2023 has been a very tough year for game developers, but there is a silver lining in that Bobby Kotick will no longer be the head of Activision Blizzard. After being acquired by Xbox a couple of months ago, he is getting the boot on December 29, with all current remaining heads of Activision, Blizzard, and King reporting directly to the president of game content and studios, Matt Booty, who already oversees Xbox Game Studios and Zenimax. There will be no direct replacement for Kotick’s position.
While there was no mention of it today, it has been reported in the past that Kotick leaving Activision will net him over $375 million. If that is still the case, he is being paid a lot to leave rather than stepping down voluntarily.
Kotick has been the head of Activision for 32 years. In that time, the company has seen an incredible amount of growth. The company acquired Blizzard and King, and he oversaw the rise of huge game series like Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, and Overwatch. However, his legacy will forever be tainted by all the bad things that happened underneath him.
In the summer of 2021, the Activision Blizzard sexual harassment case kicked off, with many reports of Kotick ignoring various complaints from employees for years. He also had left a voicemail for an assistant where he threatened to have them killed. In 2018, Activision set record revenue numbers, but Kotick laid off over 800 people to then receive a $200 million bonus right after. Just for the safety and wellbeing of all employees under its companies, we are happy to see him leave.
While Call of Duty is still routinely the best-selling game each year, overexposure has tired many people on the series, which already led to the death of Guitar Hero and Skylanders. From a business standpoint alone, Bobby Kotick was very successful as the head of Activision. However, with all the scummy background information that is out there, we hope you join us in wishing that we never see him again in the gaming industry.