Activision CEO claims the company almost merged with EA before Microsoft acquisition

Activision Blizzard
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has said a merger with EA was almost considered before the Microsoft acquisition.

In an interview with VentureBeat, Kotick explains how a deal with Electronic Arts was almost considered due to the company’s plans needing "thousands of people to be able to execute against our production plans." However, as we now know Activision-Blizzard was instead acquired by Microsoft earlier this week.

"I think that even if we were to have consolidated within EA, that wouldn’t have given us what we’re going to need going forward," Kotick continues, "and so you needed to have a big partner in order to be able to make it work."

Despite not making a deal with Activision-Blizzard, it appears that EA has a lot of future acquisition potential, as highlighted by The Financial Times (paywall). Making reference to not only the Microsoft - Activision acquisition but also Take-Two’s biggest ever games acquisition of Zynga, the FT's analysis suggests that "the next acquisition target is likely to have an impressive library of game titles," and EA is clearly one of the first studios to come to mind.

EA has a number of big titles to its name including Battlefield, Fifa, The Sims, It Takes Two, and many more. It wouldn’t be too surprising to see another large company - as the FT suggests, the likes of Google, Amazon, or even Netflix, who have begun venturing into the gaming market since last summer - to now look at studios like EA as future acquisition potential. 

EA wasn’t the only company Bobby Kotick had his eye on, find out why Activision pursued a Facebook buyout before selling to Microsoft. 

Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.