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Bloomberg reporters have claimed that Activision Blizzard wanted to sell to Meta Platforms - the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, Oculus and more - when it became clear that an acquisition would be the best course of action to reverse the downwards trend that the publisher is currently suffering.
Why is it suffering a fiscal spiral? It's to do with the alleged instances of abuse in its offices and these stories started to snowball following the lawsuit that was filed by the state of California in the summer of 2021. As Activision attempted to contain its rotting reputation and the protests of employees who were appalled by what they had heard in the suit, the company's stock prices fell and immense pressure was placed on the higher ups to rectify this. Cue the harpsichords and a glorious angelic chorus - Microsoft entered with an offer of $69 billion to take over Activision Blizzard.
There's been a lot to follow with the controversy surrounding Activision Blizzard. Here's everything you need to know from the last couple of months.
Though it might look like Microsoft has sipped from a poisoned chalice, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has been clear that it "[holds] all teams, and all leaders to this commitment" to a healthy and equal working environment and that leadership is "looking forward to extending our culture of proactive inclusion to the great teams across Activision Blizzard." It's interesting, therefore, that Activision appeared to show reluctance to sell to Microsoft in the first instance.
In spite of sailing a sinking ship, the article from Bloomberg published on January 19th states that Activision Blizzard shopped about for options other than Microsoft ahead of the acquisition. "Kotick and the board weren’t sold on Microsoft as the acquirer, two people familiar with the matter said," read the report. "Activision made calls to try to find other interested parties, said the people, who asked not to be identified talking about private conversations. Those included Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. and at least one other big company."
Yikes. I mean, I'm no bigwig who's good with numbers. Yet, personally speaking, I would have thought that handing over to Microsoft after the catastrophes of the lawsuit, subsequent allegations of improper conduct from employees, investigations by the country's government and more would be like landing on a springy soft mattress made of many, many, many $100 bills.
Note that Facebook is not a gaming company, too. It's an information technology company with a new interest in the metaverse. As such, we might have seen titles like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Candy Crush and other heavy hitters from Activision's subsidiaries tap into the network of nascent virtual worlds with tie-in content or ports to Oculus headsets. I guess we'll never know what would have happened.
Featured Image Credit: Brett Jordan via Pexels, Activision Blizzard
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