For now, Bobby Kotick will continue being Activision Blizzard’s CEO. When the deal is finalized, Activision Blizzard will report directly to Microsoft Gaming’s CEO, Phil Spencer. It’s not totally clear whether Kotick will stay on or leave after the transaction is concluded.
The news of Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard comes just one day after the Wall Street Journal reported that Kotick had been hiding information amid sexual harassment and misconduct allegations surrounding Activision Blizzard.
Activision Blizzard has reportedly fired or pushed out “dozens of employees” and disciplined about 40 others since July 2021, when the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued the company over the alleged mistreatment of female employees.
Spencer has shown concern in the past regarding the allegations surrounding Activision Blizzard. He and the Xbox leadership reportedly evaluated their relationship with Activision Blizzard after the Wall Street Journal reported in November 2021 that Kotick was aware of the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct toward female employees for years and did nothing.
Microsoft will become the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, only behind Tencent and Sony, with the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Popular games such as Call of Duty, Overwatch, and World of Warcraft will become a part of the Xbox Game Pass portfolio.