Microsoft makes metaverse move with $69 BILLION Activision Blizzard deal
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Budge over a bit Zuckerberg, Microsoft appears to be making a move into the metaverse. And it’s a big one, which brings Activision Blizzard, the publishers of Call of Duty, into the fold.
The publisher of Minecraft (that’s Microsoft) has reportedly made an all-cash bid (US$95 per share) valued at US$69.7 billion for gaming titan Activision Blizzard, which will make Microsoft the the world’s third-largest gaming company (behind Tencent and Sony).
Significantly, it’s Microsoft’s biggest ever acquisition. And, almost inevitably, it’s being framed as a metaverse play.
Microsoft emphasised in an announcement that the acquisition will “accelerate the growth in Microsoft’s gaming business across mobile, PC, console and cloud and will provide building blocks for the metaverse”.
— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) January 18, 2022
Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella added, “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.”
In addition to the mega-popular Call of Duty franchise, Activision Blizzard has an impressive array of major titles in its stable, including Warcraft, Overwatch, Candy Crush, Diablo and Crash Bandicoot. It also has franchised leagues within esports (with Overwatch and Call of Duty).
2015: Vitalik builds Ethereum because Activision Blizzard nerfs warlock in WoW.
2021: NFTs take off on Ethereum, gaming looks to follow.
2022: Microsoft buys Activision Blizzard in metaverse race.
2024: Microsoft launches metaverse running on Ethereum using DAO governance. pic.twitter.com/6RrWZ3jVHV
— hack3r.eth (@WebbEmotional) January 18, 2022
As part of the acquisition, Microsoft stated that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will remain at the helm until the deal closes, with Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer taking over at that point.
It’s unclear at this stage whether Microsoft’s metaverse move will incorporate the introduction of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) into its gaming universe, although there is heavy speculation it will dip its toe in at the very least.
According to a Decrypt article, Games publishing rival Ubisoft confirmed recently that it intends to continue its NFT-related plans through its Ubisoft Quartz platform, despite some backlash and negativity from “traditional” gamers about the need for and value of NFTs.
how are the ghost recon NFTs doing? I looked at the 2 3rd party marketplaces the Quartz site links and there seems to be… 15 sales total? 0 in the last day on 1 site? am i reading this right? pic.twitter.com/rWxvEW3Nrh
— Liz Edwards 💛💙 (@lizaledwards) December 20, 2021