Legendary games, immersive interactive entertainment and
publishing expertise accelerate growth in Microsoft's Gaming
business across mobile, PC, console and cloud.
REDMOND, Wash. and SANTA MONICA, Calif., Jan. 18, 2022 /CNW/ -- With three billion
people actively playing games today, and fueled by a new generation
steeped in the joys of interactive entertainment, gaming is now the
largest and fastest-growing form of entertainment. Today, Microsoft
Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard
Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), a leader in game development and interactive
entertainment content publisher. This acquisition will accelerate
the growth in Microsoft's gaming business across mobile, PC,
console and cloud and will provide building blocks for the
Microsoft will acquire Activision Blizzard for $95.00 per share, in an all-cash transaction
valued at $68.7 billion, inclusive of
Activision Blizzard's net cash. When the transaction closes,
Microsoft will become the world's third-largest gaming company by
revenue, behind Tencent and Sony. The
planned acquisition includes iconic franchises from the Activision,
Blizzard and King studios like "Warcraft," "Diablo," "Overwatch," "Call of Duty" and
"Candy Crush," in addition to global eSports activities through
Major League Gaming. The company has studios around the word with
nearly 10,000 employees.
Bobby Kotick will continue to
serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard, and he and his team will
maintain their focus on driving efforts to further strengthen the
company's culture and accelerate business growth. Once the deal
closes, the Activision Blizzard business will report to
Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft
"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," said Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO, Microsoft.
"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
"Players everywhere love Activision Blizzard games, and we
believe the creative teams have their best work in front of them,"
said Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft
Gaming. "Together we will build a future where people can play the
games they want, virtually anywhere they want."
"For more than 30 years our incredibly talented teams have
created some of the most successful games," said Bobby Kotick, CEO, Activision Blizzard. "The
combination of Activision Blizzard's world-class talent and
extraordinary franchises with Microsoft's technology, distribution,
access to talent, ambitious vision and shared commitment to gaming
and inclusion will help ensure our continued success in an
increasingly competitive industry."
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
The acquisition also bolsters Microsoft's Game Pass portfolio
with plans to launch Activision Blizzard games into Game Pass,
which has reached a new milestone of over 25 million subscribers.
With Activision Blizzard's nearly 400 million monthly active
players in 190 countries and three
billion-dollar franchises, this acquisition will make Game
Pass one of the most compelling and diverse lineups of gaming
content in the industry. Upon close, Microsoft will have 30
internal game development studios, along with additional publishing
and esports production capabilities.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and
completion of regulatory review and Activision Blizzard's
shareholder approval. The deal is expected to close in fiscal
year 2023 and will be accretive to non-GAAP earnings per share upon
close. The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors
of both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard.
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC is serving as financial advisor to
Microsoft and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is serving as
legal counsel. Allen & Company LLC is acting as financial
advisor to Activision Blizzard and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher
& Flom LLP is serving as legal counsel.
Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya
Nadella; Bobby Kotick, CEO,
Activision Blizzard; CEO, Microsoft Gaming, Phil Spencer; and Microsoft Chief Financial
Officer Amy Hood will host a webcast
for investors and media on Jan. 18,
2022, at 6 a.m. Pacific
time/9 a.m. Eastern time
regarding this transaction.
- U.S.: (877) 407-0666 (no password required)
- International: +1-201-689-8023 (no password
- Webcast: https://aka.ms/MS-Investor-Call
There will be a recording of the conference call available
shortly after the call until Friday, Jan.
28, 2022, at 5 p.m. Pacific
time. To access that recording:
- U.S.: (877) 660-6853
- International: +1 (201) 612-7415
- Conference ID: 13726291
For more information, please visit the blog post from
Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming.
Related imagery is also available. For broadcast quality b-roll and
audio, please contact XboxPress@assemblyinc.com.
Fast facts on gaming
- The $200+ billion gaming industry is the largest and
fastest-growing form of entertainment.
- In 2021 alone, the total number of video game releases was up
64% compared to 2020 and 51% of players in the U.S. reported
spending more than 7 hours per week playing across console, PC and
- 3 billion people globally play games today, which we expect to
grow to 4.5 billion by 2030.
- More than 100 million gamers, including over 25 million Xbox
Game Pass members, play Xbox games across console, PC, mobile
phones and tablets each month.
Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" @microsoft) enables digital transformation
for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its
mission is to empower every person and every organization on the
planet to achieve more.
About Activision Blizzard
Our mission, to connect and
engage the world through epic entertainment has never been more
important. Through communities rooted in our video game franchises
we enable hundreds of millions of people to experience joy, thrill
and achievement. We enable social connections through the lens of
fun, and we foster purpose and meaning through competitive gaming.
Video games, unlike any other social or entertainment media, have
the ability to break down barriers that can inhibit tolerance and
understanding. Celebrating differences is at the core of our
culture and ensures we can create games for players of diverse
backgrounds in the 190 countries our games are played.
As a member of the Fortune 500 and as a component company of the
S&P 500, we have an extraordinary track record of delivering
superior shareholder returns for over 30 years. Our sustained
success has enabled the company to support corporate social
responsibility initiatives that are directly tied to our
franchises. As an example, our Call of Duty Endowment has helped
find employment for over 90,000 veterans.
Learn more information about Activision Blizzard and how we
connect and engage the world through epic entertainment on the
company´s website, www.activisionblizzard.com
This presentation contains certain forward-looking statements
within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the United
States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 with
respect to the proposed transaction and business combination
between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard, including statements
regarding the benefits of the transaction, the anticipated timing
of the transaction and the products and markets of each company.
These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the
words "believe," "project," "predicts," "budget," "forecast,"
"continue," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend,"
"strategy," "future," "opportunity," "plan," "may," "could,"
"should," "will," "would," "will be," "will continue," "will likely
result," and similar expressions (or the negative versions of such
words or expressions). Forward-looking statements are predictions,
projections and other statements about future events that are based
on current expectations and assumptions and, as a result, are
subject to risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause actual
future events to differ materially from the forward-looking
statements in this presentation, including but not limited to: (i)
the risk that the transaction may not be completed in a timely
manner or at all, which may adversely affect Activision Blizzard's
business and the price of the common stock of Activision Blizzard,
(ii) the failure to satisfy the conditions to the consummation of
the transaction, including the adoption of the merger agreement by
the stockholders of Activision Blizzard and the receipt of certain
governmental and regulatory approvals, (iii) the occurrence of any
event, change or other circumstance that could give rise to the
termination of the merger agreement, (iv) the effect of the
announcement or pendency of the transaction on Activision
Blizzard's business relationships, operating results, and business
generally, (v) risks that the proposed transaction disrupts current
plans and operations of Activision Blizzard or Microsoft and
potential difficulties in Activision Blizzard employee retention as
a result of the transaction, (vi) risks related to diverting
management's attention from Activision Blizzard's ongoing business
operations, (vii) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be
instituted against Microsoft or against Activision Blizzard related
to the merger agreement or the transaction, (viii) the ability of
Microsoft to successfully integrate Activision Blizzard's
operations, product lines, and technology, and (ix) the ability of
Microsoft to implement its plans, forecasts, and other expectations
with respect to Activision Blizzard's business after the completion
of the proposed merger and realize additional opportunities for
growth and innovation. In addition, please refer to the documents
that Microsoft and Activision Blizzard file with the SEC on Forms
10-K, 10-Q and 8-K. These filings identify and address other
important risks and uncertainties that could cause events and
results to differ materially from those contained in the
forward-looking statements set forth in this press release.
Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made.
Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking
statements, and Microsoft and Activision Blizzard assume no
obligation and do not intend to update or revise these
forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information,
future events, or otherwise.
Additional information and where to find it
In connection with the transaction, Activision Blizzard, Inc.
will file relevant materials with the SEC, including a proxy
statement on Schedule 14A. Promptly after filing its definitive
proxy statement with the SEC, Activision Blizzard will mail the
definitive proxy statement and a proxy card to each stockholder
entitled to vote at the special meeting relating to the
transaction. INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS OF ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
ARE URGED TO READ THESE MATERIALS (INCLUDING ANY AMENDMENTS OR
SUPPLEMENTS THERETO) AND ANY OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS IN CONNECTION
WITH THE TRANSACTION THAT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD WILL FILE WITH THE
SEC WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT
INFORMATION ABOUT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD AND THE TRANSACTION. The
definitive proxy statement, the preliminary proxy statement and
other relevant materials in connection with the transaction (when
they become available), and any other documents filed by Activision
Blizzard with the SEC, may be obtained free of charge at the SEC's
website (http://www.sec.gov) or at the Activision Blizzard website
(https://investor.activision.com) or by writing to Activision
Blizzard, Investor Relations, 3100 Ocean Park Boulevard,
Santa Monica, California,
Activision Blizzard and certain of its directors and executive
officers and other members of management and employees may be
deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from
Activision Blizzard's stockholders with respect to the transaction.
Information about Activision Blizzard's directors and executive
officers and their ownership of Activision Blizzard's common stock
is set forth in Activision Blizzard's proxy statement on Schedule
14A filed with the SEC on April 30,
2021. To the extent that holdings of Activision Blizzard's
securities have changed since the amounts printed in Activision
Blizzard's proxy statement, such changes have been or will be
reflected on Statements of Change in Ownership on Form 4 filed with
the SEC. Information regarding the identity of the participants,
and their direct or indirect interests in the transaction, by
security holdings or otherwise, will be set forth in the proxy
statement and other materials to be filed with SEC in connection
with the transaction.
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SOURCE Microsoft Corp.