With regulators and lawmakers tightening the noose over Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard and by the latter to address workplace misconduct, it has been revealed that Xbox CEO Phil Spencer approached Bobby Kotick to express interest in a business deal, just a few days after Kotick and his leadership team were charged with wrongdoing. The explosive Wall Street Journal report, which revealed a history of systematic abuse at Activision Blizzard and accused Kotick of knowing about it and participating in misconduct, led to a decline in the company’s stock. Spencer had previously said he was troubled by the allegations against Kotick and said Microsoft would review its relationship with the company.
What SEC Reveals About Xbox Activision Deal
A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing reads:
On November 19, 2021, during a conversation on another topic between Mr. Spencer and Mr. Kotick, Mr. Spencer raised that Microsoft was interested in discussing strategic opportunities between Activision Blizzard and Microsoft and asked if it would be possible to call Mr. Nadella the next day. Mr Kotick agreed to participate in such discussion.
The aforementioned WSJ report, which contained allegations against Kotick, was published on Nov. 16. This revelation comes amid an ongoing investigation into workplace misconduct at Activision Blizzard. According to WSJ, authorities have subpoenaed several executives, including Kotick, but have encountered resistance.
Opinion: Microsoft is a company and Spencer is a businessman
Zamena writes… I continue to be amazed at the number of people expressing their shock at these revelations. Spencer seems to have a good public profile, but he works for a global multinational company focused on expanding its reach and making a profit. Microsoft seizes the opportunity to buy Activision Blizzard as soon as its stock plummeted, unsurprisingly. However, what really deserves criticism is that Kotick gets an easy break.
In other news, Guerrilla Games has revealed that Horizon Forbidden West has been delayed to avoid crunch, and has explained why the game’s loading screen has been revamped on the PS5.