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Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick Reportedly Leaving the Company After Microsoft Acquisition is Complete

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Sources close to The Wall Street Journal say Activision's long-time CEO Bobby Kotick will be stepping down after the acquisition by Microsoft is complete.

Microsoft today announced their acquisition of Activision, Blizzard, and King studios for $68.7 billion. Later came two official announcements surrounding the acquisition. The first one came from Microsoft and the second from Activision Blizzard.

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick sent an e-mail to the staff about the acquisition. You can read an excerpt here.

The latest news about Bobby Kotick's departure comes from The Wall Street Journal. Apparently, the long-time CEO will leave the company when the deal closes.

Bobby Kotick, Activision’s longtime CEO, is expected to leave after the deal closes, according to people familiar with those plans. Microsoft had said in its announcement Tuesday that Mr. Kotick “will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard,” and that after the deal closes “the Activision Blizzard business will report to Microsoft gaming chief Phil Spencer. ” But the companies have agreed that he will depart once the deal closes, the people said.

In an interview Tuesday, Mr. Kotick didn’t specifically address his status after the deal closes, but said he has told Microsoft he will “always be available to ensure that we are going to have the very best integration.”

The Wall Street Journal

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Interesting whether his friends, who are on Activision's board will leave as well. Is this acquisition a good thing or not? We will have to wait and see. I am skeptical. Too bad he gets to leave with a gigantic paycheck, while not facing any consequences for tolerating or ignoring abuse and other forms of misconduct in his company. 

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Just the fact that we get rid of this mofo after the acquisition is worth the takeover, here's hoping half the board of bad breed will follow!!

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1 hour ago, Arcling said:

Interesting whether his friends, who are on Activision's board will leave as well. Is this acquisition a good thing or not? We will have to wait and see. I am skeptical. Too bad he gets to leave with a gigantic paycheck, while not facing any consequences for tolerating or ignoring abuse and other forms of misconduct in his company. 

I mean at the state Blizzard is now, it cannot be bad?

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24 minutes ago, Nym85 said:

I mean at the state Blizzard is now, it cannot be bad?

For sure, some improvements are needed. At least they seem less tolerant of abuse and harassment, so this is good. What will happen to their games though? Will they get better or their strategy will remain mostly the same, just to exploit whatever is left of them? Besides, there are concerns about monopolies forming.

Edited by Arcling

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Time will only tell imo.  But after reading some of the articles pertaining of the current status of Shadowlands and 9.2 it's not worth my time or money to subscribe to World of Warcraft.  But with any company aquisition, specially Blizzard/Activision, there will most likely be 'clean house' objective, new rules/regulations within the company, along with understanding and following set procedures/guidlines on select named products and another wave of 'changes' (some small while others are more subtle) within the mmo at either a gradual or eratic pace.

Who knows I might be wrong and the next World of Warcraft Expansion can reach all new heights and give other mmo's a run for their money.

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Uncommon Patron

It can't really be that hard on MicroSoft.  If they assign a small staff to read the forums and see what players who really play the game complain about or say we want, they'll already have a preloaded regression test and pile of bugs to fix.

And a probably-in-conflict list of possible improvements (it being not every player wants the same thing)

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1 hour ago, edgomatic said:

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Blizzard used to have awesome releases, albeit always shoddy server issues. Diablo 3 was the first time I ever thought a Blizz product felt somewhat empty and unfinished.

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5 hours ago, TyZone said:

Blizzard used to have awesome releases, albeit always shoddy server issues. Diablo 3 was the first time I ever thought a Blizz product felt somewhat empty and unfinished.

Agreed. If only the releases are catastrophic, thats a way less problem, than bringing finished BS like Reforged or shallow husks of crap like BFA or SL. Which drove myriads of WoW-refugees to FF14 and NW.

I have no hopes of anything getting better, I´ll just wait.

A complete turn is necessary. While ignoring what others do better, with no clue whats happening, repeating old errors again and again, they disfigured the once behemoth of mmo´s into a bloated, fast-food theme park of shiny nothing.

Yes, that kept the drones playing, because they always did and dont want to leave, but turned WoW into a disgrace of what it once was.

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8 hours ago, Arcling said:

For sure, some improvements are needed. At least they seem less tolerant of abuse and harassment, so this is good. What will happen to their games though? Will they get better or their strategy will remain mostly the same, just to exploit whatever is left of them? Besides, there are concerns about monopolies forming.

It's too big an investment and Microsoft has long been looking to expand its roster of IPs in gaming. I don't think Candy Crush and CoD alone would be worth 70 billion. I am sure Diablo and Overwatch have expansion potential as IPs.

Sadly I am no longer sure that is true for WoW. On one hand companies still invest in MMOs and given how insanely expensive they are to make, that must mean the numbers are there. But I just don't have any faith in the current WoW team, both as far as overall design goes and definitely not as far as story goes. So Microsoft may well be tempted to just keep WoW as a cow and keep milking it; low investment in the product and just expanding monetisation to get the whales to pay for the product.

On the other hand though I do have hope that there are Microsoft developers who are looking to work for a new project, who love Blizzard games like so many in the gaming community do, and who would want to move to Blizzard and try their hands on the game.

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13 hours ago, Arcling said:

For sure, some improvements are needed. At least they seem less tolerant of abuse and harassment, so this is good. What will happen to their games though? Will they get better or their strategy will remain mostly the same, just to exploit whatever is left of them? Besides, there are concerns about monopolies forming.

That is inevitable if they have the means to do it. Luckily it's Microsoft and not Disney.

Edited by Znifler

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1 hour ago, Znifler said:

Monopolies? So? That is inevitable if they have the means to do it. Luckily it's Microsoft and not Disney. If the game is good, I really do not care if they monopolise the world.

Monopolies are definitely not inevitable and perhaps one of the main concerns of capitalism is busting monopolies since they are the very antithesis of the free market. In the EU at least, anti-trust legislation on the continental level has teeth and attempts to forge monopolies have continuously been thwarted by the neo liberals in the EU parliament with backing from the center and center left. Sadly the US has not shown the appropriate concern for how erosive monopolies are towards capitalism in years but there are some glimmers of hope (though they are probably far more motivated by politicians afraid of how much power big tech has over their seats than any actual concern for the health of capitalism).

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Well, on the plus side Bobby's Golden Parachute is so heavy it might crush him? 😛

Seriously though, he's going to come out of this filthy rich (moreso) and that is just wrong.

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9 hours ago, Nym85 said:

It's too big an investment and Microsoft has long been looking to expand its roster of IPs in gaming. I don't think Candy Crush and CoD alone would be worth 70 billion. I am sure Diablo and Overwatch have expansion potential as IPs.

Sadly I am no longer sure that is true for WoW. On one hand companies still invest in MMOs and given how insanely expensive they are to make, that must mean the numbers are there. But I just don't have any faith in the current WoW team, both as far as overall design goes and definitely not as far as story goes. So Microsoft may well be tempted to just keep WoW as a cow and keep milking it; low investment in the product and just expanding monetisation to get the whales to pay for the product.

True, although Candy Crush overshadows everything by income, while CoD is second. Then there is Blizzard and they are way behind, of course there is still a lot of money to be made. Another thing are those studios and brands under Activision Publishing, they already have established console presence, some of these might be later excluded from Playstation. Back to Candy Crush and aquisition of King, this might be bigger than it seems, Microsoft went from having little to no presence on mobile games market, to being one of its leading companies, by King alone.

I agreed about Diablo 4, it has potential and Immortal might be played a lot as well, despite many negative reactions to it. Overwatch is in a worse spot right now, long wait and content drought already cost them many players and loss of interest. It's going to be hard to regain player's attention and prove to them that game isn't "dying". Even its e-sports aren't as big as they expected, depends if they are still willing to throw more money at it. Game needs more support, but also (imo) they have to decide if it should be more of a casual game or competitive e-sports, because they seemed to be stuck somewhere in the middle.

Now, I'm not expecting dead brands or titles to suddenly be resurrected. Likely nothing will change for Heroes of the Storm or other games that aren't actively supported anymore. You might be right about WoW, while it is still profitable, it could remain mostly the same, targeting to milk current and returning players, while not doing much to attract more. We will have to see how next expansion is going to be and if they are going to stick with this model, perhaps they might be pushed to do f2p model and/or switch to developing only large patches, instead of full expansion model.

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