January 19, 2022
The video game industry is bigger than the film and music industries combined – yet has faced far less scrutiny than major tech companies like Facebook and Google
Will Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard finally bring scrutiny on the video game industry? | Akin Olla
Microsoft recently announced plans to purchase Activision Blizzard – one of the world’s largest video game companies – for nearly $70bn, making it the biggest acquisition in tech to date. While big tech always seems to be facing some sort of – usually well-deserved – public criticism lately, the ire has mostly focused on social media. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter executives have all had to testify before Congress about their platforms’ roles in spreading misinformation and being used as organizing tools for events like the January 6 storming of the US Capitol. This is all on top of a history of alleged labor violations, including complaints that traumatized content moderators are paid poverty wages and reports that Black employees face racial discrimination.
Video game companies mirror many of the alleged problems of Social Media yet have long evaded accountability, outside of the occasional attempt to ban a violent video game. This is troubling given the staggering size of the game industry, which produces more revenue than the film and music industries combined and whose biggest hits make more money in days than most entire franchises make in their lifetimes.
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