Beyond Activision Blizzard: 10 Biggest Purchases From Microsoft


Activision Blizzard: The purchase of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft this Tuesday (18) for almost US$ 70 billion moved the games and technology industry: after all, it is a giant acquiring another conglomerate, formed by two legendary developers in the industry and filled with successful franchises.

However, the company co-founded by Bill Gates and currently chaired by Satya Nadella has already spent large amounts in other opportunities, both inside and outside the games market. Below, we list some of these negotiations and the approximate values โ€‹โ€‹of each of them.

It is worth remembering that the list left out several large acquisitions by Microsoft because of the low price involved – the case of game developer Rare, the company that created the SwiftKey virtual keyboard and companies whose negotiation value was not disclosed.

10. Visio Corporation ($1.37 billion)

Visio was purchased in 2000 by Microsoft in an exchange of shares, and for seven years it was number one on the list. The company was a software developer that, among other services, dealt with diagrams and vector graphics. The still functioning Microsoft Visio is the main fruit of this purchase.

9. Mojang ($2.5 billion)

The developer Mojang was acquired by Microsoft in September 2014. Born in 2009 in a partnership formed by Markus “Notch” Persson, Jakob Porser and Carl Manneh, the company is focused on the Minecraft franchise, a phenomenon on several platforms, and already had ties strong with the Xbox division and the Windows operating system.

8. aQuantive (US$ 6.3 billion)

This purchase is little remembered even by the company’s segment: the North American aQuantive deals with digital marketing and online advertisements. Made in 2007, the acquisition is also considered a failure, as the company failed to get close to rival Google’s advertising empire and still had problems integrating the new business model.

7. Nokia Mobile ($7.2 billion)

In September 2013, the legendary Finnish cell phone maker Nokia was absorbed by Microsoft to strengthen Windows Phone. As a result, the original company stayed with the connectivity and infrastructure sector, while the North American became the owner of a set of patent properties and mobile hardware โ€“ including the Lumia family, which already existed at the time.

With the end of Nokia’s mobile phone launch years later, HMD Global is now the current licensee of the Nokia name.

6. GitHub ($7.5 billion)

The largest repository of development codes in the world was acquired by Microsoft in June 2018. To reassure the user base, which feared radical changes to the service, the company reinforced that it would keep the service independent, valuing the “commitment to freedom, developer responsiveness and innovation” on the platform, while expanding the GitHub name to even more professionals in the field.

5. ZeniMax Media ($8.1 billion)

In September 2020, Microsoft had already bought a company made up of several game studios: ZeniMax Media, best known for hosting names like Bethesda, the Fallout and The Elder Scrolls franchises, in addition to developers id software, Arkane Studios and Machine. Games. The main catalog of games has already moved to Game Pass and exclusive titles are expected in the near future.

4. Skype Technologies ($8.5 billion)

The acquisition of Skype was, in 2011, the largest in the company’s history up to that point. The Internet and VoIP communication software was quickly integrated with the brand’s services and pre-installed on Windows, gaining even more visibility. In 2005, the company had already been sold to eBay and, in 2009, it moved again to be controlled by a group of investors.

Currently, the communication tool remains in the company’s catalog, but it lost ground with the popularization of Microsoft Teams.

3. Nuance Communications ($19.7 billion)

Less popular than several other members of the list, this deal is part of Microsoft’s strategy to integrate new sectors. Nuance was absorbed in April 2021 and works in two sectors: voice recognition services and artificial intelligence software. One of his most recognized works in the market is the development of Siri’s base, Apple’s personal digital assistant. A possible purchase of the company by rivals, such as Samsung, was speculated years earlier.

2. LinkedIn ($26.2 billion)

In a surprising acquisition both for the price and the movement itself, the corporate social network became part of the giant in 2016. LinkedIn remains an independent business in the company, but has received more investment and integration with other services inside and outside the new owner. .

1. Activision Blizzard ($68.7 billion)

At the market value involved in the transaction, this is the largest acquisition ever made by Microsoft as a whole. Franchisees like Call of Duty, Diablo, Crash Bandicoot, World of Warcraft, Candy Crush and Tony Hawk are now part of the Xbox portfolio, but it’s still too early to know what the future of each series will be on and off the company’s consoles. The deal is expected to be completed by June 2023.