Activision Blizzard Was Prepared To Buy Lego, Batman, And Harry Potter Company Time Warner

Activision Blizzard's Bobby Kotick says his company was preparing to make an offer for Time Warner.


Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has revealed that his company nearly made a move to buy Time Warner and turn its franchises into video games. This was years ago, in 2018, when AT&T was attempting to buy Time Warner for $85.4 billion.

While the deal was held up in legal proceedings, Kotick told Variety that Activision Blizzard raised "all the capital" and was in a place to make a bid if things fell apart with AT&T.

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"We'd take their IP and turn it into games. They'd take our IP and turn it into film and television, and we'd have an extraordinary company," he said.

It did not play out this way, of course. AT&T would ultimately prevail in its lawsuit against the Justice Department, which had sought to block the deal. But Kotick said that Activision Blizzard was "ready to go in the event that AT&T couldn't get the deal done."

If Activision Blizzard had acquired Time Warner, it would have seemingly taken ownership of WB Games, which makes Batman, Mortal Kombat, Lego, and Harry Potter games, among others. WB Games has seen success this year in a big way with Hogwarts Legacy selling 15 million copies.

WB Games itself was at one point thought to be a candidate for getting spun out, but its parent company held on. The unit is now reportedly profitable and on something of a win streak lately.

In other news about a giant deal that didn't happen in the world of video games, it was reported that Comcast nearly acquired Electronic Arts.

These days, Kotick is focused more on another high-profile transaction: a $68.7 billion sale of Activision Blizzard to Microsoft. The executive said part of the reason he wanted to sell was because he is "really scared about the economy" and specifically how attracting and retaining talent is "ratcheting up" to a place that is "complex for us to deal with."

Kotick wants the deal to happen because he believes it is "the right thing for our industry," but he also remarked that Activision Blizzard "can continue to be successful alone."

For its part, Microsft has also said it does not need to buy Activision Blizzard to deliver on its vision for gaming, but buying the Call of Duty company would help accelerate some plans.

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