In case you somehow missed the bombshell news this morning, Microsoft has announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard and everything that entails like the Call of Duty, Warcraft, and Overwatch franchises as well as all the development studios under it in a deal worth $68.7 billion. And according to the announcement, longtime Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will continue on in the role until the acquisition closes -- and, apparently, beyond. Kotick's continued involvement with the company is sure to be a tricky one given the ongoing fallout and lawsuits over workplace misconduct like racism and sexism under his watch.
The acquisition itself is expected to close in fiscal year 2023, assuming it makes it through regulatory and shareholder approval processes and the like, but until then the companies will continue to operate independently. According to the announcement, Kotick will, until things close, "continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard, and he and his team will maintain their focus on driving efforts to further strengthen the company's culture and accelerate business growth." After that, Activision Blizzard will report to Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming.
If the wording of that makes it seem a little questionable as to whether Kotick will continue to be with the company following the acquisition closing, that's because it is. But according to a new statement from Microsoft, Kotick will seemingly just... keep doing what he was doing, under Spencer, once that's done. "Bobby will lead Activision Blizzard as CEO, as he has for the last 30 years," a Microsoft spokesperson told IGN when asked about what the future of Kotick following the deal closing would be. "Together, Bobby and Phil will work together to ensure the transition to this exciting new combined enterprise. The Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil after the close."
As noted above, Microsoft has entered into a deal to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. It is expected to close in the fiscal year 2023, subject to regulatory approval and so on. The Activision Blizzard acquisition is just the latest high-profile purchase by Microsoft. The acquisition of Bethesda Softworks parent company ZeniMax Media concluded in early 2021. You can check out all of our previous coverage of Microsoft in general right here.
What do you think about the announcement that Microsoft is acquiring Activision Blizzard? How about the fact that Kotick will apparently continue on as CEO of Activision Blizzard? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to reach out and hit me up directly over on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk about all things gaming!