Last week, one of the world’s largest game companies, Activision Blizzard, was sued for discriminating against people because of their gender and the color of their skin. The company, which is an amalgamation of gaming giants Activision and Blizzard, is the originator of games such as World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, and Overwatch.
– I would like to say that I am surprised, but I am not. Numerous reports over the years have shown that it looks like this in many places in the gaming world. Activision Blizzard really is a power factor in the gaming world, and it’s a company with very strong traditions, says Liza Lind, president of the Women’s Legends for Women and Non-Binary Electronic Sports organization in Sweden.
The lawsuit is based on a two-year investigation by the California State Department of Fair Employment (DFEH) and contains testimonies describing a culture where women and other minority groups within the company were paid less, subjected to harassment and harassment.
Open letter to management
Activision Blizzard defended itself with a statement in which the company accused investigators of not having conducted a sufficiently thorough investigation, and called the agency’s behavior reprehensible. This led to an open letter, signed by more than 800 Activision Blizzard employees, demanding that the company take the investigation seriously and implement changes within the company.
– I also saw a lot of different streamers and players that came out on Twitter, for example, and I said they were now wondering if they wanted to keep playing Blizzard games, says Liza Lind.
Planning a strike
At least 50 employees at Activision Blizzard headquarters in California are planning a strike Wednesday, according to the Washington Post. Since much of the work is done from home, strikers plan to rally outside Blizzard’s entrance to protest. In the open letter to management, the new rules which must counteract the “boyish” culture are described in the survey and guarantee an inclusive working environment.
Former company executives, including Blizzard co-founder Mike Morhaime, apologized, however:
“The fact that so many women have been abused and have not received support means that we have betrayed them,” he wrote in a statement in which he said, among other things, to be ashamed.
“I hear you, I believe you, and I’m so sorry I let you down,” he continues.
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