Of all the uncertainty, rumour, speculation, claims, hopes, and business fanfic surrounding Microsoft's $69 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard, here's my favourite bit. The Wall Street Journal claim someone told them that Actiblizz CEO Bobby Kotick wanted to 'change the narrative' around the company following many allegations of discrimination and harassment, and he thought that one way to do that was buying some of the video games media, such as Kotaku or cheery RPS fanzine PC Gamer. Oh that would change the narrative alright!
Here's the full section on that from the WSJ report:
"Mr. Kotick has been eager to change the public narrative about the company, and in recent weeks has suggested Activision Blizzard make some kind of acquisition, including of gaming-trade publications like Kotaku and PC Gamer, according to people familiar with him. The Activision spokeswoman, Ms. Klasky, disputed that Mr. Kotick wanted to make the acquisitions. A spokesman for G/O Media, the parent company of Kotaku, declined to comment. PC Gamer didn’t respond to a request for comment."
Extremely vague. Sources might as well be your uncle who works at Nintendo. And yet, even if this is more business fanfic, I want to say thank you to that fanfic writer.
The idea of improving media coverage of the company by buying the media is inspired. I mean, many squillionaires have demonstrably improved their media coverage by buying parts of the media. It can work. But thinking that buying Kotaku or PC Gamer might reverse damage started with lawsuits from literal California state agencies is, god, I love it. This isn't a slight on Big K or our beloved fanzine; I'm sure they find the idea just as funny as I do. Perfect. Perfect business fanfic. Thank you, unnamed person allegedly familiar with Bobby Kotick, for giving us this gem.
If anyone wants to give me control of billions of dollars, I promise to spend giant sums on follies.