Microsoft shook up the video game business by revealing that it will pay $68.7 billion, making it the most extensive tech acquisition to acquire Activision Blizzard, the firm behind Call of Duty and Warcraft. Microsoft claims that the move was undertaken in preparation for the metaverse.
Microsoft stated in a statement that the agreement will give "building blocks for the metaverse." "Gaming is the most dynamic and interesting area in entertainment across all platforms today," said Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO of Microsoft. "Gaming will play a significant role in the development of metaverse platforms."
Early instances of the metaverse include Ethereum-based games like Decentraland and The Sandbox, which allow players to buy, edit, and even monetise digital land plots offered as NFT assets.
Activision Blizzard is yet to make a move in the NFT or metaverse space. In November, Microsoft revealed that it is adding 3D avatar functionality to its Teams virtual conference platform and creating immersive environments for users to interact in.
For years, Microsoft has been involved in the crypto market, announcing a partnership with Ethereum software technology startup ConsenSys.
Activision Blizzard strengthens the coalition with many popular video gaming franchises. Aside from Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, the publisher is known for Overwatch, Candy Crush, Diablo, and Crash Bandicoot. The Overwatch League and the Call of Duty League, two of the publisher's licenced leagues, have a prominent presence in the esports sector.
Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass subscription programme now has over 25 million subscribers, and the premium option will include Activision Blizzard games.
Major video game companies have recently begun to make inroads in developing the metaverse and NFT-powered games industry. Take-Two Interactive, the publisher of Grand Theft Auto, paid $12.7 billion for mobile game creator Zynga last week. Zynga has lately begun developing games that use NFT technology.