Activision CEO Bobby Kotick Calls out Regulators Lack of Experience with the Games Industry
11/02/2023 à 04:51
Following a report by the U.K's Competition and Markets Authority calling Microsoft's merger with Activision into question, CEO Bobby Kotick has been firing back at regulators lack of experience with the video games industry, arguing against claims that it would be detrimental to consumers.
16-page document released by the CMA earlier this week
expressed concern that Microsoft would find it commercially beneficial to make Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox, reducing competition in gaming consoles, but Kotick has pushed back, calling it "
not a fair concern at all
"I think what we’re experiencing right now are regulators who have very little experience with our industry," he told host Liz Claman. "There’s probably a lot of consolidation that could happen over time, but it’s an extremely fragmented industry, and today the dominant players are Japanese and Chinese companies."
He went on to reiterate he thinks "there’s an enormous amount of competition" in the industry, and regulators will "think about this transaction differently" when they "start to understand that."
Microsoft and Activision have both had a lot to say on this point recently, with Microsoft already having offered Sony, Nintendo, and Steam a 10-year commitment to equal access, calling any move to make Call of Duty unavailable to PlayStation
. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick similarly told FOX Business that neither company would ever do anything to upset availability.
Bobby Kotick on The Claman Countdown
We have 400 million customers today. The entire business model is based on making our software available on every microprocessor that has a display, and that's Microsoft's business model since the 1980's. On my Macintosh, I use Word and I use Excel, and there isn't going to be a change to Microsoft's business model that somehow they're going to create exclusivity for content, and they're
gonna do something that's going to in any way create a problem with players. It's just doesn't... you know, business doesn't work that way.
In a separate interview with CNBC, Kotick took a much bolder stance decrying regulators lack of experience with the video games industry - describing a shift from specialized consoles to a much broader market of mobile phones and free-to-play monetization, citing Chinese conglomerates Tencent and ByteDance as the biggest competitors in gaming today.
Addressing concerns of U.K. regulators potentially blocking the deal, Kotick noted the country's current economic downturn and expressed that it would be in their best interest to approve deals like this in order to affect job creation and opportunity, rather than stand against it and risk alienating industries, citing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's desire for the country to
become the next Silicon Valley
I think Rishi Sunak has said they'd like to be the Silicon Valley of Europe... and if deals like this can't get through, they're not going to be Silicon Valley, they're going to be Death Valley.
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