Activision Blizzard, developer and publisher of Call of Duty and Overwatch, has revealed that its stockholders have approve of Microsoft’s acquisition bid. The proposal, which would see Activision Blizzard under the Xbox Game Studios banner, saw more than 98 percent of the shares voting in favour of the proposal.
Earlier this year, Microsoft announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard for $95 per share. The $68.7 billion USD (roughly $85.96 billion CAD) deal would see tentpole franchises like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Diablo, and more owned by Microsoft. The acquisition also folds in a long list of studios, including Blizzard Entertainment, Beenox, High Moon Studios, Infinity Ward, King, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, Toys for Bob, Treyarch and more.
Microsoft expects the acquisition l to close by the end of its fiscal year ending June 30th, 2023. However, one step to securing the deal was gaining approval from Activision Blizzard stockholders. During the Activision Blizzard Special Meeting of Stockholders, the votes were cast in favour of the acquisition.
“Today’s overwhelmingly supportive vote by our stockholders confirms our shared belief that, combined with Microsoft, we will be even better positioned to create great value for our players, even greater opportunities for our employees, and to continue our focus on becoming an inspiring example of a welcoming, respectful, and inclusive workplace,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO, Activision Blizzard.
A report detailing the results from the Special Meeting will come in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Form 8-K by early next week.
Previous reports claim Microsoft plans to make future Activision titles multiplatform, including even the Call of Duty series in some capacity, as confirmed by Xbox head Phil Spencer. However, some games and content will be exclusive to Xbox consoles and platforms.
Activision Blizzard continues to be investigated over sexual harassment claims. Kotick is also being investigated following reports alleging he turned a blind eye to the supposed “frat-boy culture” within the company. While Kotick’s future within Activision Blizzard has not been officially confirmed, he is expected to step down following the acquisition.
The next step in the Activision Blizzard acquisition is to receive the approval of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and antitrust enforcers. However, Wall Street is currently betting the deal may fail. If the merger passes, Microsoft will become the third-largest video game company.
Image credit: Microsoft
Source: Activision Blizzard