The last few months have been very eventful for the group led by Bobby Kotick. After the Californian justice filed a complaint in July, the tongues were released. And the time for action has apparently come.
The Activision Blizzard affair started last July. And she continues. Because slate looks heavy and erasing it requires more than fine words. It seems that things are indeed moving within the group. A letter from Frances Townsend, holding the position of Vice-President for Corporate Affairs, was sent to the employees of the group to assure them that actions were taken for a more responsible work environment.
Actions carried out
According to the lawyer who served as an advisor to George W. Bush, the household got off to a good start. And the sanctions fall. She claims that, as a result of investigations into the harassment cases, 20 employees left the company.
In recent months, we have received an increase in reports through various channels. People bring to light concerns, ranging from years ago to the present day. We welcome these reports, and our team has made every effort to investigate, using a combination of internal and external resources. Based on the information received in the initial report, they are classified into different categories and resources are allocated to prioritize the most serious reports first. As part of various resolved reports, more than 20 people have left Activision Blizzard and more than 20 people have faced other types of disciplinary action.
Townsend explained to Financial Times that among them are developers and supervisors, but not members of the board of directors. She was very firm in responding to the newspaper:
No matter your rank, what is your job. If you have committed any kind of misconduct or if you are a leader who has tolerated a culture that is not in line with our values, we will take action.
Remember that several big names packed their bags after the filing of the complaint by the State of California and the multiple testimonies. First of all J. Allen Brack, who was president of Blizzard since 2018. But also Luis Barriga, director of Diablo IV, lead designer Jesse McCree and World of Warcraft designer Jonathan LeCraft.
There is still work to be done
According to Townsend, there is still a lot to do to create a healthy environment. And we must put the means.
It is essential to ensure that we have the capacity to properly review the reports. In the past two months, we have already added three full-time positions to cope with the workload. Going forward, we plan to expand this significantly, adding 19 full-time positions to our global ethics and compliance team, which includes dedicated investigative team members, including the ability to take live calls, as well as data analysis and communications, to help us understand how we are doing and help us better communicate the results of our work. Two of these roles will be specifically dedicated to overseeing investigations related to the EMEA and APAC regions.
It is up to the employees to say whether this is working and whether the tolerance for possible reprisals against victims who decide to speak out is in effect.