Microsoft reportedly agreed to acquire the game company Activision Blizzard. The deal is estimated at $68.7 billion, far more than what was paid to acquire LinkedIn in 2016.
This acquisition is a form of Microsoft's seriousness to go deeper into the world of gaming. The Redmond, U.S.-based company even said it was the third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony, after the deal closed.
Microsoft plans to add a lot of Activision games to Xbox Game Pass. With the acquisition of Activision, Microsoft will soon be publishing franchises like Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty, and Candy Crush.
“After closing, we'll be offering as many Activision Blizzard games as possible on Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard's incredible catalog,” said Microsoft games CEO Phil Spencer. /1/2022).
Microsoft's deal comes after news broke about claims of sexual harassment within the company's Activision Blizzard. Last July, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) sued Activision Blizzard for promoting a persistent culture of sexual harassment.
Many employees have filed sexual misconduct allegations since, and the company had to pay $18 million to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in September.
The settlement is being appealed, and reports indicate that nearly 40 Activision Blizzard employees have reportedly left the company since last July.
Microsoft did not specify exactly how it would approach the issue, and the company said Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard for now.
However, it doesn't look like Kotick will stay after the deal closes completely and after the transition to Microsoft. Spencer, previously head of gaming at Microsoft, is now CEO of Microsoft Gaming, and the company said Blizzard's Activision business will report directly to Spencer.
“As a company, Microsoft is committed to our journey for inclusion in every aspect of the game, both among employees and players,” said Spencer.