Xbox boss Phil Spencer and several Microsoft executives recently paid a visit to Blizzard Entertainment’s HQ after closing the $69 billion acquisition of publishing house Activision Blizzard. The visit was generally seen as a positive and inspiring one, with Spencer apparently assuring employees that they can trust Microsoft to let Blizzard achieve its visions and dreams without restraints. Microsoft’s leadership team reportedly told Blizzard that it sees the company as ‘the Pixar’ of the gaming industry.
According to a recent update from Windows Central, Xbox and Microsoft executives had hopeful words to give Blizzard employees during their visit to the company’s headquarters yesterday. Spencer reportedly told employees that Microsoft would be listening to the needs and desires of Blizzard staff.
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It’s well-documented that Blizzard’s working conditions were not exactly ideal before the acquisition. Activision was hit with scathing allegations in the past for fostering a toxic work environment including sexual harassment and discrimination from numerous executives and leaders at the publisher (that have since been reprimanded or let go) – allegations that also impacted Blizzard.
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Activision reportedly held a lot of power over Blizzard in recent years, pushing for a faster release schedule and dictating creative decisions while cutting costs.
If Microsoft is to be believed at the recent visit, then we can hopefully expect working conditions to vastly improve at Activision Blizzard in the coming months and years. To add a bit more hope to the lit candle, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, who has often been criticised for his controversial business decisions, will officially be stepping down from the company in January 2024. A successor hasn’t been named yet.
According to Windows Central’s sources, apart from one image, virtually no Activision branding was seen at Blizzard’s HQ during the visit.
Spencer seems to have his head in the right place regarding how Xbox plans to handle Activision Blizzard’s treasure trove of IPs. Speaking on an Xbox podcast this week, he stated:
“The amount of franchises that we now have in our portfolio is kind of inspiring, it’s daunting. I feel that we have to be a great custodian for the content that we touch. These are memories from people on different platforms, different decades.”
Source: Windows Central