In a decidedly surprising move, Microsoft has announced that it has acquired Activision Blizzard, a company that controls well-known brands in the world of video games, such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo, Overwatch and the very playful Candy Crush. A few days ago, Phil Spencer had been vague about the relationship between the two companies, claiming that “they have changed”. And maybe now we understand how.
The amount disbursed by Microsoft has not yet been officially announced, but we are talking about about 70 billion dollars: “Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting entertainment category of all platforms and will play a pivotal role in the development of the metaverse – commented Satya Nadella in an official note – We are investing heavily in world-class content, community and cloud technologies to usher in a new era in the gaming world that puts players and developers first, making games safe, inclusive and accessible to all. “
The last words obviously want to sound like a reassurance as to what will become of this new one Activision Blizzard, a company that in the last year had ended up in the eye of the storm after a series of investigations had revealed the existence of a deeply toxic corporate culture in which abuse and mistreatment, especially towards employees, were widely tolerated. In the last period the protests and distances from Activision had become more and more insistent, with a strong one pressure on CEO, Bobby Kotick, which despite the requests for resignation had been confirmed at the helm by the investors.
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It is still unclear what will become of Kotick and who has managed Activision to date or how Activision’s intellectual properties will be managed, whether they will remain cross-platform or will become exclusive to the Microsoft ecosystem and the Game Pass, but for sure the industry is experiencing a strategically historic moment for the years to come, as Microsoft consolidates a major acquisition. We will see in the next few years how it will pay off the investment, and whether Activision will return a healthy workplace in which to work.