Kotick Wanted To Buy Kotaku Or PC Gamer To Change Public Narrative - Report
An Activision spokesperson has disputed the claim.
Following the ongoing controversies and lawsuits that have Activision Blizzard in the headlines, the company's CEO Bobby Kotick reportedly wanted to buy gaming publications to sway the public narrative.
In a new Wall Street Journal report, it was claimed by "people familiar with him" that Kotick suggested purchasing Kotaku and PC Gamer in order to change the coverage in Activision Blizzard's favor, and instead have them report on something else other than the breaking news headlines regarding the company.
According to the report, the Activision spokeswoman, Ms. Helaine Klasky, disputed the claim that Kotick wanted to acquire either publication, while a spokesperson for G/O Media--the Kotaku parent company--has declined to comment.
In July 2021, a lawsuit was filed against Activision Blizzard by the California Department of Fair Employment following reports of sexual harassment, workplace misconduct, and abuse. Since the first lawsuit was filed, multiple employees at the publisher had left the company due to the allegations, and more stories have come out, including a report that Kotick allegedly had knowledge about many sexual assault and harassment claims at his studios and tried to hide it. It was also alleged that the CEO threatened to kill an assistant over voicemail in 2006, but it was claimed to be in jest by an Activision spokesperson.
In the midst of these controversies, Microsoft announced yesterday that it has proposed to buy Activision Blizzard in a deal valued at $70 billion. There were discussions about whether Kotick would stay on following the acquisition, with the official word saying that he will stay on as CEO for the time being. However, management at Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have reportedly agreed that Kotick will leave when the deal is completed.
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