Phil Spencer says Activision deal is ‘well beyond anything I’ve ever done’
The Xbox boss doesn’t believe the company is becoming a “hyper power”
Head of Microsoft Gaming Phil Spencer has called the acquisition of Activision Blizzard “well beyond anything I’ve ever done” in a new interview.
Speaking to Axios, the Xbox boss described the process of acquiring the Call of Duty juggernaut as “daunting”.
“That’s something well beyond anything I’ve ever done. I don’t know that I’m equipped to do it, and the responsibility for that definitely hits home.” Spencer said, speaking on a deal that will see Microsoft take control of legendary franchises such as Diablo, Crash Bandicoot, World Of Warcraft and more.
When asked about controversial CEO Bobby Kotick, Spender didn’t provide a concrete answer, instead focussing on the incoming employees.
“One hundred percent of our focus is on the teams,” he said, alluding to ongoing internal reforms. “We know there’s work. We have our own work.”
The deal is likely to make Microsoft the largest employer of game developers in the United States, and one of the largest in the world. Spencer told Axios is cognisant of this and the repercussions it could have on the industry:
“I do not feel like we’re in a position, assuming this deal gets closed, to start to uniquely, on our own, shape policies around video games.”
Spencer continued: “I want to stand for things that make teams better and people feel safe. I think we’ve been public about those things, but I would push back that we’re in some kind of hyper power position that is unfettered. I don’t believe that.”
Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition is expected to close during the company’s fiscal year 2023, which ends next summer.
The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard. However, it’s still subject to closing conditions and completion of regulatory review.
Notably, the deal will need to clear the scrutiny of the United States and the European Union’s antitrust regulations. It has been claimed that the acquisition could be on a “collision course” with lawmakers in Washington DC.