game Studios, which created Halo, Forza, Gears of War, and Minecraft.
Bills Gates shelling out almost $70 billion in cash for Activision not only re-confirms the race is on for the metaverse, but that VR game development is *probably* about to be accelerated. My gut feeling says that Bill is working his ass off to make VR affordable, as like I said in a previous post that’s the main factor holding it back from the mainstream. However, Microsoft now will have the game library locked-n-loaded and an army of game studios ready-to-go for when that happens.
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