After a tumultuous year, Activision Blizzard—the most prominent video game developer in Southern California, and one of the largest globally—is selling itself to Microsoft. The $69 billion deal promises to reshape the region’s tech landscape and that of the gaming industry at large. Reporter Samson Amore looks at what the Seattle-based behemoth will inherit in L.A. and what the acquisition might mean for Activision's workplace culture.
Here’s what else we're reading in the news:
- YouTube ends its bid to make original content.
- A look at Amazon's insatiable appetite for electric delivery vans and its troubled partnership with EV maker Rivian.
- In a first, California prosecutors file felony charges against a Tesla driver using autopilot.
- L.A.-based Resecurity partners with Iceland's SecureIT to bring its cybersecurity platform to Nordic businesses.
- Rumors fly about the extent of Monday's reported hack of Crypto.com.
- Sherman Oaks-based Mythical Games
acquires a new 'metaverse streaming platform'.
It’s a New Day for Microsoft (and Activision Blizzard) in LA
The deal is a major coup for shareholders of the beleaguered, Santa Monica-based “Call of Duty” publisher, who have been advocating for changes at the company for several years now. But big questions remain, including the future of Activision's embattled CEO and the unionization efforts underway at the company.
Microsoft’s $69 Billion Gaming Behemoth
Microsoft's deal to acquire Activision Blizzard would be the largest acquisition in the Redmond company’s history, eclipsing its $26 billion purchase of LinkedIn in 2017. Microsoft estimates it will become the third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.
This 'Stealth' Electric Truck Startup Is Raising $28 Million
Dubbed a “stealth electrification startup” by its founders, Electron Transport has closed on $24.7 million and aims to raise nearly $3.5 million more, according to an SEC filing. The firm is developing an electric truck chassis, dot.LA has learned.
VR Startup GigXR Partners With Oregon Health Care Group
The Venice-based startup uses holographic depictions to train people in medical procedures. It has received an investment from Oregon-based health care provider Northwest Permanente to develop a range of mixed-reality health care training applications.
UCLA-Founded Startup KPOP Foods Gets Bought By a Korean Food Retailer
KPOP Foods was founded by two UCLA business school friends looking to spread their love of Korean food and culture. It's now been acquired by Korean foods retailer Wooltari USA, which hopes to expand its product development and distribution.
AI-Driven Sports Coaching App Mustard Raises $3.75 Million
The sports training app allows users to capture their training on mobile video, then evaluates their mechanics and performance and provides them with coaching and feedback on how to improve. The round saw Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, NFL legend Ronnie Lott and pro golfer Justin Rose join its existing roster of high-profile, pro-sports investors.
Arrowroot Leads $13 Million Round for AI Startup Appvance
As part of the new funding, Arrowroot partner Kareem El Sawy joins Appvance’s board. The AI startup creates software testing tools to streamline the quality assurance process, a $120 billion market.