Call of dutyAnd world of cansAnd Note and watchAnd Bandicoot Crash where candy crush… Activision Blizzard has a catalog of the most popular and profitable franchises in the video game industry. This position as a major publisher in the US market is the fruit of a history of more than forty years. Launched in 1979 in California, Activision first had the distinction of being the first video game company to market consoles manufactured by other brands.
But the success faded. In 1990, Activision, burdened with debt, failed to adapt to the drastic changes brought about by the industry over the past decade. see Robert A. Kotik (better known as Bobby Kotik), 27, is a big possibility and buys the company for $400,000 with two friends. After being appointed CEO the following year, Bobby Kotik corrected the company’s finances in five years. his strategy? Look for solid perks and roll them out regularly on all platforms.
By betting, as of 1997, on the acquisition of other studios, Activision will gradually become necessary. The acquisition of several small players allows her to reinvent herself. With Neversoft, in 1999, the publisher gave birth to the famous skateboard simulator Tony Hawk Pro Skater, While working with Infinity Ward, in 2003, he gave birth to the Stainless Shooting game series Call of duty. To become a leader in the American market, Activision merged in 2008 with Blizzard Studios (world of cansAnd Diablo), which is owned by Vivendi, which acquires 60% of the new entity.
In 2013, the French group sold the majority of its shares to Activision Blizzard and a group of investors, including Bobby Kotick. The company was then valued at $8.2 billion (€7.3 billion). Or one-eighth of the amount Microsoft paid on January 18, 2022 for it. Meanwhile, Activision Blizzard has expanded to become the most profitable mobile game company in the industry, and in 2015 paid $5.9 billion to get its hands on King Digital Entertainment (Candy Crush Saga).
Despite its commercial successes, Activision Blizzard suffers from an image deficit. Some players criticize him for the lack of boldness in his games, endless regression, while the press reports waves of economic dismissals, despite very good results – in 2020, the European branch, based in Versailles, was closed elsewhere. The situation deteriorated further in 2021, after a complaint was filed on July 20 in Los Angeles court by a California public agency. The document, the culmination of a two-year investigation, details both systemic discriminatory practices and acts of sexual harassment with impunity.
Then the issue becomes very public. Critics swarm the press and players are calling for a boycott. Some employees also launched protest movements and social strikes. A very rare phenomenon in the video game industry. Despite the departure of the Blizzard boss, twenty dismissals and twenty penalties announced in October, some employees are unconvinced by the actions the management has taken.
Thirty years into his tenure as CEO, Bobby Kotik is under heavy criticism. In November 2021, a The Wall Street Journal He accuses him of outright ignoring, and even covering up, many cases of sexual harassment and assault. In response, nearly 1,900 employees, or 20% of its workforce, publicly called for his resignation. Disavowed, but still in office, Bobby Kotick, according to information from The Wall Street Journal, Resign from his position as soon as the acquisition by Microsoft becomes effective, that is, by the summer of 2023.