Microsoft: The acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, announced today (18), generated dozens of questions in the games industry. Among them is the question about how the owner of Xbox will deal with the public scandals of abuse and harassment that the person responsible for franchises like Call of Duty is suffering (and responding to in court).
Knowing, of course, the situation and everything that the transaction represents, Satya Nadella, president of Microsoft, said that both Activision Blizzard and its CEO are willing to change the way they work.
“Over 30+ years as CEO of Activision Blizzard, Bobby Kotick has built it into one of the most successful and influential entertainment companies in the world and I am grateful for his leadership and commitment to real cultural change,” said Nadella. in a speech to investors.
In a statement signed by Phil Spencer, head of the Xbox division, it was guaranteed that Kotick will be in charge of the publisher/developer. The point is that it is not known, for now, if he will be kept after the deal is authorized by the antitrust authorities.
The relationship between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard is still unclear. In a context where pressure on Activision Blizzard has increased, precisely because of the reported harassment situations, Spencer himself even said, in emails obtained by Bloomberg, that he was “evaluating all aspects of the relationship” with the company. .
Microsoft will respond
A report by Vice released today recalls that, in addition to the possession of intellectual properties such as Crash, Spyro, Tony Hawk, Diablo and COD, Microsoft also acquired the “liability package” for answering for Activision Blizzard.
“Microsoft is buying the games, but that also means it now has to actively address some of the worst abuses we’ve seen in the video game industry — rather than standing on the sidelines and pointing the finger at the competition,” Vice recalled.
The cases reported by Activision Blizzard employees and former employees are shocking. The California Department of Employment and Housing even filed a lawsuit against the company claiming there was widespread toxicity in the offices.