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Activision Blizzard execs respond to harassment and discrimination lawsuit

Engadget

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard this week over alleged sexual harassment and discrimination against women. In a memo to staff obtained by Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier, Blizzard Entertainment president J. Allen Brack wrote that "the allegations and the hurt of current and former employees are extremely troubling." Brack wrote that everyone should feel safe at Blizzard and that "it is completely unacceptable for anyone in the company to face discrimination or harassment." He noted it requires courage for people to come forward with their stories, and that all claims brought to the company are taken seriously and investigated. "People with different backgrounds, views, and experiences are essential for Blizzard, our teams, and our player community," Brack wrote.


'Call of Duty: Warzone' studio will try to unionize without Activision Blizzard's blessing

Engadget

Activision Blizzard had until 6PM ET on January 25th to voluntarily recognize Game Workers Alliance, a group of Raven Software employees that recently gathered the votes to unionize, backed by Communications Workers of America. That deadline passed without recognition from Activision Blizzard, and Raven employees will now move forward with plans to file for a union election through the National Labor Relations Board. "At Activision Blizzard, we deeply respect the rights of all employees to make their own decisions about whether or not to join a union," an Activision Blizzard spokesperson said. "We carefully reviewed and considered the CWA initial request last week and tried to find a mutually acceptable solution with the CWA that would have led to an expedited election process. Unfortunately, the parties could not reach an agreement."


Activision Blizzard Employees Walk Out Over Sexism Complaints

WIRED

Employees at the gaming giant Activision Blizzard staged a walkout today, capping off a week of escalating tension over how executives have handled accusations of discrimination and sexual harassment at the 10,000-person company. Outside Activision Blizzard's office in Irvine, California Wednesday morning, employees held signs with messages like "Believe Women," "Commit To Equality," "nerf male privilege" and "Fight bad guys in game / Fight bad guys IRL." Cars drove by honking their horns. Online, the hashtag #ActiBlizzWalkout was trending as fans of titles like World of Warcraft and Overwatch expressed overwhelming support, including pledges to boycott games for the day in solidarity. Over 200 people attended the walkout event, based on photos posted on the internet. An unknown number of other employees participated in the work stoppage remotely.


Microsoft to acquire 'Call of Duty' publisher Activision Blizzard in blockbuster video game deal

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Video game giants Call of Duty and World of Warcraft have a new home: Microsoft. On Tuesday, Microsoft announced it will acquire Activision Blizzard, the publisher behind Call of Duty, one of the top-selling video games in the U.S., along with several other titles including Overwatch, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush. Microsoft will acquire Activision Blizzard in an all-cash deal valued at $68.7 billion. "Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a statement. "We're investing deeply in world-class content, community and the cloud to usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first and makes gaming safe, inclusive and accessible to all."


Microsoft buys Activision Blizzard in cash deal for $68.7 billion

Boston Herald

Microsoft is buying the gaming company Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, gaining access to blockbuster games like "Call of Duty" and "Candy Crush." The all-cash deal will let Microsoft, maker of the Xbox gaming system, accelerate mobile gaming and provide building blocks for the metaverse, or a virtual environment. The announcement Tuesday arrives with Activision still in turmoil over allegations of misconduct and unequal pay. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a conference call with investors "the culture of our organization is my number one priority" and that "it's critical for Activision Blizzard to drive forward on its" commitments to improve its workplace culture. Activision disclosed last year it was being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission over complaints of workplace discrimination.