According to Microsoft, the deal will help it become the world's third-largest gaming company by revenue overnight — behind Tencent and Sony.
The tech giant is acquiring Activision Blizzard, the company that owns renowned brands including Call Of Duty, Overwatch, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush.
According to Microsoft, the deal will help it become the world's third-largest gaming company by revenue overnight — behind Tencent and Sony. Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella said:
"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. 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."
Activision Blizzard was equally enthusiastic, and said the combination of its talent and 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."
The announcement was very light on detail when it comes to Microsoft's exact plans for the metaverse, and it comes as a number of Silicon Valley titans — Facebook among them — make big-money bets on virtual worlds.
There's Always A But…
However, the deal is likely to be closely scrutinized by regulators.