Takeover of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft: the workers’ alliance reacts following the acquisition


Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Spyro… What will become of Activision Blizzard’s licenses once the agreement is signed? What about Bobby Kotick, controversial CEO at the heart of many accusations in recent weeks? What future for third-party studios? Following Microsoft’s takeover of Activision Blizzard yesterday, many questions are emerging and this is quite normal since it it is simply the biggest acquisition made in the video game industry. Even to gobble up Linkedin, the Redmond firm had released “only” 25 billion dollars. In short, the future is uncertain for many parties to this agreement… But not for everyone. That’s what seems to say ABetterABK, a union of Activision Blizzard King workers that started in July. It was as a result of accusations from the State of California regarding toxic culture (discrimination, sexism, sexual assault) that the group was born and has acted since with the aim of building a “best Activision Blizzard“. On Twitter, the collective took the floor and reacted to the acquisition of their company by Microsoft:

Through six tweets, ABetterABK declares to be surprised by this takeover which does not “does not alter the ambitions of the union“. He points out that “no matter who controls the company financially, the collective will continue to want to end abuse in video games and will continue to fight to improve the working conditions of each employee“.

If the acquisition of Activision Blizzard was recorded yesterday and shared by Phil Spencer on the official Xbox blog, the acquisition has not yet been made. Bobby Kotick, President and CEO of Activision Blizzard, said in a statement yesterday that the deal was expected by June 2024. Another 18 months of waiting during which many details will be settled: it can still be refused by the courts as non-compliance with the Antitrust law, which aims to prevent the coalition of large groups which would block competition.

These are therefore eighteen months during which Bobby Kotick, current CEO and CEO of ABK, will remain in place. Currently being challenged for his choices and for the accusations he is facing (hiding abusive behavior, threatening employees and withholding information about the number of licenses made), Kotick could nevertheless leave when the handshake is tight in 2024. It is the Wall Street Journal which indicates it, in spite of the vagueness of the declarations which occurred yesterday. In the meantime, he will have to do: according to ABK Workers, the negotiations following the dismissals at Raven Software (Warzone) have still not been launched, while 3 of the 4 demands formulated by the collective in order to improve the condition of female employees have not been met.

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