Activision-Blizzard's ongoing Vic Mignoging of themselves

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Ironbite4

Active member
Citizen
Everyone keeping up with the news on this train wreck? Hope ya'll are.

Ok so to recap, couple months back, state of California brought suit against Activision-Blizzard for basically being dicks to it's employees. They cited a culture that allowed sexual harassment to run rampant, unfair labor practices, and a "bro culture" that lead to the suicide of a female developer. Basically everything you expect to be swept under the rug under a Larry Elder administration. So Blizzard responded to this by hiring a law firm that specializes in busting up union formation, renaming McCree from Overwatch, and getting rid of several references to former Blizzard Executives and developers who had a hand in making this culture so indicative of Blizzard. Ok got all that?

So now that the state is going after them, now the employees are as well.

Source: https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/...zard-of-worker-intimidation-and-union-busting

Employees have filed a new lawsuit against Activision Blizzard accusing the company of using "coercive tactics" to prevent organisational efforts to improve working conditions - amid ongoing legal action by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing alleging sexual harassment, discrimination, and a "frat boy" work culture at Blizzard.

Following that first filing, organisational efforts by employees saw more than 2000 current and former Activision Blizzard staff sign a petition describing the company's initial, widely lambasted response to the lawsuit as "abhorrent and insulting", with subsequent strike action seeing more than 500 workers walk out and "hundreds" more participate virtually around the world in an effort to improve working conditions.

However, the new lawsuit, filed to the National Labor Review Board by the ABetterABK worker collective in conjunction with the Communications Workers of America, alleges Activision Blizzard has, within the last six months, "engaged in and is engaging in unfair labour practices" that violate laws laid out in the National Labor Relations Act.

"Activision Blizzard management is using coercive tactics to attempt to prevent its employees from exercising their rights to stand together and demand a more equitable, sustainable, and diverse workplace," the CWA wrote in a press release announcing the legal action. "It is their right as workers to organise for a work environment free from abuse, discrimination and sexual harassment, and this right is protected by federal labor law."

According to the filing, Activision Blizzard has "threatened employees that they cannot talk about or communicate about wages, hours and working conditions", has told employees they "cannot communicate with or discuss ongoing investigations of wages, hours, and working conditions", has "maintained an overly broad social media policy" and enforced that policy "against employees who have engaged in protected concerted activity" (ie. worker activity protected under federal law), has "treated or disciplined employees on account of protected concerted activity", "engaged in surveillance of employees engaged in protected concerted activity", and "engaged in interrogation of employees about protected concerted activity".

That "protected concerted activity" has included petitioning for improved working conditions at Activision Blizzard, with ABetterABK having continued to list four demands: an end to forced arbitration in employment agreements, the adoption of inclusive recruitment and hiring practices, increases in pay transparency through compensation metrics, and an audit of ABK policies and practices to be performed by a neutral third-party.

Activision Blizzard has so far met one of those demands by commissioning a third-party audit of ABK practices and policies. However, its choice of company, WilmerHale, has come in for considerable criticism given the law firm's reputation for union busting.

This latest legal action isn't the first to accuse Activision Blizzard of shenanigans in its response to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing's initial allegations. The DFEH recently updated its lawsuit, alleging Activision Blizzard's HR department had shredded documents related to staff complaints and internal investigations - a claim the Call of Duty publisher described as "not true".

This is amazing. They have learned absolutely nothing at all and are bound and determined to continue to mark themselves right out of existence. I wonder how long it's gonna take 'em before they decide to Vic Mignoa themselves.

Ironbite-cause that's where I think this is heading.
 

Rust

Slightly Off
Citizen
Honestly, Blizzard's been dead since the Blitzchung incident back in 2019 but I wasn't able to completely divorce myself from their properties until this current scandal hit. A pox, a pox upon its entire house. This isn't just a "Since the merger with Activision thing", this isn't new. This was going on from day one. It's saturated into the foundations of the company so much it's probably bled into the orientation materials. The same studio that developed the original WarCraft, StarCraft, and Diablo are the same studio that are facing the allegations. This rot goes into the core, and no one in leadership at Blizzard - past or present - is without sin in making the company into what it is.

Blizzard earns that illustrious title of being only the second developer I've straight up blacklisted from ever purchasing a product from again in any capacity. I only regret I gave them so much money previously.

Also this REALLY puts their more problematic story elements involving females into stark relief. "Jania/Tyrande/Kerrigan, are you upset how you've been treated? *clucks tongue* Anger will get you nowhere. You need to FORGIVE what was done to you and move past it. Be friendly with the people who enabled your abuse/mistreatment/casual genocide."
 

Coglestop

Member
Citizen
Sad part is, even if Activision Blizzard goes under, their corpse will simple be scavenged by EA and Take2, who aren't much better. Only chance at real reform in the industry is unionization and the addition of a few more players in the AAA space.
 

The Predaking

Administrator
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
I will be honest with you here, I don't like that this was going on for all of these years, and I am glad that it is coming out into the light now. That being said, I still plan on getting the Diablo 2 remaster.
 

Rust

Slightly Off
Citizen
It'll be a cold, cold day in hell before I ever give Activision-Blizzard another penny. I've been wanting to do another run through of StarCraft 2 right before all this dropped. Despite owning the games, I'll be damned if I even give Blizzard the download metric data. So now those games live on in my memory and nothing more.
 

Pocket

Yep.
Citizen
Sad part is, even if Activision Blizzard goes under, their corpse will simple be scavenged by EA and Take2, who aren't much better. Only chance at real reform in the industry is unionization and the addition of a few more players in the AAA space.
My money's on Tencent, who have the desire to own everything in the world and infinite money to do it with.
 

Rust

Slightly Off
Citizen
Doesn't Tencent already have their foot in the door with the hot *Checks notes* 2018 killer app Diablo "Don't you people have phones?" Immortal?
 

LBD "Nytetrayn"

Broke the Matrix
Citizen
After putting Toys For Bob on Call of Duty content after Crash 4, Activision has made it really easy for me to not want to give them any money, even without the sicko scandal.
 

Coglestop

Member
Citizen
Don't know if Tencent can afford it anymore. Last I checked their stock was tanking because of changes in Chinese law disrupting any market related to the internet.
 

Confuzor

Koopaling Aficionado
Citizen
I wonder if this is what Jeff Kaplan left over. Thankfully, I hadnt seen his name pop up in relation to any of this horridness
 

Rust

Slightly Off
Citizen
Doesn't matter. The fact he was there during the time period means he was aware and probably up to his eyeballs involved in it.

There's no one in a leadership position of the company that isn't complicit.
 

Daith

Active member
Citizen
So it doesn’t matter whether guilty or not, burn it all down. Gotcha.

I mean sure he could have been involved and possibly put an end to to things, but I don’t care to assume that everyone at the company is horrible just because they worked there in management.
 

Rust

Slightly Off
Citizen
So it doesn’t matter whether guilty or not, burn it all down. Gotcha.

I mean sure he could have been involved and possibly put an end to to things, but I don’t care to assume that everyone at the company is horrible just because they worked there in management.

Dude, a woman is dead because of the behavior of this company. Also, no one in previous management is even actively denying it. The only one to actually be vehemently denying the accusations at Activision-Blizzard is, interestingly enough, the same Bush Administration official who saw no evidence of torture at Guantanamo Bay.

Oh yeah, by the way, Activision-Blizzard employs ex-Bush Administration officials that supported the use of friggen torture. And they've lawyered up with a law firm that specializes in Union-Busting.

Forgive me for no longer giving them the benefit of the doubt.
 

Daith

Active member
Citizen
I won’t deny that Activision/Blizzard has a great many issues to deal with. But blame those who are known to be in the wrong and not the entire team who we don’t know had anything to do with things other than working the same company. I’m no mind reader and have nothing to say anyone’s guilty or innocent, but blaming everyone is never a good stance.
 

Rust

Slightly Off
Citizen
Yeah, except the lawsuit demonstrates this behavior went back decades. Before the merger. This is a corporate culture that permeated its very foundations. "Blaming everyone"...as a manager myself it 100% is a failing of those in leadership. You foster the enviornment, or even not press to change it, and shock of shocks you do end up responsible for the kind of workplace you end up with.

I'm holding those with accountability responsible the same way I'd expect to be held responsible should our roles be reversed.
 

The Mighty Mollusk

The bold ever fight on, their lives echoed in song
Citizen
Innocent until proven guilty and all, but investigate everyone who was involved, whether they're still there or not. Jumping ship doesn't absolve them.
 

Shadewing

Member
Citizen
Honestly shit like this, is why I'm just starting to not give a **** anymore. Everyone's awful, we just don't know how yet. If we banish everything everyone ever worked on that was horrible or might have been horrible becuase they were associated with those that are horrible, we might as well just throw everything out and just start watching grass grow. Becuase for the past 2-3 years everytime I turn around we're hearing about how this person or that company is horrible and should no longer support anything they do. On top of everything else that has happened in that time span as well, I'm just tired of being outraged becuase of some new revelation of horribleness has occured.
 

Ironbite4

Active member
Citizen
Get ready for the next phase of this ongoing saga.

SEC is now involved.


The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has reportedly launched a wide-reaching investigation into Activision Blizzard, with the government agency looking into how the embattled publisher handled the multiple allegations of sexual harassment, abuse, and toxic behavior that became public following a California Department of Fair Employment and Housing lawsuit filed in July. The SEC has subpoenaed Activision and several of its high-ranking execs, including CEO Bobby Kotick.

In a report out today by the Wall Street Journal, it was revealed the SEC has begun investigating Activision Blizzard and is asking for the Call of Duty and Warcraft publisher to hand over various documents. These include the personnel files of six previous employees and records of CEO Kotick’s communications with executives relating to the numerous complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination levied against Activision Blizzard staff.

Activision spokesperson Helaine Klasky confirmed with the Wall Street Journal on Monday that the SEC was indeed investigating the massive gaming publisher, telling the outlet that SEC is focused on “the company’s disclosures regarding employment matters and related issues.” She also confirmed that several current and former employees had been subpoenaed by the federal agency. “The company is cooperating with the SEC,” said Klasky.




Kotaku has contacted Activision Blizzard about the SEC investigation.

The investigation is not necessarily about finding justice for the victims of the horrible abuse, but instead about looking out for the company’s investors who probably aren’t happy about its recent cycle of bad news. The WSJ explains that the SEC is investigating to figure out whether Activision and its executives correctly and adequately disclosed allegations of workplace harassment and gender-pay issues to investors and other related individuals and if these disclosures happened quickly enough, according to the documents seen by the outlet.


This is yet another serious legal problem facing Activision Blizzard, one of the largest gaming publishers in the world.
In July, a lawsuit filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing after a years-long investigation turned up stories of multiple women suffering daily harassment and abuse while working at Activision Blizzard. This has led to multiple execs apologizing or even leaving the company. Blizzard games containing the names of abusers are being scrubbed by devs to remove the offenders from the live games. Investors filed a second lawsuit against the publisher in August, over the timing of when Activision Blizzard disclosed its ongoing problems with sexual harassment and discrimination.

The fallout from the California lawsuit and the resulting allegations of abuse and toxic behavior has led to employees walking out, more stories of workplace abuse becoming public, players and streamers boycotting games like World of Warcraft, and greatly increased talk of unionization.

Activision Blizzard sent a statement to the WSJ addressing the SEC investigation and the ongoing pressure Activision Blizzard faces from lawsuits and government agencies:

We have made and are making a number of important changes to improve our policies and procedures to ensure that there is no place anywhere in our company for discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind.
Meanwhile, Activision hired union-busting firm WilmerHale to review its handling of harassment and other issues around the fallout from the lawsuit. It’s interesting to note that the person leading that review happens to be Stephanie Avakian, who was the SEC’s Division of Enforcement Director up until this past February, when she left to rejoin WilmerHale and oversee its team for protecting businesses from government litigation.

Like I'm sorry. But when the freaking federal government's worst investigation service is getting involved, you're pretty boned. Cause the SEC really doesn't get things even when it's right in front of them.

Ironbite-I do not envy anyone in this shit show.
 
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