Living on the West Coast means you’re often behind a lot of people in finding things out. Often I first learn about a thing through waking up in the morning and booting up social media and seeing everyone else’s reactions to something insane I don’t know about yet. It took me a few scrolls to piece together what happened while I was asleep THIS time, but eventually it dawned on me that Microsoft just announced it had purchased Activision Blizzard.
My immediate reaction: “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”
You wouldn’t buy the nuclear reactors in Chernobyl post-meltdown. You wouldn’t buy the Titanic post-sink. Who on Earth would look at Activision the way it currently is, with more scandals per square inch than any other video game company, and think “Oh boy, sign me up for some of that! Here’s 68 billion dollars!” I guess Microsoft would?
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized this might not be such a bad development. Microsoft has publicly stated they disapprove of the inner behavior Activision has been involved in, and now that they’re officially adopted parents, they can crack the whip and put an end to the toxic culture in there. The state of California could have taken years to force that to happen. MS could do it in months. And yes, they HAVE indicated Bobby could be on his way out.
Also, Microsoft likes to buy a lot of things, but it doesn’t hoard them like Smaug. They own Minecraft, but they have the sense to keep it on all platforms because they know doing otherwise would be disastrous for the brand. This doesn’t mean the end of Call of Duty as a multiplatform franchise (but it most likely means the end of the “Playstation gets all the DLC content first” deal).
So I, for one, welcome our new green-colored overlords. But I may have to wait a while. The deal doesn’t close until the end of the fiscal year in 2023 — we won’t technically be rid of Bobby until then, unless he voluntarily quits.