Will Microsoft’s Activision deal open the metaverse up to enterprise tech?
Microsoft yesterday said that it has reached a deal to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion in cash. The acquisition, should it receive regulatory approval, will make Microsoft the third-largest video gaming company in the world. It may also give Microsoft the tools it needs to become a driving force in moving enterprise technology into the metaverse.
Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, said on a conference call yesterday that the combination of its existing gaming business and Activision Blizzard’s will help the company remove “barriers” and bring together “digital and physical worlds” as metaverse platforms are developed.
Mr. Nadella focused most of his metaverse comments on gaming but made clear that the opportunity was not confined to that space.
“We need to support many metaverse platforms, as well as a robust ecosystem of content, commerce and applications,” he said.
A Wall Street Journal article points out that a significant portion of the technology used to create the metaverse comes from the gaming industry. Being able to bring that expertise into the enterprise technology space could be huge for Microsoft and its legion of business customers.
The same article points to metaverse applications that would enable companies to conduct “remote job interviews in virtual settings, internal training simulations, 3-D demos, digital malls and events to promote products and services — all interacting with customers’ videogame-like avatars.”
Retailers and brands are taking their first steps into the metaverse, with recent reports of Nike, Ralph Lauren and Walmart engaging in early efforts to understand and eventually monetize the opportunities coming down the pike.
Microsoft will have a lot of competition in the space. Facebook announced a corporate name change last year to Meta in a clear indication of where the social media giant sees its future prospects.
The company demonstrated examples of avatars being used by people to play games, socialize, shop and work with others from remote locations.
Much metaverse technology is still in its infancy stage, but tech leaders, including Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, promise future platforms “will be even more immersive and embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it. We believe the metaverse will be the successor to the mobile internet.”
- Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard to bring the joy and community of gaming to everyone, across every device – Microsoft
- Microsoft Buys Scandal-Tainted Activision in Bet on Metaverse – Bloomberg
- Microsoft Corporation’s (MSFT) CEO Satya Nadella on Microsoft and Activision Blizzard Conference Call (Transcript) – Seeking Alpha
- Microsoft’s Activision Deal May Bring ‘Metaverse’ to Enterprise Tech – The Wall Street Journal
- Walmart is preparing to go big on the metaverse, with its own NFTs and crypto – Fortune
- Will fans visit Nike in the metaverse? – RetailWire
- The power of heritage and imagination – National Retail Federation
- What’s really behind Facebook’s rebrand to Meta? – RetailWire
- Is retail ready to enter the metaverse? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see Microsoft’s deal to acquire Activision Blizzard as having significant implications for its enterprise technology business? Where do you expect retailers to make the most use of metaverse platforms over the next decade?