Activision Blizzard's controversial boss Bobby Kotick recently considered acquiring video games websites such as Kotaku and PC Gamer, according to a new report.
That's according to the Wall St Journal, and sources with knowledge of Activision Blizzard's recent plans.
Kotick apparently suggested the idea to "change the public narrative" surrounding Activision Blizzard, following months of media coverage of the company's culture, history of sexual harassment allegations, and subsequent employee protests.
Activision has denied the report, while Kotaku owner G/O Media declined to comment.
"This is an awfully strong reaction to us giving the last Call of Duty a 60," global editor-in-chief of PC Gamer Evan Lahti told Eurogamer in response.
The suggestion seems to be that Activision Blizzard wanted to make an acquisition which would give the media something new to chew over - rather than an outright attempt at purchasing media outlets which had previously published critical coverage. Still, the effect would likely to have been chilling.
Kotick is expected to finally leave Activision Blizzard next year, once Microsoft's $68bn buyout of the company is completed.