While Microsoft has the kind of deep pockets to justify the occasional big spend, the software behemoth has announced the biggest acquisition in the company's history with news of a 70 billion dollar deal to purchase gaming authority, Activision Blizzard.
The deal positions Microsoft far out in front in the ongoing race to take command of the metaverse. In addition to the implications the deal has for Microsoft with regards to virtual and augmented reality, the deal instantly makes Microsoft among the most significant players in the gaming industry.
In adding Activision Blizzard to their portfolio, the manufacturer of Xbox will catapult to the third spot in the universe of gaming just behind goliaths Tencent and Sony. With regards to annual revenue, Microsoft on their own pulled in an estimated 10 billion dollars annually. The acquisition will no doubt see that number skyrocket.
As for the intentions of the deal, it's important to note that back in March 2021, Microsoft also acquired video game publishers Bethesda Softworks (Doom, Wolfenstein, The Elder Scrolls, Fallout). A statement on the Activision Blizzard investor website referenced the expanding metaverse and coined gaming the, "most dynamic and exciting category of entertainment across all platforms".
It seems very clear that Microsoft is gunning for Facebook when it comes to taking on the new frontier of technology and gaming in both real-world and augmented reality spaces and they are certainly willing to put their money behind it.
In a quote shared in the initial report from the New York Times, Microsoft's VP of gaming Phil Spencer explained, “Our vision of the metaverse is based on intersecting global communities rooted in strong franchises. A big part of that is the fact that mobile is the biggest category of gaming, and it’s an area where we have not had a major presence before.”