As reported by Windows Central, Kotick held an internal town hall meeting with Activision Blizzard employees on Tuesday in which he discussed the state of the company ahead of its seemingly imminent acquisition by Microsoft.
During the meeting, Kotick reportedly started discussing how Microsoft’s strength in technology research could lead to improvements in the way Activision makes its games.
“A big part of what I’ve seen in Microsoft is research,” Kotick is reported as saying. “And they do development in areas that are extraordinary. And so being able to tap into their AI and machine learning capability, the data analytics, new ways of thinking about graphics – I just see unlimited potential for what we do.”
Kotick then reportedly added that Activision is “uniquely situated as a company because [it has] the very best franchises in all of video games”, before naming previous Activision games that transformed the industry in the early days, such as Pitfall, River Raid and Kaboom.
Then, appearing to suggest a new entry in the publisher’s successful music series is in the works, he added: “The re-emergence of Guitar Hero and other things would not be possible without the different types of resources. And so, you know, just the endless possibilties for the future are just incredibly exciting.”
Kotick had already said earlier in the year that he felt a new Guitar Hero game could be made with AI technology.
In another company-wide meeting in May, Kotick said: “I’ve always had this vision for what a new Guitar Hero product could be, but without having AI […] and then the processors embedded either in phones, in computers, or in game consoles, that allow you to actually have the speed of processing to enable that AI, we’ve never been in a place where AI is going to have practical reality and applicability for games until now.”
Kotick also said in January 2022 that, should the Microsoft acquisition be completed, he’d like to see the return of ‘retired’ series, citing Guitar Hero and Skylanders as two examples.