Microsoft’s recently announced acquisition of Activision Blizzard has offered an opportunity for controversy-laden CEO Bobby Kotick to speak regarding a variety of subjects. An obvious focus has been Kotick’s reasons for pursuing the acquisition in the first place, as well as what it means for Activision Blizzard’s individual companies and franchises. One surprising comment from Kotick had to do with mobile game franchise Candy Crush, how Kotick wanted it to change, and how Microsoft might be able to make that happen.
Speaking with VentureBeat, Kotick was asked whether there was anything the combined Microsoft and Activision Blizzard might be able to accomplish that they wouldn’t be able to separately. Kotick delved into several of his ideas that Activision Blizzard was unable to realize alone. That includes Activision Blizzard lacking what Kotick described as enough “social capability” in Candy Crush. Kotick wanted to be able to create a Candy Crush experience with multiplayer functionality, which he thinks might be able to be happen through Microsoft.
The full idea is that Kotick wanted a Candy Crush where players would be able to compete against each other. Kotick even wanted it to go further than simple matchmaking; he wanted to have full voice-over-IP and video-over-IP support as part of the game, allowing players to socialize while playing Candy Crush together.
Kotick doesn’t explain why Candy Crush didn’t ultimately move in this direction while under his purvey. In fact, King has only released one new Candy Crush game since Activision’s acquisition of the mobile game studio in 2016, and it doesn’t feature any more or fewer social elements than previous games. It could be working on a new Candy Crush game for future release, though.
There’s no denying that Microsoft would be able to support those social features if King did want to make Candy Crush a more social experience, however. Xbox Live provides a robust platform for social interaction, including voice support. Alternatively, Microsoft’s video over IP service Skype could be used, if that’s a direction King wants to head in.
Candy Crush isn’t the only game that Kotick mentions in the interview, as he talks about Guitar Hero and Skylanders, too. He never really talks about how Microsoft will help these franchises, instead framing his answers as ideas of his that didn’t work out. He does acknowledge Microsoft’s many resources, though, saying that he believes those resources will “make a difference” in Activision Blizzard’s future.
Candy Crush Saga is available now on iOS and Android devices.