After Selling Activision Blizzard to Microsoft, Company CEO Bobby Kotick Has Announced He is Stepping Down

The former chief of Activision is parting ways after 32 years.

SUMMARY

  • Activision was recently acquired by Microsoft and is now a part of Xbox Game Studios.
  • The lawsuit that was registered against the publisher incentivized the deal between Microsoft and Activision, which led to the 69 billion USD deal.
  • Now Kotick has announced that he is stepping down from the position.
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Activision, one of the most colossal and successful publishers, was recently acquired by Microsoft and is now a part of Xbox Game Studios. The studio, while dishing out a lot of majorly profitable titles, has been under fire for quite some time due to its “frat-boy” culture, and some employees even registered complaints of sexual misconduct and gender discrimination.

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Now Kotick has announced that he is stepping down from the position. This has been confirmed by the Call of Duty publisher’s official website, which contains a note from Kotick.

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Bobby Kotick steps down as CEO of Activision

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick will step down at the end of the year.
Activision CEO Bobby Kotick will step down at the end of the year.

This was announced officially in this post, which was published on the official website of Activision Blizzard. The post contains a note from the chief sent to the studio’s employees. The email reads:

Over the years, my passion for video games has often been attributed to Pitfall!, River Raid, and Kaboom!. I love those Atari 2600 games, but the game that first captured my imagination was Mystery House, developed by Roberta and Ken Williams.

Kotick continues and says that:

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…Forty years later, as my last day leading this company inches closer, I marvel at how far the talented people at our company have come toward realizing the great potential of games. You have transformed a hobbyist form of entertainment into the world’s most engaging medium.

The note, when read, also reveals that Kotick expressed his earnest gratitude towards the studio’s workforce and attributed all of the company’s success to the team. He also mentions that it has been a privilege of his to work as the company’s leader.

Activision X Xbox was announced in 2022.
The Activision and Xbox deal was announced in 2022.

Kotick has been associated with the publisher for more than three decades now. The note also features Kotick acknowledging Xbox chief Phil Spencer and referring to the publisher’s parent company as the world’s “most admired”. He stated that:

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Phil Spencer has appreciated the magic of ABK for decades. When he approached Brian and me two years ago and proposed acquiring the company, it was immediately obvious that the combination of our businesses would enable us to continue to lead as the list of…competitors grows.

It is known that the lawsuit that was registered against the publisher incentivized the deal between Microsoft and Activision, which led to the former acquiring the latter for a sum of 69 billion USD. After that, the studio’s CEO Bobby Kotick, who allegedly knew all about the company’s problematic culture and complaints of harassment and misconduct, was asked to stay till the end of 2023.

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It is worth highlighting that the legal case registered against the studio by California’s’ Civil Rights Department in 2021 led to the company seeking buyouts from other tech giants too. It was reported that the chief had doubts about the deal, and the board of directors closed it. The lawsuit that led to the deal was recently settled for a sum of California’s Civil Rights Department.

It is worth noting that the company denied these claims and stated that its superiors, the board of directors, started an internal probe, and no internal evidence came to light. It is suspected that the deal between Microsoft and the Call of Duty publisher helped the latter abundantly with the lawsuit as they had joined hands with the second most profitable tech company.

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A changed leadership is a step in the right direction for the studio, as it is high time that reports of harassment, misconduct, and discrimination based on one’s gender orientation are minimized. The publisher’s recent title has been a buzzkill for most fans of the Call of Duty franchise. They have expressed their grief with the title being taken to review platforms like Metacritic, which has seen the game’s user score plummeting to the lowest in the series.

Apart from ensuring a more inclusive and sensitive environment for everyone regardless of gender identity or orientation. A new leader for the publisher could, perhaps, also ensure that better quality content is being delivered and video games are seen as more than just a revenue-increasing cashflow-inducing project.

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Written by Sparsh Jaimini

Sparsh Jaimini Sharma is a video games enthusiast and a Games Writer. A true white-blooded Madridsta. He is often seen grinding away at EAFC 24's Ultimate team and learning to code when he is not writing. A Batman fan and Arkham Games connoisseur. He is the quintessential DC aficionado.