The Cyberpunk 2077 mess continues and Blizzard is just as bad!
Activision Blizzard, the $60bn gaming giant behind Call of Duty and Candy Crush, has fired 20 employees in an attempt to clean up its culture following allegations of widespread gender-based discrimination and harassment. In a letter sent to staff on Tuesday, the company said it has also reprimanded 20 individuals and will expand its ethics and compliance team, which is tasked with creating a “more accountable workplace”.
In August, hundreds of Activision Blizzard workers walked out in protest after management dismissed a California state lawsuit describing a “pervasive ‘frat boy’ workplace culture” as “irresponsible” and “inaccurate”. Bobby Kotick, chief executive, later acknowledged management’s response to the allegations was “tone deaf”.
The California case is ongoing, while the Securities and Exchange Commission last month opened an investigation into the discrimination claims. Frances Townsend, a former US Homeland Security adviser who was named Activision Blizzard’s chief compliance officer in March, declined to name any individuals who have left the company as a result of disciplinary action, citing legal reasons. However, she told the Financial Times that they included several game developers and a few supervisors, adding that none of the firings were from the company’s board or senior management team.
Citing a months-long investigation, Townsend said Santa Monica-based Activision Blizzard found misconduct across several parts of the business.