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Bobby Kotick's Potential Payday Has Fans Seeing Red

It would be difficult to find anyone in the video game industry that is more polarizing right now than Activision CEO Bobby Kotick. A central figure in Activision Blizzard's ongoing controversy and lawsuits regarding misconduct in the workplace, Kotick has avoided being removed forcibly from his position at Activision — one of the forefront companies in the industry and the object of a historic $68.7 billion dollar purchase by Microsoft, pending legal approval — despite constant calls for his resignation among workers, observers, and members of the media. Despite being demonized in the court of public opinion for the allegations leveled at him and his company, Kotick not only still has his job but allegedly stands to be paid a king's ransom in the process.

Things at Activision seem pretty bad right now and the company's continued silence on the matter hasn't made anyone feel any better about it either. To make matters even worse, Bobby Kotick — despite being knocked down to a yearly salary of just over $62,000 and allegedly waiving any and all bonuses (via TheGamer) — couldmake a tidy sum as part of the Activision-Microsoft merger. This reveal has onlookers seeing absolute red.

Bobby Kotick will receive $22 million should Activision make "appropriate progress"

As reported by Stephen Totilo of Axios Gaming, Bobby Kotick stands to make a stock bonus of $22 million over the summer, should the conditions at Activision Blizzard in terms of inclusion and workplace conduct "sufficiently improve" by that time. According to an SEC filing as part of the Activision Blizzard-Microsoft merger, some conditions that would be considered significant improvements include "launching new zero-tolerance harassment policy, increasing the percentage of women and non-binary people in Activision Blizzard's workforce by 50%, investing $250,000,000 to accelerate opportunities for diverse talent, waiving arbitration of individual sexual harassment claims and increasing visibility on pay equity[.]" Achieving these arrangements will also result in Kotick having his typical salary of $155 million per year restored.

Even in a scenario where Kotick is fired by Microsoft post-merger, Kotick stands to make $420 million in stocks (via TheGamer). Of course, people aren't happy about this. 

"I don't get how a CEO or anyone who's part of the decision making process is allowed to decide what is an incentive and what bonuses the top people should be earning," Twitter user @Beckii_FTW said. "It's impossible not to be bias and that's clearly lead to corporate greed spinning out of control." Another user, @thebronzey, simply called the entire situation "gross." No matter what, Bobby Kotick is taking home a big bag should Microsoft complete its acquisition.