Microsoft To Acquire Activision Blizzard As Part Of Metaverse Strategy

January 27, 2022 3:19 pm

Microsoft made headlines in the video game industry this week when it announced that it would acquire publisher Activision Blizzard at a valuation of $68.7 billion.

Activision Blizzard is most famously known as the company behind popular games like Call of Duty and Warcraft.

More importantly, Microsoft is framing this acquisition as a strategic move towards entering the metaverse industry which is a virtual online world where users interact with each other in a 3D space.

The metaverse is most well known for being intertwined with blockchain technology and cryptocurrency assets as being an essential part of how the metaverse is built.

Decrypt.co reports:

In a release, Microsoft said that the deal will provide “building blocks for the metaverse.” Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella added, “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.”

Ethereum-based games like Decentraland and The Sandbox are seen as early examples of the metaverse, letting users purchase, customize, and even monetize digital land plots sold as NFT assets.

Facebook has also signaled significant interest in the coming metaverse, revealing its vision last October as it renamed its parent company to Meta.

Activision Blizzard has yet to make any moves in the NFT or metaverse spaces.

Microsoft, meanwhile, announced in November that it is building 3D avatar support for its Teams virtual meeting platform, and will create immersive environments for users to interact within.

This is not the first time that Microsoft has entered the cryptocurrency industry as it has already been involved in the space for multiple years.

For example, Microsoft had already announced a partnership with Consensys, an Ethereum software company, back in 2015 when crypto was not as mainstream.

Microsoft also hopes to integrate virtual reality and augmented reality technologies to improve the way users interact with the metaverse.

Regarding the gaming industry, many video game publishers are also making moves on the metaverse now and creating games that utilize the function of NFTs as part of the game experience.

As a result, it is likely that there will be multiple metaverses each with their own set of NFTs and cryptos that are used for interaction within the virtual world.

CNBC reports:

In fact, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was the first Big Tech CEO to publicly acknowledge the value of the metaverse, months before Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Today, virtual worlds are dominated by gaming, but the hope is they expand to cater to other demographics and replace a lot of traditional social networking activity online.

“When we think about our vision for what a metaverse can be, we believe there won’t be a single, centralized metaverse,” Nadella said on a call Tuesday morning where he discussed the deal.

That means Nadella sees an opportunity for many software makers to create many different virtual worlds in the future, instead of one dominant company controlling most of the activity.

With this acquisition, it is clear that many gaming companies are looking to get involved with incorporating NFTs and the metaverse into the gaming experience.

Within support and funding from large tech companies, it might possible to see this new gaming experience come to life within a few years.

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