Microsoft: Last Tuesday (18) the games industry was impacted by the news that Microsoft bought Activision Blizzard, responsible for great games like Call of Duty, Warcraft and Diablo. The news took everyone by surprise, as the developer has been facing numerous lawsuits involving sexual harassment cases since July last year.
The consequences of the sex scandals involving CEO Bobby Kotick, however, were decisive for the purchase of the company, according to a source “familiar with internal affairs” told Bloomberg.
Apparently, in late November, as Activision Blizzard employees dealt with the first legal charges, a group of Microsoft executives suggested that XBox head Phil Spencer contact Kotick to “offer support.”
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The source, who did not want to be identified, says that the purpose of the meeting was to make it clear that Microsoft cared about the company’s women and to show interest in buying the developer. The matter was the subject of meetings between the companies over the course of two weeks, resulting in the billion-dollar deal announced yesterday.
Also, before closing the deal with Microsoft, Activision reached out to more interested parties, including Meta and another undisclosed ‘big company’. A spokesperson for Meta declined an interview request, while a representative for Activision Blizzard did not respond to Bloomberg’s requests for comment.
The first allegations became public in July last year, when employees and former employees, mainly women, decided to expose several cases of harassment and sexism in the company. According to the California Department of Fair Labor and Housing, Activision Blizzard executives were aware of the complaints but failed to “take no reasonable steps to prevent the illegal conduct.”
According to the DFEH, human resources teams would have destroyed papers and deleted emails to hide evidence. The files had several records of complaints from employees that would have been ignored.