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During an internal “Fireside Chat” within Activision Blizzard, CEO Bobby Kotick said that Microsoft is planning to “retain as many of our people as possible” according to a report by The Washington Post. Kotick also added that he would stay on as CEO until the acquisition was complete, and will do so longer if needed, to make sure the transition is smooth.
The game industry was rocked by the announcement that Microsoft was in the midst of acquiring Activision Blizzard for a whopping $68.7 billion. Employees across the company are wary of layoffs, although others are cautiously optimistic about the future of the company after hearing positive stories from other studios that had been purchased by the tech giant.
Activision Blizzard is currently being sued by multiple government agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, for fostering a “frat boy” culture. Employees and industry stakeholders are wondering how Microsoft will address Activision Blizzard’s internal problems, including problematic workers and managers.
How will Microsoft change Activision Blizzard?
There are many questions left unanswered in the wake of the acquisition, especially since the deal won’t close until 2023 at the earliest. The outgoing executive office has decided to ignore an ongoing strike that’s currently in its seventh week. Kotick also said that the Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 delays were part of the reason why he and other stakeholders decided to sell the company, according to an interview with GamesBeat.
“I just cannot with this,” Valentine Powell, Activision Blizzard employee and organizer, said. “Are you kidding me right now? Throwing gamedevs under the bus rather than taking responsibility for the culture he helped to foster.”