BlizzCon will return in 2023, Activision-Blizzard employees plan another walkout

    
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Pop quiz, hotshot: When was the last time that Blizzard held an in-person BlizzCon? If you shouted at your computer monitor “2019!” then you have the wise memory of a tortoise. With COVID, studio controversies, and leadership turnover, Blizzard hasn’t been in a good place to hold the fan convention. However, this may change in the new year.

Blizzard CEO Mike Ybarra told the LA Times that the studio is planning a return of the event: “We previously announced we’re taking a pause on BlizzCon while we reimagine it for the future but do want to return to a live event that enables us to celebrate the community. We recently hired a new leader of BlizzCon, April McKee, who is hard at work on that plan. We are committed to bringing back BlizzCon in 2023.”

Meanwhile, Activision-Blizzard employee labor group ABetterABK is planning another walkout on July 21st.

“We are calling for protection of several communities of marginalized workers. Employees are actively facing state legislation that is putting women, LGBTQ+ employees, and their families at risk, with other vulnerable groups on the horizon. Our walk-out demands focus on the protections of ABK employees from external threats like the recent overturn of Roe V. Wade, and internal threats such as retaliation and harassment while in the workplace. For background on why this walkout is being held, the company’s current healthcare policies do not adequately protect the workers of ABK. The presently offered $4000 reimbursements for out of state medical care currently leave employees open to legal prosecution in their home state. Travel reimbursements do not remove workers from imminent danger. Our demands ensure that our workers safely, affordably, and legally maintain access to life saving procedures like abortions and trans-affirming healthcare. “In the past, we have attempted to work with management to address issues of this nature, but over the past year have had our concerns dismissed. Demonstrations of this level have been proven to be the most effective solution to this problem.”

 

Source: LA Times, Twitter
Activision-Blizzard is considered a controversial gaming company owing to a long string of scandals over the last few years, including the Blitzchung boycott, mass layoffs, labor disputes, and executive pay fiasco. In 2021, the company was sued by California for fostering a work environment rife with sexual harassment and discrimination, the disastrous corporate response to which 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. As of 2022, the company is being acquired by no less than Microsoft.
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