Why did Microsoft acquire Activision Blizzard for $68,7 billion?

Why did Microsoft acquire Activision Blizzard for $68,7 billion?

18/01/2022, a day where lightning struck the gaming world. Microsoft announced that it was going to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68,7 billion. Microsoft’s previous 7,5 billion acquisition for Bethesda looks like spare money that someone found in a wallet compared to the massive Activision Blizzard price tag. This means that popular ongoing gaming franchises like Call of Duty, Diablo, Warcraft, Overwatch, Spyro, Crash Bandicoot and Candy Crush now call Xbox home. That of course has a price, but there’s more to this deal than all the lucrative video game IP’s.

Monthly Active Users (MAU)

Main reason for this incredible high price? Over 400 million players, the so called MAU numbers that Microsoft adores to share. Most of the players are coming from someone that might surprise you! It is not Call of Duty or a franchise from Blizzard, the real king of the MAU-numbers is mobile gaming company King. Candy Crush, Bubble Witch and Farmville, monetized through in-game purchases is literally a goldmine.

Call of Duty

The flagship product from Activision and arguably the most popular game of modern times is Call of Duty. Call of Duty Mobile alone has millions of players worldwide, a big part of that is China. Every year Call of Duty manages to sell millions of copies and Call of Duty: Warzone has over 100 million active players. First released in 2013 this franchise has become an instant success. What will happen now is anyone’s guess, will Microsoft make Call of Duty exclusive for Xbox? In my opinion, it will be a yes and no, Call of Duty: Warzone will remain multiplatform but the single-player and multiplayer sequels might become exclusive. Thing is, Xbox players will have the benefit that this will be available with Xbox Game Pass.

Huge acceleration for Microsoft’s plans with Cloud Gaming

Microsoft doesn’t mind where you game on, be it on Xbox Series X|S, tablets, phones or even Xbox One. There’s one thing that connects all of those devices and that’s Cloud Gaming. Developer King, Call of Duty Warzone and Mobile come in here. Reaching all these players will be the idea, Activision Blizzard had a lot of key franchises to lure people. Supporting the existing communities that earn Activision Blizzard (and soon Microsoft) a lot of money is crucial in Microsoft’s plans. To give you an idea, from Q1 to Q3 2021 Activision Blizzard had a net income of 2,1 billion dollars.

Known and beloved franchises

Console gaming’s first hit, Pitfall! is now part of the Xbox family. Crazy, right? But there’s so much more with Spyro, Crash Bandicoot, Prototype, Tony Hawk Pro Skater, Diablo, Overwatch, Hearthstone, Candy Crush, Starcraft, Sekiro and Call of Duty to name a few. It brings so many new worlds and characters to Xbox, together with the previous Xbox IP’s and Bethesda’s IP’s. It was literally unthinkable in 2020 that Xbox Game Studios would have control over Fallout, Starfield, Call of Duty and Diablo.

Fits perfectly for Game Pass plans

Together with the acquisition news Microsoft also announced 25 million subscribers for Game Pass. That’s a remarkable accomplishment, but there are some whispers that it should have been higher with Xbox’s strong end of 2021. I personally agree with that as Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5 and The Gunk were strong reasons to get an Xbox and Game Pass. Especially Game Pass for PC doesn’t seem to catch on completely. Here’s where the Blizzard magic comes in, with the purchase of Activision Blizzard Microsoft has some strong PC franchises. With Microsoft’s own Flight Sim and Age of Empires and now Blizzard’s portfolio. In general, when you can say that the upcoming Call of Duty, Diablo, Crash and so much more releases on day one… this will definitely lure in more gaming fans.