- Microsoft has signaled strong interest in the metaverse with the latest acquisition of Activision.
- The deal is worth a staggering $69 billion and will be finalized over the next few months.
- This is not the first time that tech giants will be dabbling into the metaverse.
It is easy to argue that gaming might be the best application for NFTs and the metaverse and Microsoft certainly agrees. The company’s latest acquisition signals intent to be a major player in the growing metaverse industry.
According to an announcement by the Microsoft News Centre, the tech company will acquire Activision Blizzard in an all-cash transaction that is worth nearly $69 billion. Upon completion of the deal, Microsoft will ascend the ranks to become the third biggest gaming company behind Tencent and market leader, Sony.
“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,” read the report. To close the deal, Microsoft had Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC as its financial advisor while Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP were legal counsel.
Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella hinted that the reason for the splurge was as a result of the growing interest in the metaverse and the tech company is “investing deeply” in introducing an era that puts players at the forefront for a more inclusive approach. “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,” noted the CEO.
The acquisition adds to Microsoft’s growing Game Pass portfolio that has over 25 million subscribers. Activision Blizzard is behind popular gaming titles like Call of Duty, Warcraft, and Candy Crush with over 400 million monthly active players around the world and will certainly make Game Pass a force to reckon with in gaming.
The current CEO of Activision Blizzard will continue to serve in his current role until the close of the 2023 fiscal year, and then the management team will report to Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming.
Previous Metaverse Forays
The race for a nice chunk of the metaverse between Facebook and Microsoft has been heated in recent weeks after the report that 100 Microsoft employees left to join Facebook’s Meta.
Before the close of the year, Microsoft’s CEO disclosed the company’s plan for the metaverse through the introduction of “Mesh”. Through Mesh, company staff can create custom avatars that will allow them to hold meetings and interact with each other in the metaverse. The CEO also hinted that the company could integrate attributes of the metaverse in its Xbox consoles.
Microsoft has also been knee-deep in the development of virtual reality hardware with the release of its wide range of devices like the HoloLens 2 amongst others. The company also boasts of VR-ready PCs and ultra-modern Windows Mixed Reality. As part of its drive to a metaverse future.
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