10 biggest video game acquisitions of all time

Acquirer: Microsoft
Headquarters: California, USA
Date: January 18th, 2022
Valuation: $68.7 billion

American video game holding comapny Activision Blizzard was first founded in 2008, following a merger between Activision and Vivendi Games. 

Since the merger, Activision Blizzard has continued to expand its portfolio of colossal franchises, including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, and more.

As seen on this list as the fifth largest acquisition of all time, Activision Blizzard acquired King in 2016, providing the firm with a strong grasp of the mobile games industry with titles such as Candy Crush Saga and its subsequent follow up games.

Just as the dust was beginning to settle from the prior acquisition on the list, Microsoft revealed that it had entered an agreement to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, making it the largest video games acquisition of all time. The tech giant paid a premium of 69 per cent per share over the firm’s closing price the day before.

In a similar move to Take-Two’s acquisition of Zynga, Microsoft are hoping that through its acquistion of Activision Blizzard it will be able to expand its reach into “mobile-first” communities, an area that it has previously failed to successfully tap into.

The past decade has seen Microsoft make key acquisitions, such as Mojang Studios and ZeniMax Media (both on this list), but its purchase of Activision Blizzard shadows all other video game acquisitions to date. Whether this has set a precedent for larger games industry acquisitions in the future, only time can tell.

Earlier this year, Activision Blizzard released Diablo Immortal, which quickly proved to be a massive hit, earning a milestone $100 million within two months of release.

The acquisition has still yet to be closed, however last month Saudi Arabia became the first country to approve the deal, with Brazil following in October. However, the United Kingdom have called for a review of the acquisition, and Sony CEO Jim Ryan has allegedly asked the EU to investigate the acquisition with claims that the the deal could affect PlayStaion users’ access to the popular Call of Duty franchise. More recently, the FTC has sued to block the acquisition due to concerns about how the deal could affect competitors.

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