Today Microsoft announced that the company has acquired the game studio Activision Blizzard in a deal valuing at 68.7 billion dollars. When the deal closes it will make Microsoft the third largest gaming company in the world behind Tencent and Sony.
In the announcement it is stated that current Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will will remain as CEO after the acquisition, however there are reports circulating that Kotick will step down after the deal closes as part of the acquisition agreement. Activison Blizzard are the game studios behind many major franchises including World of WarCraft, Call of Duty, Diablo, and Overwatch. The studio also owns King the mobile developer behind Candy Crush.
Activsion Blizzard faced an online firestorm at the end of last year as various allegations of employee mistreatment surfaced at the studio. During this time Microsoft took to social media and Xbox head Phil Spencer stated that the company was “evaluating all aspects of its relationship with Activision Blizzard”. It is likely that that Microsoft was already in the process of acquiring Activision Blizzard while the company was under fire and this lead to the agreement that Kotick would leave the company.