Activision Blizzard ( ATVI Quick Quote ATVI - Free Report) owned Blizzard Entertainment is likely to acquire Boston-based studio named Proletariat to strengthen the workforce working on World of Warcraft, per a Venture Beat report. The news comes one day after Proletariat announced that it will shut down Spellbreak from 2023. The free-to-play game, which features witches, wizards and a whole bunch of spells, is an intriguing take on the battle royale genre, with players using magical powers instead of guns. Blizzard began working with Proletariat in May, and all 100 Proletariat employees will be fully integrated into Blizzard Entertainment in the coming months. The team consists of experienced MMORPG developers, including former lead designers of Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online. The new roster should help Blizzard to hit timing and quality goals for future expansions of World of Warcraft, including the upcoming World of Warcraft: Dragonflight expansion, which is set to release this December. Dragonflight lifts World of Warcraft's level cap to 70 and introduces four new zones of the Dragon Isles. It also adds the first-ever race/class combo, the Dracthyr Evoker, and completely overhauls several of the ancient World of Warcraft systems with a new Talent system and a new profession system, including player-driven work orders, new profession equipment, and an all-new specialization system. Efforts to Expand Portfolio Bode Well for User Growth
Microsoft ( MSFT Quick Quote MSFT - Free Report) announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard. Microsoft will pay $95.00 per Activision share, with the total transaction value being $68.7 billion.
Microsoft, through its decision to acquire Activision, showcases its intent to expand its gaming business. Activision’s popular gaming franchises, including the recent launch, will add more titles to its Xbox Console.
Activision has a lineup of exciting gaming content slated to be released in the rest of 2022 and 2023. Recently, the company announced the launch of Diablo Immortal, an expansion of its oldest franchise Diablo. In the second half of the year, Activision will also release its next premium title in its Call of Duty franchise. The company also hinted at the internal testing of Diablo IV, to be released in 2023, and the external testing of Overwatch 2, which began on Apr 26. These releases are anticipated to boss the company’s user growth and net booking in the near term. The gaming lineup is expected to boost the company’s user growth and net bookings in the near term, driving the top line. Earlier this month, Candy Crush developer King announced the acquisition of Pelatrion, an artificial intelligence (AI) software company. The Pelatrion acquisition will likely help Activision’s King accelerate the use of AI and ML in its gaming platform. It will also enable the company to launch innovative game developments and design and improve live operations capabilities.
Such investments made by the company in improving its franchises are expected to drive growth in users and engagement and help this Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) company improve its competitive position against the likes of
Take Two Interactive Software ( TTWO Quick Quote TTWO - Free Report) and Electronic Arts ( EA Quick Quote EA - Free Report) .
Take Two’s Private Division and Roll7 announced that
Rollerdrome will be launched in August 2022 for digital download on PlayStation and PC.
Electronic Arts’ Respawn Entertainment and Lucasfilm Games also unveiled the next chapter of the popular
Star Wars action-adventure series, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, scheduled to be launched sometime in 2023. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.