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September 20, 2021

Blizzard Stock Tanks As Diablo 2 Resurrected Director Speaks On Games Boycott

TheQuartering [9/20/2021]

Should you support Blizzard?

According to EuroGamer:

Diablo 2: Resurrected director says players should “do what they feel is right” when deciding whether or not to support publisher Activision Blizzard by buying the remake when it goes on sale next week.

It’s the first game the company has released since allegations of a “frat boy” work culture at Activision Blizzard were made by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, although it’s important to note that the lead developer here is Vicarious Visions, which has not been involved nor implicated in the legal complaint.

“It was definitely very troubling to hear these types of things,” design director Rob Gallerani told Axios (thanks, VGC). “And we really wanted to support our colleagues and our co-workers.”

Gallerani added that the studio’s management had invited employees to feed back on how it can better support its staff, adding that while it had “heard a lot of really positive things”, it was important that management “always need to keep asking”.

Interestingly, while the controversy has seen Blizzard scour its games for problematic content such as references to former employees who have been implicated in the sexual harassment lawsuit, no such issues were reportedly found in Diablo 2: Resurrected, although its Amazon warrior has been tweaked to make it look less sexualised.

“A lot of those points of view weigh very heavily on us,” Gallerani said, who made the change to ensure characters looked like warriors and not people who had “rolled out of a nightclub”.

ICYMI, Activision employees have filed a new lawsuit against Activision Blizzard accusing the company of using “coercive tactics” to prevent organisational efforts to improve working conditions.

As Matt reported at the time, the allegations come amid ongoing legal action by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing alleging sexual harassment, discrimination, and a “frat boy” work culture at Blizzard. Though the company disputed the allegation, more than 2000 current and former Activision Blizzard staff signed a petition describing the company’s initial, widely lambasted response to the lawsuit as “abhorrent and insulting”, with subsequent strike action seeing more than 500 workers walkout and “hundreds” more participate virtually around the world in an effort to improve working conditions.

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