To play even more is the new slogan at Microsoft. The giant computer multinational announced on Tuesday the acquisition of Activision Blizzard for 68.7 billion dollars (about 60.4 billion euros). This operation, in the event that it receives the administrative authorization, no less a stumbling block for its certification, will allow it to take control of games with as much success in the global market as Call of duty Y Candy crush .
The transaction will make Microsoft the third most important company in the sector in terms of income, behind Tencent and Sony. It also represents a commitment to the new generation of the Internet, after maintaining a predominant position in software and being one of the main cloud services.
The agreement has been signed with payment in cash, in cash of the entire operation. The creator of Windows already manufactures the Xbox system and this purchase will open the path of expansion in the metarverse or virtual landscape.
This process has been formalized as Activision, which has 10,000 employees, has recently been marred by allegations of workplace misconduct, sexual harassment and pay discrimination.
Bill Gates’ company becomes the third company in income from the game business
Activision Blizzard acknowledged in 2021 that the Securities Market Commission was investigating it for these claims of employment inequality.
Its shares have fallen nearly 30% since California regulators filed a lawsuit against the firm last July over allegations of harassment and gender pay disparity. Once the agreement was disclosed, Activision shares gained 38% on the stock market, while those of the company founded by Bill Gates fell 1.6%.
“The culture of our organization is my top priority,” Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, said in this regard at a conference with investors. “It is critical that Activision Blizzard advances our commitment to conduct to improve the environment in the workplace,” he said.
The forecast was for Bobby Kotick, CEO at Activision, to remain in the role and for his team to focus on strengthening the company at its headquarters in Santa Monica, California, to accelerate work culture change and business growth. Kotick, who was supposed to be under the supervision of Phil Specter, responsible for the games unit at Microsoft, did not accept these conditions and will leave the firm.
The acquisition marks the challenge of positioning itself in the new metaverse
This initiative represents for the firm with headquarters in Redmond (Washington state) an advance on the path that it already opened in 2021 with the purchase of ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda Softworks, for 7,500 million dollars. This is the creator of the popular game The elder scrolls, Doom and fallout . The acquisitions, according to Microsoft, are on the path of reinforcing the subscription service that it offers with its Xbox system and that until now amounted to 25 million users.
Both operations reflect the video game boom that has occurred during the pandemic. This new acquisition still has to pass the tough test of antitrust regulators to be certified, although Microsoft has largely dodged the bad publicity of other companies that make up the group of big technology.
The purchase of Activision also represents the latest and greatest move by Nadella to reconfigure the company.
A string of deals are helping to reshape the world’s second-most-valued company as a powerhouse in enterprise computing and a rising giant in gaming.
The acquisition of Activision by Microsoft has had repercussions in Barcelona. The Digital Legends studio, founded in the early 2000s by Xavier Carrillo, will pass into the hands of the big tech after Activision took over the company last October. The price of the operation exceeded ten million euros. The multinational valued the Catalan company for its cutting-edge technology in the world of mobile video games despite its modest turnover (one million euros). The operation also affects the more than 500 employees of King in Barcelona, a Swedish-British company that has been in the hands of Activision since 2016 and is known for developing Candy crush. Digital Legends thus becomes one of the few firms born in Barcelona that have ended up in the hands of a great technology company. Another example is the company Vilynx, which in 2020 was acquired by Apple for a price of 40 million. The company, founded by Elisenda Bou-Balust, develops software that tags videos and content to facilitate their search. / Blanca Gispert