Xbox CEO Phil Spencer's Shocking Revelation About Activision Blizzard Takeover - Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI)

In an interview with IGN, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer revealed that before Microsoft Corp.’s MSFT $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard ATVI he “didn’t know anything” about that kind of transaction.

Spencer disclosed the process had been “a learning experience” since it was announced in January 2022 and that he was confident the deal will go through.

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“The fact that I have more insight, more knowledge about what it means to work with the different regulatory boards, I’m more confident now than I was a year ago, simply based on the information I have and the discussions that we’ve been having,” Spencer told IGN.

“When we announced a year ago, we talked about an 18-month timeframe. We’re 12 months into that. I think we continue to stay focused on getting the deal closed,” he added.

Moreover, the CEO referred to the relationship with the regulatory boards and assured the multiple conversations he has had impacted positively on the gaming industry.

“I think more regulators that are informed about what gaming is, how the business runs, who the players are, and what our aspiration is as Team Xbox is just a good thing for the industry itself,” he said.

It’s worth noting Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard was the largest transaction of its kind in the gaming industry and had stirred concerns about its impact on competition. That’s why the U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced plans to challenge the deal legally and the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority also expressed doubt about the acquisition.


Spencer Admits Xbox’s 2022 Was “Too Light On Games”

During the interview, the Xbox CEO was self-critical regarding the console’s releases for last year.

“Our commitment to our fans is that we need to have a steady release of great games that people can play on our platform, and we didn’t do enough of that in 2022, there’s no doubt. And fundamentally, that’s on me. I’m the head of the business.”

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“The commitment we have to our customers to continue to deliver great games is something that I take seriously, the teams take seriously, and 2022 was too light on games. So we’re excited about getting to roll into 2023,” Spencer continued.

When asked by IGN about the recent Xbox layoffs (amidst news of a mass layoff of 10,000 people at Microsoft) Spencer said: “Right now, there’s some business that we’re having to work through, and part of that is making sure that we have the right resources in the right places to do the best work. Sometimes, that means we have to make some allocations, in this case, some reductions, and I don’t take that lightly, because the impact on the individuals is real.”

Spencer shared a positive outlook for 2023 while confirming the company’s goal to “delight players.”

“Every year is critical. I don’t find this year to be more or less critical. I feel good about our momentum. Obviously, we’re going through some adjustments right now that are painful, but I think necessary, but it’s really to set us up and the teams for long-term success. I look at 2023, I love the games that we have coming out,” he noted.

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Photo: Billy Freeman via Unsplash.

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