Activision Blizzard says games production still on track

Activision Blizzard says games production still on track

The CEO of Activision Blizzard Robert Kotick has said that its games pipeline hasn't been impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to CNBC's Squawk Box, the chief exec said that its staff have moved to working from home and that the development of its forthcoming projects was still on track. Activision Blizzard has apparently been supporting staff to allow them to still work as well as they could if they were in an office environment.

The firm has a number of new titles in the works, including – shockingly – a new Call of Duty game. That's rumoured to be a reboot of the Black Ops subseries in the same vein as 2019's Modern Warfare redo.

“I don’t know that we quite know yet. Most of the things that we have in production and development are on track for now. I think we’ll have to really reassess that in a month and in three months," Kotick said.

“We’ve been doing things like encouraging our employees to upgrade their home broadband to the highest bandwidth service and we’re paying for that. We had equipment available for take home so everyone in the software development, art or animation functions, we made equipment available so they had the newest, most secure devices, but I think it’s still too early to know what the consequences on development will be for the next year or so.”

Kotick also told CNBC that he had sent an email from his personal address to all Activision Blizzard staff with his phone number attached so that employees could reach out with concerns. The exec said that "a few hundred" workers have contacted him so far, with a very limited number of Activision Blizzard staff having tested positive for coronavirus to date.

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Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.