Still in the eye of the storm, the juggernaut Activision Blizzard continues to see its main leaders leave one by one. Just three months after taking office, co-director Jen Oneal is also leaving the company.
It is an understatement to say that the accusations of harassment and sexism are shaking the Californian publisher like never before: last August, President J. Allen Brack left office, and entrusted the keys of a structure in the spotlight to Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra, respectively passed by Viscarious Visions and Microsoft.
Love lasts three months
Three months later, Oneal in turn throws in the towel, and explains it in a (very) long message, of which here are some excerpts:
To the entire Blizzard community,
Over the past few months, many of us have taken the time to consider how we can make positive change in our workplace, in our games, and in our community.
Internally, I was able to listen to the stories of many people, and was inspired by their courage and conviction. I thought about what I could do as an individual to make the most significant changes possible. Over the past 20 years, I have loved developing games, they are very important to me. I also had the chance to live from my passion and to be able to express myself on diversity, equity and inclusion.
Those of you who have played our games will know that sometimes our adventures can keep you on the quest you have taken, but sometimes a new quest beckons us.
I want the announcement to come from me: I have made the decision to retire from the co-management of Blizzard Entertainment, which I will be leaving at the end of the year. As of now, Mike Ybarra will lead Blizzard. I’m not leaving because I would have lost all hope, on the contrary: I hope to have a wider impact on the industry, which will benefit the company, and other studios. While I’m not totally sure what shape it will take, I’m excited to embark on a new journey to find out.
The sudden departure of Oneal, who joined Activision more than 20 years ago, is part of a long list of precedents: in addition to the Brack case, director Jeff Kaplan and executive producer Chacko Sonny also recorded their departure in within a few months.
If part of the accusations relate to the relatively catastrophic management of Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, the scolding of employees has already given rise to a first wave of layoffs, and a drastic reduction in the salary of the person concerned, however quick to defend it tooth and nail a few months ago. Now alone at the helm of Blizzard, Ybarra will have to right a boat that now seems to sail on sight: between the postponements of Diablo IV and Overwatch 2 and a decline in action since the shattering revelations of this summer, we will have to roll up our sleeves .
Before her final departure from Activision Blizzard, Jen Oneal will still ensure that the million dollars the company will give to Women in Games International will be used, not without ensuring that “the best is yet to come” for the company. . After all, it costs nothing to say it … A question now arises: who will be next?