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Activision's Bobby Kotick to receive $390M for Microsoft deal

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick "will walk away with a $390 million check as a result of Microsoft's acquisition of his gaming company," according to Ariel Zilber of the N.Y. POST. The vast majority of his $390M payout "will come from the 3.95 million shares that he owns." Since Kotick "doesn't own any unvested equities," he "will not be entitled to a change of control payment." Kotick "will stay on through the transition." A Microsoft spokesperson said once the deal closes in '23 "the Activision-Blizzard business will report to" Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer (N.Y. POST, 1/20).

THINKING AHEAD: In N.Y., Kellen Browning writes to Microsoft, the future of video games "looks more like a Hollywood studio trying to build a roster of well-known franchises." It is about "assembling a collection of famous games that can be played on all sorts of devices -- and the people who know how to make them." Activision, with famous titles like Call of Duty and Candy Crush and more than 5,000 game developers, "has plenty of both." By snatching up a new portfolio of studios, Microsoft is "ensuring that millions of Activision's players will come under its increasingly giant gaming umbrella." Activision helps Microsoft "broaden its influence over players who like shooter games like Call of Duty, those who participate in competitive video gaming leagues devoted to games like Overwatch and Hearthstone, and the massive audience of mobile gamers, particularly in Asia" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/20).

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