Microsoft struck a $68.7 billion deal to acquire Activision Blizzard, citing the game publisher’s strong presence in mobile as one of the primary motivators.

The Xbox games console creator stated its biggest ever deal will make it the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue after Tencent and Sony. The deal will bring Microsoft access to key mobile titles including Candy Crush, along with console-oriented hit Call of Duty.

Microsoft aims to boost its presence in the mobile, PC and console sectors, though CEO Satya Nadella (pictured) stated gaming “will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms”.

Nadella said Microsoft’s focus areas for investment in gaming are “content, community and the cloud”.

The deal is expected to close in Microsoft’s fiscal 2023, which commences on 1 July. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will remain, reporting to Microsoft gaming CEO Phil Spencer.

Kotick has been under pressure to resign in the wake of reports he failed to adequately respond to allegations of sexual harassment against employees.

Microsoft’s move comes around a week after Take Two Interactive penned a $12.7 billion deal to acquire games developer Zynga.