By: Nick Gambino

Microsoft is expanding its gaming empire by acquiring Activision Blizzard for a cool $68.7 billion. To understand why this deal comes with such a hefty price tag you have to consider the prestige gaming titles that come with it.

Activision is the company behind World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, Diablo, and even super-popular mobile games like Candy Crush. All of those games and all their sequels and peripheral projects will now fall under the Microsoft umbrella.

This is Microsoft’s biggest payout for another company to date and signifies their seriousness in dominating the gaming world. It’s close to three times what they paid for LinkedIn less than six years ago

“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,” Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella said in a press release statement. “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.”

The metaverse is where gaming is headed, at least according to all the people much smarter than me. It’s a fully interactive world in which users can engage with other users and the environment itself, much like a secondary life in the digital world. It’s so much more than VR and AR, it’s a fully realized environment where you can interact with everybody and everything, not just games. Think of it as The Sims or Second Life on steroids.

But the metaverse is still a ways off, for now, we’re looking at what this acquisition means to gaming. Once Microsoft owns this cache of new games, they plan to include a ton of them under the Xbox Game Pass. With more than 25 million subscribers, this is going to be a big add and a smart way to boost those numbers even more.

Per their press release, this will make Microsoft the third-largest company in gaming right behind Sony and Tencent. Not only will they be acquiring a ton of IP, but the deal also comes with an esports organization, Major League Gaming, and 10,000 employees with numerous studios around the globe.

As with all of these massive deals, the Microsoft/Activision deal is going to take a while before it crosses the finish line, which should be some time in 2023.


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