Jason Schreier: Activision Blizzard employees are optimistic about a deal with Microsoft and hope for Phil Spencer
Activision Blizzard employees greeted the news of the sale of the publishing house to Microsoft Corporation with optimism and hopes for the best.
Some Activision Blizzard employees have great hope for a deal, and some are wary and cautious
Jason Schreier, who spoke with a dozen developers on condition of anonymity, told about this in his new material on the website of Bloomberg.
According to Schreier, the outgoing week has become very emotional for Activision Blizzard employees. Some of them are so tired of what is happening in the company and the leadership of President Bobby Kotick that they are glad of any shake-ups that can change its course.
"One news that the Cat will leave after the completion of the sale of Activision Blizzard may be enough to save some of the developers who planned to quit the company," wrote Schreier.
Representatives of various Activision Blizzard studios, from Treyarch in Santa Monica to Blizzard in Irvine, hope that Phil Spencer, who has been appointed head of Microsoft Gaming, will turn out to be a stronger, more open and fair leader than Bobby Kotick.
The developers are encouraged by the examples of other studios, like Double Fine Productions and Obsidian Entertainment, which have already joined Microsoft — Spencer promised them that he would not interfere in the creative process and would provide more freedom, and so far fully complies with his promises.
Some experts interviewed by Schreier, however, are disappointed that the Cat will still manage them for more than a year and a half if everything goes according to plan. These people went to rallies against him and signed petitions calling for his removal from the leadership.
Employees state that Microsoft will get a "company full of problems of various kinds", and it will have to deal with them by establishing a corporate culture in the studios. Phil Spencer and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella say they are aware of this and are ready for the necessary changes.
The developers are also cautiously optimistic that Activision Blizzard will start producing not only "conveyor" games — most studios are busy working on the annual Call of Duty.
Blizzard's problems are noted separately. This studio has suffered more than others in the publishing house in recent years, and therefore a lot of veterans have left it. If Xbox gives developers more creative freedom, staff turnover may stop, Schreyer's interlocutors are sure.
Finally, employees who are not going to quit hope that Microsoft will not carry out mass layoffs in their ranks and will provide them with a decent salary.
Phil Spencer has stated his desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation.
The head of the Xbox team, Phil Spencer, believes that Microsoft is partly responsible for the further development of the gaming market against the background of the overall large-scale globalization.
To be more precise, the top manager is puzzled by the growing activity of companies such as Apple, Google and Meta, and the course they can set for the entire industry, without having the experience inherent in traditional veterans of the playing field, like Nintendo or Sony.
Phil Spencer told about this in an interview with the editors of The Washington Post.
"These companies have many years of experience in the gaming industry. Nintendo will never sabotage this business, because it is a part of it. The situation is similar with Sony, I trust them. The same can be said about Valve.
But if you look at other market players acting as competitors to Microsoft, you can see that Google relies on search engines and Chrome, Amazon is engaged in trading, Facebook - social platforms... Everyone has a large business stake with social orientation. Within our team, we conducted a dialogue about the fact that the directions mentioned above are important roads to the hearts of consumers. For us [as a technology giant], gaming can become this niche.
We have our own unique vision, where we do not seek to limit content to a specific device or platform. This philosophy has become a turning point in understanding the industry as a whole, and it can also have a huge impact on how Microsoft will continue to perceive a socially oriented business, drawing parallels with the development of our competitors in the technology industry mentioned above," explained Phil Spencer.
Recall that last Tuesday, Microsoft management announced the purchase of Activision Blizzard publishing house. The record deal will not be closed until June 2023.
Consider the risks: Microsoft may lose a substantial amount if deal with Activision Blizzard does not receive approval
The news about the purchase of Activision Blizzard turned the entire gaming industry upside down, to the extent that SONY shares began to fall rapidly, but there are still many questions related to the nuances of the agreement itself. One of them is what will happen if the deal is still not concluded for one reason or another?
In an open document published by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), some new details regarding the merger of Microsoft Gaming and Activision were revealed.
So, according to the terms of the agreement, Microsoft can potentially pay Bobby Kotick compensation in the amount of $ 2 billion if the deal falls through under certain circumstances before January 18, 2023. In addition, a fee of $ 2.5 billion is provided in case of filing a notice of termination of the transaction between January 18 and April 18, 2023. And finally, if the notice of termination of the transaction is sent after April 18, 2023, Microsoft will be required to pay Activision Blizzard a total of $ 3 billion.
In order for the merger to take place, Microsoft will have to get the approval of Activision shareholders and regulatory authorities, including the antimonopoly service, but most likely everything will pass without a hitch. The deal is estimated at $68.7 billion and is expected to be closed by the summer of 2023.