Microsoft has made its move into the metaverse with nearly $70 billion acquisition of gaming titan Activision.
Activision is the company behind massive hits like “World of Warcraft,” “Diablo,” “Overwatch,” and “Call of Duty” which are all included in the acquisition.
Microsoft will acquire Activision for $95.00 a share in an all-cash transaction totaling $68.7 billion. Once the deal closes, Microsoft will become the third-biggest gaming company in the world by revenue after Tencent and Sony.
“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,” the technology giant said in an announcement.
According to Microsoft CEO and chairman Satya Nadella, “Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms.”
“We’re investing deeply in world-class content, community and the cloud to usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first and makes gaming safe, inclusive and accessible to all.”
Microsoft notes how mobile gaming dominates the industry, and how it plans on putting more of a focus on it following the acquisition.
“Mobile is the largest segment in gaming, with nearly 95% of all players globally enjoying games on mobile. Through great teams and great technology, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard will empower players to enjoy the most-immersive franchises, like ‘Halo’ and ‘Warcraft,’ virtually anywhere they want. And with games like ‘Candy Crush,’ Activision Blizzard´s mobile business represents a significant presence and opportunity for Microsoft in this fast-growing segment.”
The combined clout of Microsoft and Activision bodes well for metaverse critics who believe the sector has merit, but feel that the working products such as Axie Infinity (AXS) feel clunky or underdeveloped.
In November of last year, crypto giant Gemini raised $400 million in an effort to build a metaverse in their own vision, one that opposed the centralized path plotted out by Facebook.
Cameron Winklevoss said, “There’s these two parallel paths, in terms of technology right now.”
“There’s a centralized path, like Facebook or Fortnite, that is one step away from being a metaverse, and that’s totally fine. But there is another path, which is the decentralized metaverse and that’s the metaverse where we believe there’s greater choice, independence and opportunity, and there is technology that protects the rights and dignity of individuals.”