Activision Blizzard Employees Staging a Walkout

By Jason Collins | 15 seconds ago

blizzard world of warcraft sylvanas

Something is rotten in Activision Blizzard – the company behind massively popular gaming titles such as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. Last July, it came under public scrutiny and governmental inspection over sexual misconduct and gender discrimination within the company, which subsequently unearthed tons of other skeletons Activision Blizzard had hidden in their “back yard.” With so many ongoing lawsuits filed from multiple parties, and new skeletons being uncovered, this time in Activision Blizzard CEO’s closet, some employees have decided that enough is enough and are staging a walkout. Again.

As reported by Game Rant, the new walkouts are in protest of CEO Bobby Kotick, demanding that the employee-chosen candidate replace him. These come in response to an article published by the Wall Street Journal, which claims that Kotick knew about sexual misconduct, gender discrimination, and unfair treatment within the company and did nothing to rectify the situation. Some sources even suggest that Kotick knew about the issues plaguing the company and actively covered those up, especially when the company faced various state and federal investigations.

Bobby Kotick issued a public response to the WSJ article, stating that it paints an inaccurate and misleading view of the company as well as that fo Kotick himself and his leadership. Activision Blizzard, as a company, also disputed WSJ’s report in their statement to The Washington Post by saying that WSJ’s report presents a misleading view of the company and its CEO. Additionally, in defense of Kotick, the company has stated that all instances of sexual misconduct that were brought to Kotick’s attention were adequately addressed. According to Activision Blizzard’s statement, WSJ’s report ignores and undermines the important ongoing changes that make the company, and the gaming industry as a whole, a “welcoming and inclusive workplace.”

The article published by the WSJ sent ripples that caused more than just Activision Blizzard employee walkouts – the company’s shares have dropped by 6% following the publishing of WSJ’s article. It’s still uncertain how long this walkout will last and whether the workers in question will return at all before their demands have been met. Given the stock price drop and the stoppage of work, it could be in Activision Blizzard’s best interest to either replace Kotick or compromise with their employees. However, compromise doesn’t seem likely, considering that previous walkouts resulted in the departures of high-profile executives from the company. Not to mention Kotick’s large salary, which is one of the many causes for employees’ dissatisfaction.

blizzard

Unfortunately, this walkout is only the latest, and probably not the last, in the ongoing Activision Blizzard scandal, following sexual harassment lawsuits and longstanding business practices based on the unfair treatment of the company’s employees. Bobby Kotick has long been criticized for his decision regarding the company, including mass layoffs and the massive bonuses he was paid. Not to mention that he actively pushed for the implementation of aggressive monetization methods within the games against the wishes of Activision Blizzard customers, resulting in a significant reduction in player base across multiple titles.