Activision-Blizzard claims it fired still more employees but disputes scope of misconduct


Activision-Blizzard is being bought out by Microsoft, but that doesn’t mean its problems have been solved.

Bowing to pressure from investors and its own staff, Activision Blizzard revealed that it has fired 37 employees in the wake of last year’s workplace misconduct scandal. An additional 44 were disciplined in some fashion by the company. That’s double the number the company said it had fired as of last October.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Activision Blizzard collected nearly 700 reports of “employee concern over misconduct” during this same time frame, a number an Activision-Blizzard spokesperson disputed. The company reiterated its claim that it has “significantly increased the resources” with which it is using to look into every claim of misconduct.

Last fall, the studio said that it had fired 20 people over misconduct, including Diablo IV Game Director Luis Barriga, World of Warcraft devs Jonathan LeCraft and Jesse McCree, and human resources head Jesse Meschuk, among others.

Speaking of Kotick, the controversial CEO hasn’t yet been fired and still doesn’t appear to be in any danger. A spokesperson for the company announced that “the Board’s support for Bobby is unchanged, and it is pleased with the commitment and leadership Bobby has demonstrated so far.”

Of course, fired workers aren’t the only people departing Blizzard these days. Former staff members and devs have been leaving the studio on their own, citing that it feels like people fleeing the sinking of the Titanic.

Source: Wall Street Journal, Eurogamer, The Verge, Kotaku. Cheers, Brock.
Activision-Blizzard is considered a controversial company in the MMO and gaming space owing to a long string of scandals over the last few years, including the Blitzchung boycott, mass layoffs, labor disputes, and executive pay fiasco. Last summer, the company was sued by the state of California for fostering a work environment riddled with sexual harassment and discrimination, the disastrous corporate response to which has further compounded Blizzard’s ongoing pipeline issues and the widespread perception that its online games are in decline. Multiple state and federal agencies are investigating the company as employees strike and call for Bobby Kotick’s resignation.
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