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Bobby Kotick Says Activision Won't Allow Sony's Behavior to Affect Long Term Relationship

Bobby Kotick Says Activision Won't Allow Sony's Behavior to Affect Long Term Relationship - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 02 April 2023 / 3,477 Views

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick in an email sent to employees said Sony's behavior trying to block Microsoft's Activision Blizzard deal has been "disappointing," however it won't affect the relationship between the two companies long term.

"The good news is, regulators who initially had concerns about console competition are starting to better understand our industry," said Kotick. "The data and evidence Microsoft has been presenting are tilting the scale.

"You may have seen statements from Sony, including an argument that if this deal goes through, Microsoft could release deliberately 'buggy' versions of our games on PlayStation.

"We all know our passionate players would be the first to hold Microsoft accountable for keeping its promises of content and quality parity. And, all of us who work so hard to deliver the best games in our industry care too deeply about our players to ever launch sub-par versions of our games.

"Sony has even admitted that they aren’t actually concerned about a Call of Duty agreement—they would just like to prevent our merger from happening. This is obviously disappointing behavior from a partner for almost thirty years, but we will not allow Sony’s behavior to affect our long term relationship.

"PlayStation players know we will continue to deliver the best games possible on Sony platforms as we have since the launch of PlayStation.

"We will continue to have discussions with European and UK regulators until the decision dates, which we expect in the coming months. You may have also seen today that the Japan Fair Trade Commission found that the deal wouldn’t harm competition and unconditionally cleared our transaction. We will update you again when we have more information to share."

Microsoft's Activision Blizzard deal was approved this week in Japan by the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), and has previously been approved in ChileBrazilSaudi Arabia, and Serbia.

The deal still needs approval in the US, UK, European Union, and a few more countries. 

Microsoft has submitted remedies to the European Union regulator, the European Commission, which has since extended its deadline from April 25 to May 22. 

The UK regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), has recently published an addendum to its provisional findings saying it has received new evidence that has led it to conclude that if the acquisition is approved it won't significantly lessen competition in the video game console market in the UK. The new evidence shows that Microsoft would lose significant money if it were to make Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox consoles and this would incentivize Microsoft to continue to release Call of Duty games on PlayStation consoles.

Microsoft has recently announced it has signed multiple 10-year deals to bring Xbox games on PC to three cloud streaming services - Nvidia's GeForce NowBoosteroid, and Ubitus. Microsoft has also signed a 10-year deal with Nintendo to release Call of Duty on Nintendo consoles on day one with full content parity.

A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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gtotheunit91 (on 28 March 2023)

Hey, business is business. I still hope Bobby is gone if the deal gets approved though lol

  • +9
Qwark gtotheunit91 (on 29 March 2023)

Yeah I don't think he will leave anytime soon. He made Actibliz quite big and he is quite good at hitting targets and results.

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KratosLives (on 29 March 2023)

this idiot is the last to talk

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DonFerrari (on 28 March 2023)

because MS will dictates the relationship.

  • +3
poompk (on 28 March 2023)

Sony knows whatever they're gonna get from a deal would already be provided by behavioral remedies and business interests of msft+abk as the base line, as this comment is proving. Of course, they won't bother to negotiate a deal (nothing much to gain) and try to kill the merger (status quo pre merger is better for their income) instead

  • +3
VersusEvil (on 29 March 2023)

Acti knows where the money is so ofc.

  • +1
ClassicGamingWizzz (on 29 March 2023)

Bobby will stay is 100% garanted.

  • -4
Libara ClassicGamingWizzz (on 29 March 2023)

No it's not.

  • +3
ClassicGamingWizzz Libara (on 29 March 2023)

Want to bet signature on that?

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Libara ClassicGamingWizzz (on 29 March 2023)

He is not going to stay after being given over $300m, he won't be gone the second the deal is signed but once the transition is done he will be gone.

  • +2
ClassicGamingWizzz Libara (on 29 March 2023)

He will staay 3 or 4 years

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Libara ClassicGamingWizzz (on 29 March 2023)

someone as awful as kotick with such a large ego will not work under anyone.

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ClassicGamingWizzz Libara (on 29 March 2023)

They will let him run it lol , do you believe the fairytail too that microsoft is buying them cause they want to get ride of him too to save activisition lmao

  • -1
Libara ClassicGamingWizzz (on 29 March 2023)

I get you desperately want him to stay but he won't. This will be fun to revisit when he is swiftly shot out of a cannon with his golden parachute. Going to bookmark this for later :).

  • +1

Nah, we've already seen reports from insiders that Bobby plans to leave once the deal closes. He is getting a $408m payday just from the value of his ABK shares with Xbox paying $95 per share (Bobby owns 4.3m shares of ABK), there is no good reason for him not to bug out with his money and live the rest of his life in the lap of luxury.

My guess is Microsoft will make Lulu Cheng Meservey head of ABK after Bobby leaves, she is already seen as the public face of ABK as she is their Chief Communications Officer (also their Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs) and has been at the forefront of their acquisition news talking to the media and becoming more and more well-known within the industry. On top of that, she is one of the few higher-ups at ABK who joined after the Workplace Misconduct and Sexual Harassment controversy years, if Microsoft's goal is to create a healthier ABK, and I assume it is, it makes sense to promote somebody who wasn't at ABK during that controversy.

They have two other options for head of ABK besides Lulu that I see, Brian Bulatao, the Chief Administration Officer who only joined ABK in 2021 and thus also wasn't there during the years where the controversial things were happening, and Mike Ybarra, the President of Blizzard, who previously spent 22 years at Microsoft and 10 years within the Xbox division and is already good friends with Phil Spencer.

  • +3

Stopped reading at insiders.

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I mean it was a Wall Street Journal source that reported it, not some gaming industry insider like Grubb or Jez:

  • +4
tslog (on 28 March 2023)
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