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Here's why Activision Blizzard hasn't jumped into the recent M&A boom

Here's why Activision Blizzard hasn't jumped into the recent M&A boom

The CEO of Activision Blizzard Robert Kotick (pictured) has explained why his company hasn't been taking part in M&A activity like many games firms in recent years.

Speaking to GamesBeat, the exec said that while it has made sizeable acquisitions in the past, it hasn't felt the need in recent years due to the company's "organic growth". Activision Blizzard's last major purchase was mobile giant King in 2015, which it snapped up for $5.9 billion.

“We have a lot of organic growth. So we don’t need M&A to grow the business,” he said. “We’ve got to find the talent to keep up with the opportunities that we have internally. Having said that, when you look out over the last 30 years, we bought a lot of businesses like King and Blizzard. There were companies like Treyarch, Raven, and lots of studios that we have bought where the same leaders are in place today.”

He continued: “There’s a lot of attention and interest and enthusiasm in games. There is a lot of capital chasing [and there aren’t that many] opportunities. That usually evens out over time. For us, finding special companies that have great cultures and teams that are committed to innovation and excellence, and are excited and enthusiastic to come to work, and have shared values — that’s what we look for. But we’re also really careful. So that’s why we haven’t done very many transactions over the years.”

Recent blockbuster acquisitions in the games space include Microsoft snapping up Bethesda parent ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion, Embracer buying Borderlands maker Gearbox in a deal worth $1.3 billion and Electronic Arts purchasing UK racing specialist Codemasters for $2.1 billion.

Chat platform Discord is reportedly up for a sale with a price tag north of $10 billion. The firm was apparently in talks with a number of companies, before entering "exclusive" discussions with Microsoft. Those appear to have ended amid rumours of Discord planning to go public.


PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site PCGamesInsider.biz. In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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