Activision Blizzard In Trouble Over Employees
Video game publisher Activision Blizzard has officially come under the microscope in the worst way possible. After a lawsuit was filed against the corporation by the State of California, alleging that a toxic environment exists within the workplace, Bloomberg decided to investigate. The report that followed was nothing short of shocking, with claims of harassment, sexual assault, and even a death on company time.
The explosive report in itself was bad enough, but things only got worse. Soon after the news broke about Activision Blizzard, Prima Games, a site that provides gaming strategy guides, declared that they would no longer be covering any products released by the mega-corporation. A video game related news outlet, The Gamer, made a similar declaration. YouTube channel GameXplain was the third to declare a boycott of anything related to the publisher.
Activision Blizzard isn’t the first goliath video game corporation to have been called out for toxic work environments. News outlet Kotaku is known for releasing similar reports, with investigators having previously dove into another video game behemoth, Ubisoft. A report for that instance released last year, exposing questionable workplace activity at the Paris headquartered company’s offices.
In that case, however, the questionable behavior had been acknowledged by Ubisoft executives. Promises were even made that changes would be rolled out across the board, and that serious effort would be invested in creating a more inclusive working environment.
As to whether much was done to live up to these promises is in question, with some Ubisoft employees saying that little has actually changed. Either way, in the case of the Kotaku report executives at least accepted that a problem existed. In the case of Activision Blizzard, the official stance seems to be one of denial.
Looking more closely at the lawsuit, company employees made a long list of damming accusations. It was reported that male employees often make unwanted sexual advances towards female employees, regularly talk and joke about sexual encounters, and even openly joke about rape. It was also reported that some male employees regularly pitch up to work with hangovers, only to sit and play video games all day while delegating work to others.
The most tragic accusation of all tells of a female staff member that committed suicide on a business trip, with suggestions being that the male co-worker that had accompanied her with may have had something to do with it.