Microsoft made its biggest purchase ever on Tuesday, announcing an agreement to take over scandal-plagued video game giant Activision Blizzard, in an all-cash deal valued at $68.7 billion.
The move will make Microsoft the world’s third-largest video game-maker while giving it control of some of the most popular games ever made, including the war simulation series Call of Duty and the fantasy behemoth World of Warcraft.
“Together with Activision Blizzard, we have an incredible opportunity to invest and innovate to create the best content, community, and cloud for gamers,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a conference call with investors Tuesday.
Both companies pitched the deal, which is due to close sometime in the next 18 months, as an opportunity to grow their respective franchises in the highly competitive and lucrative video game industry.
“This is not about short-term results,” said Microsoft’s gaming head Phil Spencer, on the call. “We’ve seen Activision Blizzard’s product roadmap and are incredibly enthusiastic about what the teams are creating and the company’s pipeline over many years to come.”