Bobby Kotick reportedly considered buying news outlets to change narrative about Activision Blizzard
The embattled CEO almost became the next Rupert Murdoch.
Bobby Kotick almost took a page out of Rupert Murdoch’s media playbook. He reportedly considered buying leading gaming media outlets like Kotaku and PC Gamer in order to change the narrative about Activision Blizzard.
According to a new report by The Wall Street Journal, Kotick allegedly wanted to buy both publications to spin the public narrative about Activision Blizzard and place its image in good standing once again. The report stated that he had been eager to do so weeks before Microsoft acquired the scandal-ridden company for nearly $70 billion, which made waves throughout the gaming industry.
The report said in part, “Mr. Kotick has been eager to change the public narrative about the company, and in recent weeks has suggested that Activision Blizzard make some kind of acquisition, including of gaming-trade publications like Kotaku and PC Gamer, according to people familiar with him.” Kotaku’s parent company G/O Media and PC Gamer didn’t respond to WSJ’s request for comment, but Activision’s spokesperson disputed the claims.
Had Activision Blizzard actually bought Kotaku and PC Gamer, it likely would’ve severely damaged the credibility of both outlets. A gaming company purchasing any media organization more often than not brings about loads of ethical concerns — most importantly potential conflicts of interest — even if the media organizations involved were not given mandates to write only positive things about their owner.
Following Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, everyone expected Kotick to resign from his position as CEO immediately due to his involvement in the company’s “frat boy culture” alleged in the sexual misconduct lawsuit. Instead, he will remain in his office until the deal closes during the fiscal year 2023.