Will Guitar Hero Come Back Under Microsoft? Kotick Says The Xbox Company Has Resources To Do It
"I had a really cool vision for what the next Guitar Hero would be, and realized we don't have the resources to do that."
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has shed new light on why he is selling the Call of Duty company to Microsoft in the biggest gaming acquisition in history. Speaking to VentureBeat, the executive--who has been accused of knowing about and covering up instances of sexual harassment and abuse--said Microsoft has the size and scale to realize some of the ideas that Activision could not execute on its own.
Kotick said he spoke with Xbox boss Phil Spencer about new possibilities if Activision were to join Microsoft, and one is potentially reviving the Guitar Hero series.
"I wanted to make a new Guitar Hero for a while, but I don't want to add teams to do manufacturing and supply chain and QA for manufacturing. And the chip shortages are enormous," he said. "We didn't really have the ability to do that. I had a really cool vision for what the next Guitar Hero would be, and realized we don't have the resources to do that."
The same goes for the toys-to-life series Skylanders, Kotick said. "One of the great disappointments of my career is that other people came in and they came out with crappy alternatives. And they dumped all of these crappy alternatives in the market, and basically destroyed the market for what was a really cool future opportunity," Kotick explained. "If you look at Skylanders, with its hardware and manufacturing and supply chain, there are the same kinds of things that we can't do but Microsoft can."
Kotick also said working with Microsoft gives the Candy Crush series an opportunity to grow and evolve in a major way. "In these conversations I was sharing my frustration about not having enough social capability in Candy Crush. I really want to be able to have a Candy Crush experience where players can play games against each other. And they can socialize. And they can have voice over IP and video over IP," Kotick said.
He added: "That's a more social game, but it's rooted in being able to play the game against another person or other people. There is nothing but opportunity for the kinds of things that we can't do on our own, and the resources that they have for us to just make a difference."
The executive went on to say that the emerge of the metaverse also played a role in Activision Blizzard electing to sell to Microsoft.
"What really is the metaverse? It's not like Neil Stephenson's Snow Crash vision. It's the evolutionary vision of a collection of players. And I think players are going to be the defining characteristic of the metaverse. It's a community of players anchored in a franchise," he said. "And then those communities anchored in some bigger virtual experience that allows you to have either access to your friends or access to other content. I think you're going to see a big part of it is going to be content creation tools. That is going to allow for user generated content that can be either free or commercially exploited, and that's going to be an important part of what a metaverse will be."
Microsoft is proposing to buy Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion as part of Microsoft's biggest-ever acquisition and the largest in video game history.
For more, check out GameSpot's recent opinion piece, "Bobby Kotick's Payout Is A Small Price For The Good That Could Come From Microsoft's Acquisition."