Destiny company Bungie just keeps making other game studios look bad – now it’s axed mandatory arbitration

    
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I have to be honest, I did not have “Bungie models good corporate behavior for the gaming industry” in my predictions for 2021, but here we are, and the Destiny studio just keeps making all the right moves. To wit: The company released a pair of dev blogs yesterday focused on its diversity and accessibility efforts.

The first blog covers the studio’s accessibility plan; indeed, it’s formed an “inclusion club” for accessibility that joins similar clubs for Blacks, trans people, and women within the company. “Its mission is to educate everyone in the company on identifying barriers, to improve workplace accessibility, to make material improvements to the playability of Bungie’s games, and to partner with organizations within the gaming industry who are dedicated to game accessibility,” the team says. And the club isn’t just to make workers’ experience more accessible; it’s focused on making the game more accessible too. For example, some weapons are due for auto-fire changes to make it easier for folks with hand issues to play.

The second blog is from CEO Pete Parsons and includes a indirect reference to Activision-Blizzard’s woes in his update on diversity and inclusion in the studio. He notes that Bungie has pulled in a new Diversity and Inclusion lead and a Chief People Officer; bolstered the board of directors and executive team (“members of underrepresented communities comprise 50% of Bungie’s board” while “four of the nine representatives of Bungie’s executive team are women or members of Underrepresented Communities”); and will be reviewing hiring, promotion, and compensation processes to reduce bias. It’s also adding a “third-party, anonymous reporting tool” to make reporting easier.

Perhaps most notably, Bungie says it will be “eliminating the mandatory arbitration clause in all [its] employee agreements, given the growing concern that arbitration may not be the fairest way to resolve employment complaints.” Readers will recall that this is one of the four key points that Activision-Blizzard’s workers have demanded, though of course Activision-Blizzard has not acknowledged those demands. The end of mandatory arbitration is also something that Riot workers have been seeking for several years now. But hey, here’s Bungie, giving it to its employees who didn’t even have to suffer a lawsuit scandal or the death of their own colleague to get it.

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Jeff D

Uhhmm.. how many companies do you know delete half the game you paid for and give you nothing? Even my 20 year old EverQuest has access to everything from day one.

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kothoses

I have been hoping Bungo does well since they split from Acti, it looked dicey there at first, but this year has shown they are doing well and are on the up and up.

Nice to see a good news story for a change too.

Nice one Bungo.

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Arktouros

I mean top to bottom Bungo has always seemed pretty solid to me. They even voluntarily removed lockboxes from their cash shop and added most of the big chases from them (old exotic skins you might have missed) to the cash shop to directly buy. Even then they rotate out quite frequently into the Bright Dust offering and earning ranks past 100 yields those old loot boxes for random rewards.

Good policies for the developers and good policies for the players. Or simply put, good policies for people.

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Kanbe

Bungie has a really solid plan for attracting devs from other game studios it seems. It’s this revolutionary new idea to treat people as people.