Microsoft made international headlines yesterday on January 18 when it announced its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, one of the world’s leading gaming companies, which produces blockbuster mobile, PC, and console games including Call of Duty, Overwatch, World of Warcraft, for $68.7 billion. Activision Blizzard was acquired by Microsoft to provide “building blocks” for the metaverse. But with the metaverse still a distant dream, what is Microsoft’s reason for jumping into the gaming world?
After this acquisition, Microsoft will be the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind only China’s Tencent and Japan’s Sony. Microsoft will spend more on this deal than five of its previous largest acquisitions combined. It is also a boost for Microsoft’s cloud gaming service, Xbox Game Pass, which has 25 million subscribers already. Microsoft plans to integrate Activision games into Game Pass as it plans to launch those games on Xbox Game Pass in 190 countries.
This acquisition will allow Microsoft to build the metaverse, a virtual online world where people can socialize, work, and play. Its other metaverse projects are taking shape. HoloLens 2 is now available in India. ‘Game development and gaming are the most exciting and dynamic entertainment categories across all platforms today and will give rise to metaverse platforms,’ according to Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO of Microsoft.
A new product called Microsoft Mesh, which allows customers to create immersive digital copies of their workplaces, launches this year. Some say that the world-building game Minecraft, which Microsoft bought in 2015, offers a glimpse into the metaverse. Microsoft hopes that valuable communities of gamers will embrace the product.
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