Microsoft has made its largest ever deal buying Activision Blizzard for almost $100 billion and following months of scandal.
Microsoft has announced its purchase of Activision Blizzard, the creators of Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, after the company has been marred by scandal.
It is the largest ever acquisition by Microsoft at $US68.7 billion ($A96 billion) topping the company’s $US26.2 billion ($A36.4 billion) purchase of LinkedIn in 2016. The deal will likely face regulatory scrutiny given the size of the deal.
The purchase comes as Microsoft and others are looking to escape the power of the Apple and Google-controlled App Store mobile gaming ecosystem.
“This acquisition will accelerate the growth in Microsoft’s gaming business across mobile, PC, console and cloud and will provide building blocks for the metaverse,” Microsoft said in a statement.
“When the transaction closes, Microsoft will become the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony. The planned acquisition includes iconic franchises from the Activision, Blizzard and King studios like Warcraft, Diablo, “Overwatch,” Call of Duty and Candy Crush, in addition to global eSports activities through Major-league Gaming.”
The deal is expected to close at the end of the 2023 fiscal year.
The statement also outlined that maligned Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will remain in that role until the deal closes.
Activision Blizzard has come under the microscope after documents were filed in US courts accusing the company of creating a “frat boy” culture where women are victims of harassment, unfair pay, and retaliation.
The lawsuit went into great detail about alleged past events and called for numerous forms of relief, including compensation and punitive damages.
Since the lawsuit went public, the company has responded with a statement from CEO Bobby Kotick about plans to begin rectifying company culture and a huge walkout from employees.
According to The Wall Street Journal, CEO Bobby Kotick not only knew about the sexual harassment claims, he worked to keep some of them quiet and didn‘t report multiple incidents to the board of directors.