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Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard in biggest takeover ever and major gaming change

Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard in biggest takeover ever and major gaming change
The Xbox maker will pay $68.7bn for the game designer, in a move partly aimed at the future of gaming and the metaverse

Microsoft is buying Activision Blizzard in the biggest ever takeover and a major shakeup for the gaming industry.

The Xbox maker will pay $68.7bn in cash for the game designer, in a move partly aimed at the future of gaming and the metaverse.

The purchase is just the latest – and by far the biggest – game designer to be purchased by Microsoft as it looks to expand its control of games and consoles. It will turn Microsoft into the third-largest gaming company by revenue, it said, behind Tencent and Sony, and it now has 30 internal game development studios.

For gamers, it will mean that Microsoft will control a host of different popular game franchises, including Call of Duty, Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch and Candy Crush.

Those games will come to Microsoft’s Game Pass, it said, meaning that subscribers will be able to play them for free.

But Microsoft’s plans also mean looking forward to the future, and the much-heralded “metaverse”, where players will be able to inhabit shared worlds in virtual reality.

“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, Microsoft’s chair and chief executive, in a statement.

“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.”