Microsoft Buys Activision Blizzard for $69 Billion! Awful CEO Bobby Kotick To Be Replaced by Phil Spencer in 2023?

Today, Microsoft announced it plans to buy game developer giant Activision Blizzard. 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. Most excitingly for fans is that with an Xbox Game Pass subscription, you can soon get all past, present & future Activision Blizzard games for the same small monthly/yearly fee! 😀

Clearly Microsoft is expecting a lot of growth in the Netflix-like monthly subscription model Xbox Game Pass falls in or they wouldn’t have spent so much cash. Which makes us wonder if the Sega acquisition rumors are true as well? But back to Activision Blizzard news…

Microsoft will acquire Activision Blizzard for $95.00 per share, in an all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 billion, inclusive of Activision Blizzard’s net cash. When the transaction closes, Microsoft will become the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony. The planned acquisition includes iconic franchises from the Activision, Blizzard and King studios like “Warcraft,” “Diablo,” “Overwatch,” “Call of Duty,” “Candy Crush,” “Tony Hawk,” “Spyro,” “Hearthstone,” “Guitar Hero,” “Crash Bandicoot” and “StarCraft,” in addition to global eSports activities through Major League Gaming. The company has studios around the word with nearly 10,000 employees.

With three billion people actively playing games today, and fueled by a new generation steeped in the joys of interactive entertainment, gaming is now the largest and fastest-growing form of entertainment.

The good news Microsoft added: “Upon close, we will offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard’s incredible catalog.”

The bad news is that awful Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick — who “allegedly” purposefully ignored female sexual assault accusations of his senior male staff for 30 years — is staying on for this and next year until the company transition is completed, but Activision Blizzard’s own staff and gaming fans the world over are hoping he will be kicked out the door ASAP in 2023. The next quote from Xbox’s Phil Spencer seems to imply he will take over the CEO position in 2023. Have a read…

Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard, and he and his team will maintain their focus on driving efforts to further strengthen the company’s culture and accelerate business growth. Once the deal closes, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming.

Up next, are some choice quotes from everyone involves to show how excited they are.

“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.”

“Players everywhere love Activision Blizzard games, and we believe the creative teams have their best work in front of them,” said Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming. “Together we will build a future where people can play the games they want, virtually anywhere they want.”

“For more than 30 years our incredibly talented teams have created some of the most successful games,” said terrible human being Bobby Kotick, CEO, Activision Blizzard. “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.”

Mobile is the largest segment in gaming, with nearly 95% of all players globally enjoying games on mobile. Through great teams and great technology, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard will empower players to enjoy the most-immersive franchises, like “Halo” and “Warcraft,” virtually anywhere they want. And with games like “Candy Crush,” Activision Blizzard´s mobile business represents a significant presence and opportunity for Microsoft in this fast-growing segment.

The acquisition also bolsters Microsoft’s Game Pass portfolio with plans to launch Activision Blizzard games into Game Pass, which has reached a new milestone of over 25 million subscribers. With Activision Blizzard’s nearly 400 million monthly active players in 190 countries and three billion-dollar franchises, this acquisition will make Game Pass one of the most compelling and diverse lineups of gaming content in the industry. Upon close, Microsoft will have 30 internal game development studios, along with additional publishing and esports production capabilities.

Disclaimer: The acquisition deal is not final yet, but expected to go through. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and completion of regulatory review and Activision Blizzard’s shareholder approval. The deal is expected to close in fiscal year 2023 and will be accretive to non-GAAP earnings per share upon close. The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard.

Update: Microsoft released an additional statement to show they are addressing the company culture problems at Activision Blizzard right away. To quote:

“As a company, Microsoft is committed to our journey for inclusion in every aspect of gaming, among both employees and players. We deeply value individual studio cultures. We also believe that creative success and autonomy go hand-in-hand with treating every person with dignity and respect. We hold all teams, and all leaders, to this commitment. We’re looking forward to extending our culture of proactive inclusion to the great teams across Activision Blizzard.

Around the world, there is no more exciting venue for fun and connection than video games. And there has never been a better time to play than right now. As we extend the joy and community of gaming to everyone, we look forward to welcoming all of our friends at Activision Blizzard to Microsoft Gaming.”

Wow, just wow! I never thought such a huge buyout would happen. Those are some awesome Activision Blizzard game series changing hands to become “free” with Xbox Game Pass! I’m very excited I no longer have to pay for them and can just try them out as part of the best deal in gaming called Xbox Game Pass. 🙂 Now Microsoft just needs to clean house by firing the current scumbag CEO, while improving the company culture to no longer be toxic, and the Activision Blizzard studios are in for a bright future at Xbox. I think this really may have been the most unexpected but most welcome thing that could’ve happened for the people organizing walkouts and strikes at the studio this past year. Congrats.