Microsoft to Swallow Activision Blizzard for $68.7 Billion

Microsoft says it will be able to gain access to hundreds of millions of players and position it as the world's third-largest gaming company by revenue, thanks to its acquisition of the gaming giant.

Microsoft put the total of the deal at $68.7 billion, saying thatActivision Blizzard is a leader in game development and interactive entertainment content publisher. The acquisition will accelerate the growth of Microsoft's gaming business across mobile, PC, console, and cloud and will provide building blocks for the metaverse.

The deal will give Microsoft access to over 400 million monthly active players ofActivision's games, as well as 25 million subscribers in its cross- platform Game Pass service. Microsoft will have 30 internal game development studios once the deal is done.

This is Microsoft's largest acquisition to date, more than double the purchase of LinkedIn in 2016 During Donald Trump's administration, Microsoft stumbled in its attempt to get a slice of TikTok, as well as unsuccessful attempts to buy social media sites. The recent developer acquisitions by other gaming giants are not as large as the one by Activision.

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued it for rampant sexual harassment in July of 2021. Dozens of employees have quit. The ABK Worker Alliance, a coalition of employees at Raven Software, announced the formation of a strike fund on the GoFundMe website.

The strike is putting serious pressure on the company, particularly over its free-to-play title Call of Duty: Warzone. One of the demands of the striking employees is to restore 12 contract quality assurance testers at Raven, and to hire all quality assurance contractors as employees. Warzone has serious bugs that are not fixed as the workers strike, ranging from audio issues and crashes to random deaths of players. The bugs have made it difficult for players to start the game.

The Wall Street Journal reported that shares in the company were down 30% since the July lawsuit, and that nearly a fifth of the company's 10,000 employees demanded the resignation of CEO Bobby Kotick. The news of the purchase has caused shares of the company to surge.

Last year, Microsoft acquired the publisher of the Elder Scrolls series, Bethesda, in a $7.5 billion deal.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wrote in a statement that gaming is the most exciting category in entertainment and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms. We are investing in world-class content, community and the cloud to bring a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first and makes gaming safe, inclusive and accessible to all.

Some of the most successful games have been created by our incredibly talented teams. The combination of 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.

As more information becomes available, this is a breaking news story.