The company wasn’t alone in wanting to buy Activision-Blizzard, but it wasted no time
The underside of the surprise takeover of the Activision-Blizzard group by Microsoft has finally been made public. Last Friday, February 18, a file filed by the American giant with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) was made public. It details in particular how the firm profited from sexual harassment accusations around Blizzard to acquire the company at a good price.
As a reminder, the allegations began following the publication of an investigation by the wall street journal last summer. Several employees accused the company of fostering a toxic culture, and of covering up numerous cases of harassment and sexual assault. A situation that obviously did not suit the group, especially since CEO Bobby Kotick himself was cited in several cases.
It is only three days after the revelations of the wall street journal that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reached out to Activision-Blizzard to discuss a possible acquisition. On the same day, Xbox boss Philm Spencer detailed how bad he was “disturbed and deeply disturbed by the horrific events and actions” by the actions perpetrated by Blizzard, to the point of questioning “every aspect” of its relationship with the company.
Microsoft wastes no time
Only two months later, we learned of the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, for the modest sum of 68.7 billion dollars. Having become a division of Microsoft Gaming, the company is now directly under the orders of Phil Spencer. A surprise takeover, but above all done in a hurry, to guarantee Microsoft the lowest possible price. It must be said that if the firm of Redmond wasted no timeshe was not alone on the file: at least four other potential buyers had already come forward.
It remains to be seen if Microsoft will keep its promises, and if the company will succeed in redeem Activision’s disastrous image. To achieve this, it will probably be necessary to consider parting with its former CEO Bobby Kotick, who could leave with $410 million for all of his actions. A nice starting gift.