Activision Blizzard staff react to Microsoft buyout news

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Following the news Microsoft is acquiring Activision Blizzard, employees have begun speaking out out on social media.

The ABK Worker’s Alliance – a group of employees pushing for workplace reform – yesterday stated that news of the acquisition was “surprising” but did “not change the goals of the ABK Worker’s Alliance”.

Since then, other Activision Blizzard employees have shared their views.

Eurogamer Newscast Special: Xbox buying Activision Blizzard.

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Much of the criticism has focused on CEO Bobby Kotick’s comments on declining stock prices. In an interview with GamesBeat, he claimed the stock price decline was mainly due to delays to Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4, rather than the ongoing sexual harassment lawsuit.

Activision Blizzard employees have since criticised the comments – and suggested that the delays were linked to the company’s cultural issues. “Are you kidding me right now?” said senior UI engineer Valentine Powell. “Throwing game devs under the bus rather than taking responsibility for the culture he helped to foster.”

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“Hey Bobby, remember when you showed up at our all-hands and said, ‘There are no expectations for a date, just make it great’? Because WE sure as hell remember,” said a product manager by the username SarawynDawnstar. “Not a single one of us is going to fall for your gaslighting and continued failure to take responsibility.”

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Former staff Jessica Gonzalez (a founder of the ABK Worker’s Alliance) and Stephanie Krutsick also chimed in.

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Arkane artist Sadie Boyd welcomed her new Activision Blizzard colleagues, but added “I have one thing to say and it’s fuck Bobby Kotick from the bottom of my heart.”

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Elsewhere there have been some positive reactions to the acquisition. Kate Anderson, from the Activision QA team, echoed the sentiment of the ABK Worker’s Alliance. “ABK Worker’s Alliance will still be advocating for employees, no matter who our leadership is,” they said. “Whether it’s Bobby Kotick or Phil Spencer, we will keep addressing the issues that we see within the gaming industry.”

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Said Daniel Duffin, an associate test analyst on Hearthstone: “I’m looking forward to Microsoft replacing [Bobby Kotick] and the rest of the board with people who are competent, and not complicit.”

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Dana Pull, senior test analyst, also felt hopeful: “The longer the day has gone on, the better I have felt. The news is still completely surreal, and it’s been weird to feel something akin to hope after so long in the dark.”

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Other staff have at least seen the brighter side.

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