Last week, Activision Blizzard found itself at the center of a scandal after being sued for employee discrimination, sexual harassment, unfair pay and other forms of harassment.
This was opposed by the players and employees of the company, dissatisfied with the reaction of the management to the accusations. In particular, by the appeal of the vice-president of Activision Blizzard Francis Townsend, who is sure that the accusation is based, among other things, on incorrect, old and taken out of context stories.
Although, of course, there have been a lot of apologies in recent days: from Michael Morheim, co-founder and former president of Blizzard, former vice president of the company Chris Metzen, and Greg Street, who was once the lead designer of World of Warcraft. By the way, now the developers have almost completely suspended work on this game, and also postponed the release of the new Overwatch map.
And now it became known that about a thousand employees, who were and still work at Activision Blizzard, have published an appeal to the management.
They noted that statements like the one made by Frances Townsend are “disgusting and offensive” – they contradict everything the company should advocate. They harm the quest for equality within and outside the gaming industry.
In addition, claims that recent accusations against company adders are false or distorted create an atmosphere in which people do not believe the victims. And criminals don’t get the punishment they deserve. If management does not share the values of the employees, change must be implemented at the highest level at Activision Blizzard.
The signers of the letter do not believe that CEOs prioritize employee safety. Especially considering how many current and former Activision Blizzard employees have spoken out about harassment.
Company employees want the organization to acknowledge the seriousness of the allegations. At the same time, Francis Townsend must resign, and the leadership must meet the developers halfway. They note that they will not be silent and stand aside – until they can again be proud to be a part of the company they love.