Standard process. Tuesday, January 18, Microsoft announced its intention to acquire video game studio Activision for $68.7 billion (60.7 billion euros). The bid, approved by the leaders of the two parties, should pass in 2023, after a vote by Activision shareholders, and possibly a review by competition authorities.
The acquisition is the largest ever in the sector by the Redmond giant, and also the largest ever in absolute terms, far ahead of the acquisition that led it to allocate professional social network LinkedIn for $26 billion in 2016.
Microsoft’s Tour de Force, the company that produces Xbox consoles, is even more remarkable because under Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, the video game division has remained the same. “Poor relative” Julien Pillot, Researcher and Instructor at Inseec explains. Since then, thanks to the impetus of Satya Nadella, president of the company since 2014, and Phil Spencer, head of the video games division, it has become one of the pillars of the group. In 2021, it accounted for nearly 10% of its $168 billion in revenue, up about 33% from the previous year.
“The greatest form of entertainment”
When announcing the acquisition of Activision, Satya Nadella recalled his ambitions in the sector, noting that video games had 3 billion users, “The largest and fastest growing form of entertainment”, with 4.5 billion consumers expected in 2030. His thinking is nothing new. Microsoft acquired it upon arrival Maine Craft. Above all, studio Zenimax was taken over in 2021 under his auspices – along with his popular games DropsAnd deathAnd Wolfenstein For $7.5 billion.
With Activision taking over – 400 million monthly active players, 10,000 employees – Microsoft aims to hit a much higher goal with more popular titles on PC and consoles, such as Call of duty where world of cans, but it also opens a door to the mobile gaming sector, where it has been almost absent. In the Bride’s basket, there is already a King studio (in the game’s origin candy crush), which will allow it to more quickly issue licenses for its smartphones.
In a market that is consolidating like never before, Microsoft’s coup promises to rearrange the cards. Promising this acquisition to become the third global player in the sector after China’s Tencent and Japan’s Sony, it places “enormous pressure” To the PlayStation manufacturer, Charles-Louis Planade, video game analyst at MidCap Partners, appreciates. There are hardly any big studios to buy, with the exception of Electronic Arts (EA) – which has been hampered by the vagaries of its agreements with sports federations to develop its major titles in football (with FIFA) or Formula 1 (with the FIA) – or Ubisoft.
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