Embattled publisher Activision Blizzard has begun a push to remove employees accused of misconduct as part of efforts to combat ongoing allegations of sexual harassment at its various studios.
The company has dismissed more than three dozen employees and disciplined about 40 more since July 2021, reports Wall Street Journal. The move follows months of mounting pressure from investors, action from business partners such as Xbox, and sustained protest movements from its staff, including strike actions.
However, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick – who was recently revealed as the second-highest-paid CEO in gaming – reportedly held back a summary of these dismissals and disciplinaries that was due to be released before Christmas. WSJ says that Kotick told people the report would make the company’s problems “seem bigger” than is known.
The summary is also alleged to have contained 700 reports of employee complaints since July 2021, although some of these are said to be multiple reports of the same incidents. An Activision spokeswoman confirmed to the WSJ that 37 people have “exited” and a further 44 have been disciplined, though the 700 complaints figure was disputed.
While the impact of the personnel departures on Activision Blizzard’s workplace culture – which has been said to be rife with a “frat boy workplace culture” – remains to be seen, the accusation that Kotick held back its reveal will likely not sit well with employees and protesters. Already, over 1300 staff have called for Kotick’s removal, while others were reportedly met with “radio silence” during recent strikes – despite Activision claiming to be “deeply committed to the wellbeing of all of our teams“.
In other news, EA DICE has confirmed it will finally be fixing an invincibility bug in Star Wars Battlefront 2, months after the glitch was first observed, while Final Fantasy 14 will, at last, be holding its Halloween event next week, after the COVID pandemic forced a delay.