Activision-Blizzard’s board launched an extraneous ‘workplace responsibility’ committee overnight. The lawsuit details the company’s alleged failure to provide a safe workplace for its employees.
The esports industry has been growing exponentially, and the market is estimated to reach $1.5 billion by 2020. In response to this growth Activision-Bliz have developed a comprehensive workplace responsibility code as part of their release agreement with players who compete in their sponsored tournaments.
Good morning, Tuesday! In the shape of a letter sent by the Activision-Blizzard board of directors yesterday night at the odd hour of 10:30 p.m. EST, I have an exercise to get your side-eyes and eye-rolls warmed up. The board announced the formation of a “Workplace Responsibility Committee,” which will be chaired by independent board directors and a future “diverse director” to “oversee[s] the Company’s progress in successfully implementing its new policies, procedures, and commitments to improve workplace culture and eliminate all forms of harassment and discrimination at the Company.” Bobby Kotick and other executives are expected to report to this group to “create key performance indicators and/or other measures to monitor progress and guarantee accountability,” according to the proposal.
As we’ve been reporting, the Activision-Blizzard sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit and scandal was resurrected in the news cycle last week thanks to a damning Wall Street Journal report alleging that Kotick knew about, allowed, participated in, and hid significant incidents of workplace misconduct, including his own death threat against a subordinate. Despite a growing chorus of stockholders, workers, and industry veterans calling for Kotick’s resignation – and the resignation of several members of the board currently protecting him – Activision-Blizzard and its board have spent the last week alternately apologizing, denying, and failing to take any concrete action to remove him.
It’s unclear why another another committee comprised of individuals who have previously failed to hold the firm accountable would be useful now. Furthermore, the committee is devoid of any genuine personnel.
Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser joined PlayStation’s Jim Ryan and Xbox’s Phil Spencer in issuing a memo intended to be leaked about his disappointment with the company’s actions. Bowser told Nintendo employees that he’s working with the ESA on the issue and that Nintendo has “taken action and [is] assessing others” on dealing with Activision-Blizzard.
In the previous six months, Activision-stock Blizzard’s has dropped roughly 35%.
Due to a lengthy run of controversies in the MMO and gaming field over the past several years, including the Blitzchung boycott, huge layoffs, labor issues, and executive pay controversy, Activision-Blizzard is regarded a problematic corporation in the MMO and gaming industry. The company was sued by the state of California in the summer of 2021 for fostering a work environment that was riddled with sexual harassment and discrimination, and the company’s disastrous response has added to Blizzard’s ongoing pipeline issues and the widespread perception that its online games are on the decline. Multiple state and federal authorities are investigating the corporation as of autumn 2021, and the industry has demanded Bobby Kotick’s resignation after further allegations on his wrongdoings.
The “blizzard misconduct” is a new committee that Blizzard has just launched. The company claims the committee will be responsible for investigating workplace misconduct.
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