A Formal Thread about Activision/Blizzard

Adam Jensen

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
322
279
68
As a note on this, the statement they put from the CCO was beyond bad and we've taken a formal stance to not cover Activision Blizzard products until we hear that this is being taken seriously and things change. There's so many people on Twitter that have come forward, and even the current leads at the studios aren't happy with Activision corporate.

We're not really a traditional games media outlet anymore, so this felt like the right step to take at this time.

They will never change. They will hire a good PR manager who will devise a strategy that will allow them to pretend that they've changed. Most gamers, dumb as they are, along with the vast majority of video game journalists, dumb and sold out as they are, will buy into it. Don't make the same mistake.

i mean the problem with that is that there are probably thousands of innocent people in those offices who would lose their careers if they did that. They don't need a full shut down, they just need chemotherapy to purge the rotten pieces.
Easy fix. Just give all of the Activision money to employees as some type of shutdown severance.

I'm sorry, but they cannot be allowed to continue existing after this. This is not something that can be fixed with some type of restructuring. Don't believe for a second that it can. Fish rots from the head down. The entire company would have to change and that's not something that will happen. Ever. Any gamer who buys one of their products after hearing about this is an enabling piece of shit and a part of the problem.
 
Last edited:

CriticalGaming

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
5,633
1,332
118
Jim mentioned in their video, and Jim has always been hyperbolic, that Blizzard employees literally have no protection under the law. People can rape them, kill them, drive them to commit suicide and no one can stop it. And I'm sitting here wondering what's the court and law enforcement got to say about that. Alot of the allegations in the lawsuit aren't examples of "frat culture" or toxic work environments, they're felonies. If the allegations are true, or if they at least have enough evidence, they shouldn't be brining a lawsuit, they should be bringing criminal charges.
Jim also has an unhealthy anger problem towards millionaires and CEOs. As if one guy at the top should be aware of everything his 1000's of employees do. So a lot of what Jim says tends to just make me roll my eyes because a lot of it is unjustified anger for some reason. And that anger has only gotten worse over the years to the point where I think Sterling has fucking lost the plot for most things. While Sterling still makes valid points, so much of it is coated with this unrational anger that it becomes hard to take the points that are valid was any seriousness.

Yeah, the problem with this lawsuit is that it is entirely civil. It's not a criminal case and I don't know if it has any potential to be moved into a criminal suit, even if it should. You shouldn't be allowed to molest people and not end up in jail.

However it should be noted, that it isn't technically a crime to be a sexual creep. So making sexual comments about a person, isn't a crime. It SHOULD be a firable offense against company policy obviously. But that doesn't mean that the person should go to jail because he comes off as creepy with women. So there are certainly levels to this.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ravinoff

BrawlMan

Lover of beat'em ups.
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
9,578
2,849
118
Detroit, Michigan
Country
United States of America
Gender
Male
Jim also has an unhealthy anger problem towards millionaires and CEOs. As if one guy at the top should be aware of everything his 1000's of employees do. So a lot of what Jim says tends to just make me roll my eyes because a lot of it is unjustified anger for some reason. And that anger has only gotten worse over the years to the point where I think Sterling has fucking lost the plot for most things. While Sterling still makes valid points, so much of it is coated with this unrational anger that it becomes hard to take the points that are valid was any seriousness.
I can't blame them with their frustration, nor roll my eyes at them. They have a fucking point! Regardless of the innocence involved or not. I would not call their anger irrational. They're on point and justified.
Funny that between Activision, Ubisoft, and EA - EA are now the least shitty by virtue of being the least rapey.

EA.

Well, that we know of, at least.
Fuck that shit. They are all equally terrible and worse than scum in my opinion.

BTW, I aw the part with Insomniac, so now they're on my shit list too.

As a note on this, the statement they put from the CCO was beyond bad and we've taken a formal stance to not cover Activision Blizzard products until we hear that this is being taken seriously and things change. There's so many people on Twitter that have come forward, and even the current leads at the studios aren't happy with Activision corporate.

We're not really a traditional games media outlet anymore, so this felt like the right step to take at this time.

Keep rocking, baby!

You're doing the right thing!
 

Gordon_4

The Big Engine
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
2,430
1,486
118
Australia
I still don't get the whole cubicle crawl thing. How does an office get so toxic and violent that employees can show up drunk, come into the office stumbling slurring drunk, and go up and town the aisle sexually harassing all the female employees, one after the other in open view of everyone, and no one says a thing. Management think boys will be boys, and the women are afraid for their careers. Like that isn't a write up a complaint to Janice is HR and they'll look into it situation, its a call the police and everyone starting recording because the trial will need a lot of evidence situation. Like fuck did someone need to be raped in the breakroom during Carol's birthday party before people started to realize they may be in a dangerous working environment?
Public intoxication is an actual crime that can get you actual prison time, and that's not including drunk driving, sexual assault, harassing, etc...
They're not talking about toxic male culture and poor office management, they're talking about crimes. Criminal activity that people get arrested and put in prison for. Janice in HR can't mitigate criminal activity, and no contract however tight can't force an employee to wave their rights to protection and due process.
I too would love to know the answer to this; the repercussions if me and my workmates had done this would have been fucking biblical but this is just Tuesday at Blizzard somehow.

That official statement reads like it was written to be part of a defense in a future court case.
Can’t imagine why.
 

Revnak

We must imagine Sisyphus horny
Legacy
May 25, 2020
2,907
3,035
118
Country
USA
As a note on this, the statement they put from the CCO was beyond bad and we've taken a formal stance to not cover Activision Blizzard products until we hear that this is being taken seriously and things change. There's so many people on Twitter that have come forward, and even the current leads at the studios aren't happy with Activision corporate.

We're not really a traditional games media outlet anymore, so this felt like the right step to take at this time.

Good. Genuinely a solid editorial move. Maybe even post an explainer when a major title of theirs comes out.
 

The Rogue Wolf

Stealthy Carnivore
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
12,029
1,647
118
Stalking the Digital Tundra
Gender
✅
Letting employees drink alcohol, even get drunk, on company property and time? If I even brought booze into my office with intent to imbibe, I'd probably at least get a stern talking-to.

God, I hated the statement from the CCO.
I caught a typo in it ("comapaign", and boy howdy does "coma" cover what this person seems to have been in during all this), which makes me think that this was really rushed out.

As if one guy at the top should be aware of everything his 1000's of employees do.
But if bad behavior continues on for months or even years, unabated, with all attempts at resolution going nowhere, then the CEO is responsible for having substandard practices and having made poor decisions in hiring executives.

I can't blame them with their frustration, nor roll my eyes at them. They have a fucking point! Regardless of the innocence involved or not. I would not call their anger irrational. They're on point and justified.
Add to this the fact that, for years, people have told them in various ways "just shut up about it, I just want to play my games and not think about the horrible things that happened to the people that made them". Fucking five-year-olds who just want their toy now now now.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BrawlMan

Nick Calandra

Editor-in-Chief of The Escapist
Administrator
Moderator
Escapist +
Mar 13, 2020
485
507
98
Country
USA
Gender
Male
They will never change. They will hire a good PR manager who will devise a strategy that will allow them to pretend that they've changed. Most gamers, dumb as they are, along with the vast majority of video game journalists, dumb and sold out as they are, will buy into it. Don't make the same mistake.


Easy fix. Just give all of the Activision money to employees as some type of shutdown severance.

I'm sorry, but they cannot be allowed to continue existing after this. This is not something that can be fixed with some type of restructuring. Don't believe for a second that it can. Fish rots from the head down. The entire company would have to change and that's not something that will happen. Ever. Any gamer who buys one of their products after hearing about this is an enabling piece of shit and a part of the problem.
You should probably read the testimonies of the people that work there now. It seems you're a bit behind on this, as a lot of the issues reported did happen years ago. The main complaint from the people working there now is basically focused on Activision's messaging and essentially gaslighting the people that did report these things as if they distorted the truth and that they never happened, which flies in the face of the people working there.

It's not the studios themselves that's the problem, it's that Activision isn't holding leadership responsible and keep covering for each other and acting like they didn't know these things were happening. These testimonies also reflect that this is the culture that existed at Blizzard before they were even bought by Activision.

Are things ever going to be perfect at these places? Fuck no. You've got hundreds of people working in these studios, it's NEVER going to be a utopia, no matter how many changes are made. It comes down to fixing the culture so that these things are made unacceptable and when they do happen, people aren't afraid to come forward, report it and have it handled professionally.

The mere fact Kotick hasn't made a statement yet is baffling and should show he's not capable of leading this company and needs to step down. That's gonna take pressure from the board though, and all thee testimonies coming out about all this happening under his nose, including the lawsuit...well, we'll see.

I'd wager Townsend is going to be the first to go because her statement is what really lit the fire under their employees. We'll see if they make any other changes. The people buying their games aren't part of the problem, this is all centered around studio / company leadership failing their employees.
 

Gordon_4

The Big Engine
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
2,430
1,486
118
Australia
You should probably read the testimonies of the people that work there now. It seems you're a bit behind on this, as a lot of the issues reported did happen years ago. The main complaint from the people working there now is basically focused on Activision's messaging and essentially gaslighting the people that did report these things as if they distorted the truth and that they never happened, which flies in the face of the people working there.

It's not the studios themselves that's the problem, it's that Activision isn't holding leadership responsible and keep covering for each other and acting like they didn't know these things were happening. These testimonies also reflect that this is the culture that existed at Blizzard before they were even bought by Activision.

Are things ever going to be perfect at these places? Fuck no. You've got hundreds of people working in these studios, it's NEVER going to be a utopia, no matter how many changes are made. It comes down to fixing the culture so that these things are made unacceptable and when they do happen, people aren't afraid to come forward, report it and have it handled professionally.

The mere fact Kotick hasn't made a statement yet is baffling and should show he's not capable of leading this company and needs to step down. That's gonna take pressure from the board though, and all thee testimonies coming out about all this happening under his nose, including the lawsuit...well, we'll see.

I'd wager Townsend is going to be the first to go because her statement is what really lit the fire under their employees. We'll see if they make any other changes. The people buying their games aren't part of the problem, this is all centered around studio / company leadership failing their employees.
Bobby Kotick’s silence will be at the behest of his lawyers, assuming he’s not smart enough to understand on his own - which I think he is - that nothing he can say is going to be helpful and will just be used as a bludgeon against him. I mean one of World of Warcraft’s lead developers made a statement on Twitter and it went down like pork pie at Passover. And let’s not pretend anyone here actually cares about or would believe anything the little weasel would say anyway.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BrawlMan

Elvis Starburst

Unprofessional Rant Artist
Legacy
Apr 5, 2020
2,225
201
68
the statement they put from the CCO was beyond bad
Finished reading it. How fucking tone deaf.

Jim also has an unhealthy anger problem towards millionaires and CEOs. And that anger has only gotten worse over the years to the point where I think Sterling has fucking lost the plot for most things. While Sterling still makes valid points, so much of it is coated with this unrational anger that it becomes hard to take the points that are valid was any seriousness.
One of the many reasons I unsubbed and stopped watching
 

CriticalGaming

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
5,633
1,332
118
@Nick Calandra what are the odds Activison either sells Blizz to cut themselves from the studio or completely takes it over and restructures the whole damn thing?
 

TheMysteriousGX

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 12, 2020
3,641
1,414
118
Country
United States
I feel it's important to remember that laws are fake, it's only illegal if you get arrested, and cops are bad at giving a shit out this kind of crime at the best of times.

Add in asking your average DA to go against Activision lawyers and I can see why criminal charges on individual cases are absent
 

Dirty Hipsters

This is how we praise the sun!
Legacy
Apr 18, 2020
6,979
1,122
118
Country
'Merica
Gender
3 children in a trench coat
This is all super messed up, and those allegations are horrible. The statement that Activision put out is also absolutely tone deaf and way to defensive. To the people calling for blood though, I'd like to point out a couple of things.

1. This seems to be a Blizzard specific issue. From what I know of the Activision-Blizzard structure, while Activision makes the final call on a lot of things like projects, budgets, deadlines, etc for Activision, Blizzard, and King, for everything else each company is mostly autonomous. Things like staffing decisions, HR, etc are decentralized and are handled at the level of each company individually, so this seems to be a problem with Blizzard's culture, and from accounts seemed to have been the case even before they were bought by Activision. I've been seeing a lot of stuff online that this is more proof that Activision ruined Blizzard when they bought it, but I think that sentiment deflects blame from Blizzard onto Activision unduly because people want to remember Blizzard as a perfect company that it never was.

2. From what I understand the complaints listed are not recent, they are fairly old, and we know that Blizzard has been leaking senior leadership and talent for a while now. I'm curious now about how many people left specifically because of these harassment issues at Blizzard, but also how many were actually harassers themselves who were fired by Blizzard/Activision. I was on the WoW subreddit earlier and saw mention of a few prominent employees who had suddenly and mysteriously stopped working at Blizzard and who were mentioned in this lawsuit.

3. If the conduct of individuals at Blizzard was as terrible as this lawsuit alleges, to the point where a lot of this harassment can be seen as criminal, why is this just a lawsuit and why is there no action being taken to make arrests? Yes, Activision Blizzard leadership failed their employees in allowing this sort of blatant harassment to continue for years, but is there anything they could have done, past firing the instigators, and do we know that those involved weren't fired?

@Nick Calandra - It's good that The Escapist is taking this stand, I hope to see a similar stance toward any other businesses that are found to be as egregiously harmful to their employees and the industry in the future.
 

Nick Calandra

Editor-in-Chief of The Escapist
Administrator
Moderator
Escapist +
Mar 13, 2020
485
507
98
Country
USA
Gender
Male
@Nick Calandra what are the odds Activison either sells Blizz to cut themselves from the studio or completely takes it over and restructures the whole damn thing?
Probably 0. Considering the amount of people that signed that note today, I'm more curious what their next step is should Activision continue down this path. They have a Call of Duty reveal on the horizon, they for sure don't want this taking attention away from that. I'd be shocked if we didn't see something by the end of the week.
 

Nick Calandra

Editor-in-Chief of The Escapist
Administrator
Moderator
Escapist +
Mar 13, 2020
485
507
98
Country
USA
Gender
Male
This is all super messed up, and those allegations are horrible. The statement that Activision put out is also absolutely tone deaf and way to defensive. To the people calling for blood though, I'd like to point out a couple of things.

1. This seems to be a Blizzard specific issue. From what I know of the Activision-Blizzard structure, while Activision makes the final call on a lot of things like projects, budgets, deadlines, etc for Activision, Blizzard, and King, for everything else each company is mostly autonomous. Things like staffing decisions, HR, etc are decentralized and are handled at the level of each company individually, so this seems to be a problem with Blizzard's culture, and from accounts seemed to have been the case even before they were bought by Activision. I've been seeing a lot of stuff online that this is more proof that Activision ruined Blizzard when they bought it, but I think that sentiment deflects blame from Blizzard onto Activision unduly because people want to remember Blizzard as a perfect company that it never was.

2. From what I understand the complaints listed are not recent, they are fairly old, and we know that Blizzard has been leaking senior leadership and talent for a while now. I'm curious now about how many people left specifically because of these harassment issues at Blizzard, but also how many were actually harassers themselves who were fired by Blizzard/Activision. I was on the WoW subreddit earlier and saw mention of a few prominent employees who had suddenly and mysteriously stopped working at Blizzard and who were mentioned in this lawsuit.

3. If the conduct of individuals at Blizzard was as terrible as this lawsuit alleges, to the point where a lot of this harassment can be seen as criminal, why is this just a lawsuit and why is there no action being taken to make arrests? Yes, Activision Blizzard leadership failed their employees in allowing this sort of blatant harassment to continue for years, but is there anything they could have done, past firing the instigators, and do we know that those involved weren't fired?

@Nick Calandra - It's good that The Escapist is taking this stand, I hope to see a similar stance toward any other businesses that are found to be as egregiously harmful to their employees and the industry in the future.
Look, us dropping coverage means jack all to Activision. We made this decision specifically because of how Activision has responded to the situation. Each situation will be looked at individually, because I don't want this to be performative.
 

Samtemdo8

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 25, 2020
1,022
315
88
Country
Private
Fuck you life.

I just want to play Wrath of the Lich King Official Server, and fill a hole in my life since I've missed out on it.

Was that too much to ask? Now it will never happen and no one will play with me if it does.

Fuck you Life.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CM156

Gordon_4

The Big Engine
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
2,430
1,486
118
Australia
@Nick Calandra what are the odds Activison either sells Blizz to cut themselves from the studio or completely takes it over and restructures the whole damn thing?
I cannot tell you how many people over at Blizzard’s many forums would consider Activision cutting them lose to actually be a victory. Oh I’m sure the fringe cases would call it a costly victory and make some verbal farts about noble sacrifice - as if any of them understand the meaning of sacrifice - to free Blizzard from Kotick’s clutches.

Fuck you life.

I just want to play Wrath of the Lich King Official Server, and fill a hole in my life since I've missed out on it.

Was that too much to ask? Now it will never happen and no one will play with me if it does.

Fuck you Life.
You under estimate people’s ability to give a shit long term. It might take another twelve months on top of what’s occurring anyway, but unless Blizzard is not only broken up but has its IP’s auctioned off, I think you’ll get your Wrath Classic.
 

Samtemdo8

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 25, 2020
1,022
315
88
Country
Private
I cannot tell you how many people over at Blizzard’s many forums would consider Activision cutting them lose to actually be a victory. Oh I’m sure the fringe cases would call it a costly victory and make some verbal farts about noble sacrifice - as if any of them understand the meaning of sacrifice - to free Blizzard from Kotick’s clutches.



You under estimate people’s ability to give a shit long term. It might take another twelve months on top of what’s occurring anyway, but unless Blizzard is not only broken up but has its IP’s auctioned off, I think you’ll get your Wrath Classic.
Fuck auctioning off the IPs it will just be in the hands of equally incompetent fucks.

Do you trust, EA, Ubisoft, Microsoft/Bethesda, CDProjeckt RED or Tencent to handle this? I especially don't want Blizzard IPs in the hands of China and Japan devs. Look what happened to Wizardry in the case of Japan.

Do you think your precious indie devs will even have the money to buy it and support it and treat its world with the dignity it deserves without tainting it with their own ideas that are probably incompatible with the original vision

Do not Break Blizzard up
 
Last edited:

Gordon_4

The Big Engine
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
2,430
1,486
118
Australia
Fuck auctioning off the IPs it will just be in the hands of equally incompetent fucks.

Do you trust, EA, Ubisoft, Microsoft/Bethesda, CDProjeckt RED or Tencent to handle this? I especially don't want Blizzard IPs in the hands of China and Japan devs. Look what happened to Wizardry in the case of Japan.

Do you think your precious indie devs will even have the money to buy it and support it and treat its world with the dignity it deserves without tainting it with their own ideas?
Indie devs are not precious to me. Not in the slightest. Most of them I wouldn’t trust to run a bath let alone an MMO. I consider it super unlikely that Blizzard would lose its IPs. They have enough or can get enough liquid assets to pay out any fines or compensation claims with their current financials.

You’ll get your Wrath of the Lich King classic servers. Just might take longer.
 

SilentPony

Previously known as an alleged "Feather-Rustler"
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
10,747
1,149
118
Corner of No and Where
Fuck auctioning off the IPs it will just be in the hands of equally incompetent fucks.

Do you trust, EA, Ubisoft, Microsoft/Bethesda, CDProjeckt RED or Tencent to handle this? I especially don't want Blizzard IPs in the hands of China and Japan devs. Look what happened to Wizardry in the case of Japan.

Do you think your precious indie devs will even have the money to buy it and support it and treat its world with the dignity it deserves without tainting it with their own ideas that are probably incompatible with the original vision
If it makes you feel any better protesting and boycotting games has never actually improved anything. If you can't buy the game because of personal disgust at Blizzard, sure, makes sense. But its really only hurting you. Blizzard doesn't care, never has, never will, and this whole thing will blow over in a few months when they settle out of court for an "undisclosed" amount, and they'll have some big fancy mea culpa video around Xmas time about how they're a new company, and then they'll drop the Diablo 2 remake and everyone will forgive them. Its happened before, it'll happen again.
 

Samtemdo8

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 25, 2020
1,022
315
88
Country
Private
Indie devs are not precious to me. Not in the slightest. Most of them I wouldn’t trust to run a bath let alone an MMO. I consider it super unlikely that Blizzard would lose its IPs. They have enough or can get enough liquid assets to pay out any fines or compensation claims with their current financials.

You’ll get your Wrath of the Lich King classic servers. Just might take longer.
Like I can't trust any replicating Blizzard's cinematic style in their games. Like no one can do trailers like them for example.


And especially the long term dedication to supporting their games that can last for 10 years long term.

Diablo 3 is still getting at least seasonal updates.