As many somewhat speculated, it appears Microsoft started engaging in conversations about acquiring Activision Blizzard around the times reports of its company culture released.
As reported by VGC, a regulatory filing for the acquisition shows that Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer and Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick had their first conversations about the acquisition on November 19th. This is only three days after the explosive Wall Street Journal report claiming Bobby Kotick had knowledge about alleged sexual assaults at the company and failed to address it properly.
It is reported that after the conversation on November 19th, Microsoft followed up on a call with their CEO Satya Nadella the next day to tell Activision Blizzard of their interest in acquiring. Kotick also reached out to other companies, perhaps to see if there were other potential offers.
What becomes clear from the filing is that Microsoft capitalized on the slew of reports outlining Activision Blizzard’s company culture including one where the company was sued by the State of California for sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation against women.
As such, Microsoft is set to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. If the acquisition gets approved, Xbox will be the first-party owner of the company’s massive catalogue of games such as Overwatch, Call of Duty, and more.