The news that Activision Blizzard King has been sold to Microsoft for nearly $70 billion dollars is still reverberating through the community. Blizzard's Mike Ybarra has released a statement about the deal and what it means for the company going forward.
As the remaining lead at Blizzard, Ybarra calls the deal exciting news and says that “we strive to put our team and players at the forefront of everything we do”. He places a strong emphasis on the company aiming to work to rebuild trust in Blizzard and names some steps in their commitment to change aimed at improving workplace culture. These measures include holding executive and management teams against culture improvement, meaning that compensation depends on the overall direction of the company and its success in creating a better work environment at Blizzard. They're also hiring for more full-time roles and resources towards culture improvement including hiring a Culture leader for direction and new organizational leader for Human Resources as well as hiring a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (D,E, & I) leader focused on those areas.
Those are what they plan to do but he also notes what they have already done. Ybarra mentions but they have shared representation data internally with the team and set new goals for improvement. Activision Blizzard King also publicly released its representation report recently, showing the makeup of the company's workforce. He also states that they tripled the size of their compliance and investigation teams in order to achieve better accountability for unacceptable behavior from top to bottom at the company. This is in line with a stated “no tolerance” policy named in the fall.
As for the players, he states that they are committed to delivering more content on a regular basis and promises that there will be "some exciting things to announce," and he says that he will be sharing more next week.
The Microsoft deal for Activision Blizzard King is pending regulatory approval and won't be finalized until mid 2023. Some of these terms and actions were already named in the company's commitment to change as well as reflected in some of the language of the settlement proposal with the United States EEOC. However, in stating it all, all that remains is whether, and how, they will reach these goals.
You can read Mike Ybarra’s statement here at Blizzard.