Here's an understatement for you: it’s been a messy week for Activision Blizzard. In truth, the turmoil has been playing out for longer than just one week. But being sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is certainly the icing on the cake. And now, following both internal and external outcry against their practices, we are beginning to see the repercussions take shape. And boy do they look bad.
The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit
The Activision Blizzard lawsuit follows a two-year investigation into the workplace practices of the company, and concerns the professional and personal discrimination that the company’s female employees have faced. It includes allegations of sexual misconduct of various natures. And fuel has most definitely been added to the dumpster fire by Activision Blizzard’s response/denial.
The Activision Blizzard Employee Petition
As of yesterday, a petition comprising over 2,000 signatures from Activision Blizzard employees has been signed condemning the company’s response to the allegations. “To put it clearly and unequivocally, our values as employees are not accurately reflected in the words and actions of our leadership,” the letter states.
The petition also follows news from WoW’s Senior Game Designer, Jeff Hamilton, that all work on WoW has essentially ground to halt thanks to the widespread demotivation of employees.
“I can tell you, almost no work is being done on World of Warcraft right now while this obscenity plays out. And that benefits nobody - not the players, not the developers, not the shareholders.” He said in a Tweet thread on Sunday. “Activision’s response to this is currently taking a group of world-class developers and making them so mad and traumatized they’re rendered unable to keep making a great game.”
Activision’s response to this is currently taking a group of world-class developers and making them so mad and traumatized they’re rendered unable to keep making a great game.
— Jeff Hamilton 💙 (@JeffAHamilton) July 25, 2021
Additionally, an Activision Blizzard mass-walkout is planned for today at around 6pm BST. Blizzardwatch have been able to obtain the list of demands from the protesters, which, among other things, include an end to mandatory arbitration clauses in contracts and to introduce a Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion task force.
The Current State of Affairs
Top WoW players in their droves have been throwing in their two cents on the ongoing debacle. With the likes of Asmongold and Bellular releasing a number of videos in response, there is a prolific sense of betrayal and universal condemnation.
With the knowledge of these developments comes a sense of exactly why things have been going south for Blizzard over the last couple of years. After all, the prolonged downfall of Blizzard’s flagship title should come as no surprise in light of the conditions under which its best employees have been allegedly forced to work.
All we can do is hope that justice will win out in due course, and watch as we see how WoW will fare now that employees and players alike continue to demonstrate their dissatisfaction.
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