Why Microsoft is splashing $69bn on video games

EVEN FOR Microsoft, which boasts a market capitalisation of around $2.3trn, $69bn is a lot of money. On January 18th the firm said it would pay that sum—all of it in cash—for Activision Blizzard, a video-game developer. It is both the biggest acquisition ever made in the video-game industry and the biggest ever made by Microsoft, more than twice the size of the firm’s purchase in 2016 of LinkedIn, a social network, for $26bn (see chart). The move, which caught industry-watchers by surprise and propelled Activision Blizzard’s share price up by 25%, represents a huge bet on the future of entertainment. But not, perhaps, a crazy one.

The gaming

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