• The A.V. Club
  • Deadspin
  • Gizmodo
  • Jalopnik
  • Jezebel
  • Kotaku
  • Lifehacker
  • Quartz
  • The Root
  • The Takeout
  • The Onion
  • The Inventory
Gaming Reviews, News, Tips and More.
Send us a tip!ShopSubscribe
We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Gaming Reviews, News, Tips and More.

Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed

The studios behind World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, and Overwatch are being sued over sexual harassment
Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Graphic: Elena Scotti (Photos: Getty Images, Shutterstock)
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

The ongoing lawsuit against Activision Blizzard has made public some truly terrible and horrendous behavior that occurred across multiple studios and offices. Many women were allegedly sexually harassed, assaulted, and psychologically traumatized while the folks in power at the companies involved seemingly did little to stop or limit this behavior.

The lawsuit was filed on July 20 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.

Since it was filed the fallout has been widespread, with former and current employees stepping forward to share more stories of abuse, offer apologies to those who were hurt, or attempt to distance themselves from the whole thing. Devs and workers at other studios have also begun to speak up and share their thoughts and pain too. It’s been an awful, disturbing, and eye-opening past few weeks and to help you get caught up with what has happened since the lawsuit we’ve rounded up all our coverage in one place.

As this is an ongoing situation, we expect more stories about this lawsuit and its fallout will come in the near future so we plan on updating this post with new stories as we move forward.


Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Screenshot: Blizzard / Kotaku

Blizzard Harasser From Lawsuit Is Still All Over World of Warcraft, Fans Dismay

Afrasiabi worked for Blizzard as recently as June 2020, when he apparently left the company with seemingly minimal mention, to the confusion of the few fans who noticed his departure. And though Afrasiabi is gone, his presence still lingers in World of Warcraft. Kotaku was able to confirm the existence of at least two NPCs that continue to bear his name, in addition to a number of items that directly reference him.


Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Bungie

Destiny 2 Maker Weighs In On Activision Blizzard Allegations

The studio behind Halo and now Destiny issued a statement on Twitter yesterday, addressing the allegations of widespread sexual harrasssment and discrimination alleged in a new lawsuit brought by California regulators against Activision Blizzard. “We have a responsibility to acknowledge, reflect, and do what we can to push back on a persistent culture of harassment, abuse, and inequality that exists in our industry,” the company wrote.


Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Blizzard

The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Fallout Is What Women Have Been Saying All Along

The case against Activision Blizzard is proving what many women already knew—misogyny in the industry doesn’t come down to just a few bad apples at a few companies. It’s deeply ingrained in the culture at the heart of how the games business has operated for decades.


Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Screenshot: Blizzard

Blizzard Boss Accused Of Failing To Address Sexual Harassment Calls New Allegations ‘Troubling’

The head of Blizzard Entertainment, the company behind Overwatch and World of Warcraft, sent an email to staff last night calling the recent allegations of widespread sexual harassment and discrimation “extremely troubling” and promised to meet with them to answer questions and discuss “how we can move forward.”


Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Screenshot: Blizzard

WoW Twitch Streamers Speak Out On Activision Blizzard Sexual Harassment Suit

Some of the most popular World of Warcraft streamers explained how disappointed and sad they were to hear the news. Top WoW Twitch streamer Asmongold, in a public statement shared on Twitter, said he was “hurt” by the news as a longtime fan of the publisher.


Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Blizzard / Activision / Kotaku

Activision Blizzard’s Social Media Empire Has Been Silent For Days Now

Social media accounts related to Activision Blizzard and its various properties have stopped posting following California’s lawsuit against the major video game conglomerate going public.


Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Photo: Mark Davis (Getty Images)

Ex Blizzard Boss Mike Morhaime To Women: ‘I Failed You’

Blizzard co-founder and longtime boss Mike Morhaime took to Twitter just after midnight Friday to comment on the widespread allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination at the game company he led for so long. “To the Blizzard women who experienced any of these things, I am extremely sorry that I failed you,” he wrote. “I hear you, I believe you, and I am so sorry to have let you down.”


Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Photo: Activision Blizzard

Diablo Co-Creator Chris Metzen On Blizzard Lawsuit: ‘We Failed’

“We failed, and I’m sorry,” he begins. “To all of you at Blizzard - those of you I know and those of you whom I’ve never met - I offer you my very deepest apologies for the part I played in a culture that fostered harassment, inequality, and indifference.”


Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Screenshot: Blizzard

Some Gaming Websites, YouTube Channels Halt Coverage Of Activision Blizzard Games

Following troubling allegations regarding the work environments at Ubisoft and Activision Blizzard, several gaming outlets have opted to halt coverage of any games released by the mega-publishers.


Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Blizzard

Former World of Warcraft Designer Apologizes For Disastrous 2010 Blizzcon Answer

On July 23, former World of Warcraft lead designer Greg Street—who was at the original panel— responded to the controversy. In it, he tries to explain what happened while also admitting he made a mistake in a long series of tweets that eventually led to an apology. Street left Blizzard in 2013 and joined Riot Games the following year.


Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Photo: Rich Polk (Getty Images)

Over 2,000 Activision Blizzard Employees Sign Letter Condemning Company’s Response To Allegations

Hundreds of current and former employees from across Activision Blizzard have signed a letter to the company’s management calling its response to a recent lawsuit alleging widespread sexual harassment and discrimination at some of its offices “abhorrent and insulting.”


Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Blizzard Devs Say Some Men Were Sexually Harassed, Too

Reports included unwanted shoulder rubs, being propositioned for sex, sexual harassment within their first day, and even a “game” around the office where men would try to grope one another’s genitals. These allegations haven’t been as widely reported as the litany of testimonials from harassed women, but they also point to how systemic the issues were at the company.


Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard Employees Plan Walkout Wednesday To Protest Working Conditions

The announcement of the walkout is accompanied by a statement of intent letter addressed to Activision Blizzard management. The letter states that employees believe their values are not being reflected by management and issues a series of demands meant to improve working conditions for those subjected to harassment and discrimination. These demands include an end to mandatory arbitration, which forces complaining employees into extra-legal mediation rather than public court cases, revised recruiting, hiring, and promotion policies, pay rate transparency, and the hiring of a third-party organization to review the company’s reporting policy, HR department, and executive staff.


Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Blizzard

World Of Warcraft Removing Inappropriate References To ‘Rebuild Trust’ In Wake of Lawsuit

Blizzard has promised to remove content “not appropriate for” World of Warcraft, likely in response to in-game references to creative director Alex Afrasiabi. This announcement comes after a short period of silence following the publication of a California state lawsuit against the company, which alleges Activision Blizzard fostered a pervasive environment of harassment against its female employees.


Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Photo: Scott Olson (Getty Images)

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick Comments On Harassment Allegations, Employees Respond

“I want to recognize and thank all those who have come forward in the past and in recent days. I so appreciate your courage. Every voice matters - and we will do a better job of listening now, and in the future.

Our initial responses to the issues we face together, and to your concerns, were, quite frankly, tone deaf.”


Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Screenshot: Kotaku

Inside Blizzard Developers’ Infamous Bill ‘Cosby Suite’

The “Cosby Suite” was more than just a nickname or a joke. Based on images and comments Afrasiabi posted on his Facebook supplied to Kotaku by a former developer at Blizzard, it was reportedly a booze-filled meeting place where many, including Afrasiabi, would pose with an actual portrait of Bill Cosby while smiling. It was also a hot spot for informal networking at BlizzCon, three sources told Kotaku, where people looking to make inroads at the company would go to meet and hang out with some of its top designers.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Blizzard

Twitch Streamers and Devs Help Activision Blizzard Walkout With Boycotts, Money

While not everyone can attend the Activision Blizzard Walkout for Equality, there are other ways to show support for the employees of the company as they demand improved working conditions for women and other marginalized groups in the wake of their employer’s inadequate response to California’s sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit.


Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Photo: Eric Thomas (Getty Images)

Ubisoft Workers Decry Industry’s ‘Culture Of Abuse’

A new open letter signed by almost 500 current and former Ubisoft employees announces their solidarity with the workers at Activision Blizzard, demands movement from their own leadership, and calls for systemic change across the entire video game industry, Axios reports.


Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Screenshot: Blizzard

Activision Blizzard Hires Union-Busting Firm As Workers Start To Come Together

When Activision Blizzard, a company currently under fire for its discriminatory practices and rampant sexual harassment issues, hires WilmerHale, a law firm with a reputation for union-busting, heads turn and brows furrow.


Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Screenshot: Blizzard

Report: Blizzard Once Slapped With ‘Misogyny Tax’

A cybersecurity company whose security researcher had once been harassed by Blizzard employees at a hacking conference charged the game developer a 50 percent “misogyny tax” when it sought a quote for security services, according to a new report from Waypoint.


Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Screenshot: CBS / Viacom

Activision Blizzard’s Torture Apologist Executive Is Now Blocking Employees On Twitter

But what’s notable here is that rather acknowledging that she, as an executive employed in a leadership position at a company in turmoil, had made a bad tweet and responded accordingly—by doing something like locking her account, deleting the tweet, or simply ignoring the criticism and getting on with whatever the rich do on the weekend—she began systematically blocking anyone even mildly critical of her decision to share a story about the perils of whistleblowing while her company is in the midst of historically shocking allegations brought on by employees testifying confidentially.


Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Screenshot: Blizzard / MrBochChoi

What Really Happened At That BlizzCon Panel, According To The Woman In The Video

“Honestly, the sound of being booed by that many guys, honestly, in some ways that bothered me more than getting dismissed,” she said. “You had that initial cheer from the women in the crowd and then just wave boos.”


A photo of J. Allen Brack alongside the Blizzard Entertainment logo.
Image: Blizzard

Blizzard President J. Allen Brack Is ‘Stepping Down’ Amid Activision Lawsuit Controversy

Brack was one of only two people explicitly named in California’s lawsuit, which accused the now former head of Blizzard of failing to deal with internal reports of sexual harassment and sexism, including allegations that former World of Warcraft creative director Alex Afrasiabi would try to put his arms around and kiss female coworkers at company events.


Overwatch characters engage in a frantic firefight.
Screenshot: Blizzard

Activision Blizzard Is Losing Overwatch Sponsors After Lawsuit

As Dexerto points out, the websites for both the Overwatch League and the Call of Duty Leagues removed reference to T-Mobile at some point in July. On July 21, both sported the T-Mobile logo. By July 31, neither did. The 20th entry period of T-Mobile’s Call of Duty sweepstakes has quietly been canceled. What’s more, team members for the New York Subliners, a Call of Duty team, appear to have taped over the T-Mobile logo on their jerseys, which you’ve gotta admit is hilarious.


Activision Blizzard employees protest outside the Blizzard offices, holding signs like "Women's Voices Matter!" and "Nerf Male Privilege".
Photo: David McNew (Getty Images)

Activision Blizzard Workers: Leadership Isn’t Actually Meeting Our Demands

“You said you would do everything possible to work with employees in improving our workplace,” wrote ABK Workers Alliance, the group also responsible for organizing last week’s walkout protest at Blizzard headquarters, in a statement sent to Kotaku. “And yet, the solutions you proposed in that letter did not meaningfully address our requests. You ignored our call for an end to mandatory arbitration. You did not commit to adopting inclusive recruitment and hiring practices. You made no comment on pay transparency.”


A Blizzard wallpaper for World of Warcraft Classic showing players facing off against a massive dragon.
Image: Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard Faces Second Lawsuit Over First Lawsuit

The class action lawsuit claims that Activision Blizzard and its executives were aware of the company’s issues of rampant sexual discrimination and workplace harassment during the periods these SOX certifications were issued and knowingly left out that information. The final sentence in the statement, in particular, reads false but has remained unchanged since 2016, appearing most recently in Activision Blizzard’s 2020 fiscal year-end report. As the events of the past couple of weeks have proven, ongoing claims and investigations have indeed had a material adverse effect on Activision Blizzard’s business.


One of Blizzard's characters wearing jagged armor and staring with glowing blue eyes.
Image: Blizzard

Blizzard’s Top HR Guy Out Following Lawsuit And Widespread Criticism

According to a new in-depth report by Axios, several current and former Activision Blizzard employees either didn’t trust HR to help them when they were harassed or were met with skepticism and pushback when they did try to report their issues to HR.

“One of the things [the HR rep] commented on was that she was surprised I wasn’t crying or I wasn’t more hysterical,” one current employee told Axios, in regard to a time she alerted HR to being physically assaulted by a coworker.


A Call of Duty operator with sub-machine guns looking grim in front of a stream of numbers.
Image: Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard’s Latest Investor Call Was An Especially Ghoulish Affair

PR spin, propaganda, hypernormalisation—whatever you want to call it, we’re collectively told over and over by people in power that what we witness and experience is bullshit and the bullshit they serve us back is what’s actually true. That’s in part how a company with an increasingly documented history of not treating people right—be it Activision Blizzard or Amazon.com, Inc.—can say with a straight face that it really does care without being immediately laughed out of the room.

Blizzard and Activision employees protesting outside.
Photo: David McNew (Getty Images)

The Mess Around Whether To Boycott Activision Blizzard

Though some have renewed calls to boycott all Activision Blizzard products, it remains far from clear whether that’s something any developers at the company, including the women most mistreated by it, even support a boycott. Kotaku reached out to a number of current and former Activision Blizzard developers for their thoughts on how fans can best try to bring about change at the company. Some didn’t respond. Others didn’t want their comments to draw attention away from the ABK Workers Alliance’s current list of demands.


Diablo 4 demon lady staring off into the distance.
Screenshot: Blizzard

Jesse McCree, Diablo 4 Director No Longer At Activision Blizzard

Jesse McCree, the namesake for Overwatch’s beloved cowboy fighter and most recently a designer on Diablo 4, was one of several current and former Blizzard developers who appeared in an image of a BlizzCon 2013 “Cosby Suite” obtained by Kotaku. The suite contained booze and a giant portrait of Bill Cosby and reportedly belonged to World of Warcraft developer Alex Afrasiabi.


Screenshot from Call of Duty Mobile showing a woman with a gun and zombies.
Screenshot: Activision

Activision Blizzard’s QA Department Seems Like A Hellhole

Long hours. Low pay. Tremendous instability. Working in quality assurance (QA) for a video game studio is notoriously difficult and painstaking enough as it is without factors like these complicating matters. Yet for QA testers at Activision Blizzard, a company that has come under fire in recent weeks for a whole host of troubling allegations, these may come with the territory. Indeed, a lengthy list of statements provided to Kotaku by the ABK Workers Alliance indicates as much, alongside other troubling claims, including pervasive hostility toward LGBT staffers.


McCree as seen in Overwatch, carrying his pistol and wearing his hat.
Screenshot: Blizzard

Overwatch League Casters Stop Saying McCree’s Name

Over the weekend, a fan spotted Overwatch League casters Brennon ‘Bren’ Hook and Josh ‘Sideshow’ Wilkinson appearing to avoid saying McCree’s name during the matches. Instead of saying “McCree,” they referred to him as “the cowboy.” As reported by Dexerto, Hook and Wilkinson both went on to “like” the Tweet noticing the change, and fellow Overwatch caster Mitch ‘Uber’ Leslie tweeted earlier this week that he thought this was a good idea.


A small group of armed soldiers move forward on a beach.
Image: Activision

Activision Name Conspicuously Absent From Call Of Duty: Vanguard Marketing

Neoxon also highlighted the fact that Activision’s logo is missing from the Call of Duty: Vanguard page on Battle.net, the company’s digital storefront. Again, Kotaku confirmed this is a common inclusion on several of the platform’s Call of Duty listings, where Activision’s graphic can be seen positioned above the logos for games like Modern Warfare, Black Ops: Cold War, and Black Ops 4.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Blizzard

California Accuses Activision Blizzard Of Shredding Abuse Evidence

The updated lawsuit alleges that Activision Blizzard has not been cooperative with California’s investigation. It cites Activision Blizzard’s non-disclosure agreements, the requirement that employees must speak with the company before contacting the state department, and the hiring of union-busting law firm WilmerHale as examples of the company’s lack of cooperation.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Blizzard

Blizzard Is Changing McCree’s Name In Overwatch Amid Lawsuit

Blizzard announced today on Twitter that it will be renaming Jesse McCree and delaying the start of Overwatch’s next story arc. The change comes after the real-life developer for whom the cowboy character was named was let go from the company amid ongoing fallout from a California lawsuit accusing the company of widespread sexual harassment and discrimination.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Blizzard

World Of Warcraft Achievements Remove References To Hoes, Giant Sacks

In late July, Blizzard announced it was taking steps to remove inappropriate content and references from World of Warcraft. Two of those changes surfaced in an early build of the upcoming 9.1.5 patch, which changes the name of two achievements so they no longer reference the phrase “bros before hoes” and large testicles.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Blizzard

Workers Accuse Activision Blizzard Of Union Busting

Activision Blizzard employees represented by the ABetterABK worker group filed a lawsuit against the Call of Duty publisher with the National Labor Review Board yesterday accusing it of union-busting.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Blizzard

Blizzard Reduces Titty In World Of Warcraft, But Not Sexism At The Company

As spotted by WowHead user Archimtiros, the latest 9.1.5 patch for World of Warcraft updates some in-game paintings of women to be less revealing, while others have been removed altogether. A robed woman’s image in Stormwind has been altered to cover more of her breasts, and a scantily clad reclining woman in Ravenholdt has met the strange fate of becoming a bowl of fruit.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Blizzard

Diablo II Resurrected Dev: Folks Deciding If They’ll Buy It Should ‘Do What They Feel Is Right’

In an interview with Axios Gaming on September 17, the design director on the upcoming Diablo II remake explained that folks trying to decide if they should buy the game should “do what they feel is right.” Many players don’t want to support Activision Blizzard games after a recent lawsuit made public horrible stories and claims of abuse and harassment mostly targeting women at the company.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Photo: Drew Angerer (Getty Images)

U.S. Government Now Investigating Activision Blizzard, Bobby Kotick Subpoenaed

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 lawsuit filed in July. The SEC has subpoenaed Activision and several of its high-ranking execs, including CEO Bobby Kotick.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Blizzard

Blizzard’s Chief Legal Officer Quits Amid Lawsuit

Blizzard Entertainment’s chief legal officer, Claire Hart, has resigned from the embattled company. She announced the news in a LinkedIn post yesterday, saying that last Friday, September 17, was her final day.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Photo: Matthew Eisman (Getty Images)

Overwatch 2's Boss Is Quitting Blizzard For “Some Time Off”

Chacko Sonny, who has been at Blizzard since 2016 and has worked on both Overwatch games, announced his departure to colleagues on Friday, Bloomberg reports. In addition to his role on Overwatch he was also a company vice president.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Activision

Activision Blizzard Settles With Federal Employment Agency For $18 Million

Kotick, of course, is receiving effective compensation of $154 million in 2021, meaning he could easily cover the $18 million cost of the EEOC lawsuit settlement many times over.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Blizzard

Labor Union Suggests $18M Activision Blizzard Settlement Akin To Pennies

Following news that Activision Blizzard plans to settle the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) complaint for just $18 million, workers at a labor union say it doesn’t do enough to curb “corporate bad actors.”

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Blizzard

California Steps In To Prevent Activision Blizzard Destroying Sexual Harassment Evidence

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) filed a motion to intervene in a potential settlement between the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Activision Blizzard. The motion argues that the DFEH’s own trial against Activision Blizzard will be irreparably damaged by the conditions of said settlement.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Blizzard

Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Clusterfuck Gets More Clustered, Fucked

As the legal maelstrom continues to grow in the multiple cases against Activision Blizzard, things have taken one of the most bizarre twists yet. The EEOC (with whom Activision Blizzard are attempting to settle) has accused the California DFEH (who are attempting to intervene in that settlement) of using its own former lawyers to fight against them.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Screenshot: Blizzard

Union Pissed About Meager Activision Blizzard Settlement, Demands Fairness Hearing

The Communication Workers of America union filed an objection to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) proposed settlement with Activision Blizzard regarding sexual harassment allegations at the game publisher.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Blizzard

Activision Blizzard May Have Found A Way To Wriggle Out Of California Lawsuit

Activision Blizzard has requested additional time to investigate and potentially disqualify the California Department of Fair and Equal Housing from its ongoing legal battle with the agency. This is on account of potential ethics violations in its other ongoing legal battle with the California Department of Fair and Equal Housing.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Screenshot: CBS / Viacom

More Than 20' Activision Blizzard Employees Have ‘Exited’ Over Harassment Lawsuit

With the company still mired in lawsuits spurred on by historical allegations of harassment, Activision Blizzard has used an interview with the Financial Times to disclose that a number of employees have “exited,” and more “disciplined,” in the wake of the case.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Blizzard

Blizzard Cancels Online BlizzCon 2022

In a letter to the community posted today on Blizzard’s website, the developer said that putting on a massive event like BlizzCon takes the time and energy of everyone at the company, time and energy that Blizzard feels at this time would be better put toward “supporting our teams and progressing development of our games and experiences.”

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Photo: Scott Olson (Getty Images)

Bobby Kotick Takes Another Pay Cut, Waives Arbitration In Letter To Staff

CEO Bobby Kotick—who has been in charge of the company during all the recent allegations of sexual harassment and abusive workplace conditions—is taking possible steps toward his claims of a commitment to inclusiveness. Among them, waiving arbitration, and having his salary cut to its lowest possible level.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Blizzard

Overwatch 2 And Diablo 4 Delayed Into 2023

The delays were blamed on changes in leadership both at Blizzard and on the game development teams. Diablo 4 lost its director and lead designer over the summer, while Overwatch 2 lost its executive producer in September.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Activision Blizzard / Kotaku / Emmanuel Dunand (Getty Images)

Blizzard Is Already Losing Its First Female Studio Co-Head

Jen Oneal, who assumed joint duties of the top position at Blizzard in August, will step down from the company at the end of the year, she wrote in a statement today. In the meantime, she’ll transition to a new but unspecified role at Activision Blizzard. Her co-lead, Mike Ybarra, will take over the rest of her responsibilities effective immediately.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Screenshot: Blizzard

Blizzard Games Aren’t Doing So Great Lately

In the wake of a departing studio head and two major delays of anticipated games, the developer is bleeding players across the board, as it revealed during an Activision Blizzard earnings call last night. Across its portfolio, the studio’s monthly active users plummeted by 13 percent year-over-year, to 26 million.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Photo: Blizzard

Activision Blizzard Devs Win Better Pay And PTO For Contractors

The publisher behind announced yesterday that it would be improving pay and paid-time-off for contractors at the company, including raising the minimum hourly rate to $17 and paying them even during holiday breaks.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Photo: Mike Windle (Getty Images)

Report: Activision’s Bobby Kotick Didn’t Just Know, He Also Was Shitty To Women

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick claimed to be in the dark about widespread allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination that surfaced at the company earlier this year, but according to a new bombshell report by The Wall Street Journal, Kotick wasn’t just aware of the misconduct, he was also involved in ignoring or downplaying the mistreatment of women.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Activision Blizzard / Kotaku / Emmanuel Dunand (Getty Images)

Blizzard’s First Woman Co-Head Resigned Due To Being ‘Tokenized, Marginalized, And Discriminated Against’

Amongst the latest wave of troubling revelations to come out of Activision Blizzard is the news that former exec Jennifer Oneal’s incredibly brief stint as co-head of Blizzard ended due to her being “tokenized, marginalized, and discriminated against.”

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Photo: Drew Angerer (Getty Images)

Bobby Kotick Actually Wrote Fran Townsend’s Deranged, Company-Wide Email

Earlier this year, an email was sent to all employees of Activision Blizzard from the email account of chief compliance officer Fran Townsend. Sent in the midst of historic allegations of harassment against the company, it was so bad that it was one of the direct, cited causes of a staff walkout. Now, The Wall Street Journal reports that Townsend didn’t even write it.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Photo: Scott Olson (Getty Images)

Calls For Bobby Kotick’s Resignation Intensify As Employees Stage Walkout

Social media is aflame with demands that video game industry exec Bobby Kotick resign from his position as CEO of Activision Blizzard in the wake of reporting about his own terrible treatment of women. Leading the charge are Activision Blizzard employees themselves, who are planning another walkout.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: GI.biz / Kotaku / Scott Olson (Getty Images)

PlayStation Boss Calls Out Activision Following Dire Kotick Revelations

As the wider gaming world reacts to the latest wave of allegations against senior figures at Activision, including CEO Bobby Kotick, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan expressed his disappointment at Activision’s response. In an email sent to PlayStation staff, Ryan said he felt “disheartened and frankly stunned.”

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Photo: Scott Olson (Getty Images)

Let’s Meet The Board Members Supporting Besieged Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick

It seems silly to keep referring to them as “The Board”, as though they’re some mysterious, faceless group working from the shadows. This is the board of a video game company we’re talking about here, not the Human Instrumentality Committee. It’s only fair that if they’re going to play such an important role in this whole mess that we at least know who it is we’re talking about.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Photo: Christian Petersen (Getty Images)

Xbox Boss ‘Disturbed’ By What’s Going On At Activision Blizzard, Reconsidering Relationship

Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, sent an email to staff calling the latest wave of allegations about Activision Blizzard deeply troubling, as first reported by Bloomberg and confirmed to Kotaku by Microsoft PR. Spencer joins a growing list of developers, shareholders, and game industry executives speaking up about reported abuse at one of the largest gaming publishers in the world.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Activision / Blizzard

Over 1200 Activision Blizzard Employees Sign Petition Demanding CEO Bobby Kotick Quit

This isn’t a random anonymous petition we’re talking about here; this is a public record where each worker puts their name and studio on the line in support of a statement condemning the actions of CEO Bobby Kotick, and demanding his immediate resignation.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Activision

Report: Activision Took Years To Fire Someone Who Signed Emails ‘1-800-ALLCOCK’

“There was one example where an Activision employee had for years just signed his email signature 1-800-ALLCOCK,” and Activision reportedly didn’t take action regarding the email signature until it received a complaint about it just this past summer, at which point it fired the employee after a month-long investigation.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Screenshot: Moneyball

Report: Activision CEO Bobby Kotick Will ‘Consider’ Quitting If He Can’t ‘Fix’ Company’s Culture

Besieged Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has reportedly said he will “consider leaving the company” if he can’t speedily address the harassment issues that have made headlines around the world this year.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Screenshot: YouTube / Nintendo

Report: Nintendo Of America President Says Activision’s Harassment Stories Are ‘Distressing And Disturbing’

An email sent to all Nintendo of America employees by president Doug Bowser last week addresses the situation, opened with: “Along with all of you, I’ve been following the latest developments with Activision Blizzard and the ongoing reports of sexual harassment and toxicity at the company. I find these accounts distressing and disturbing, They run counter to my values as well as Nintendo’s beliefs, values and policies.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Activision / Blizzard

Activision’s Damage Control Reaches Sad New Low

Faced with internal unrest, plummeting share prices, and a growing public relations disaster, the men and women at the very top of Activision Blizzard should all be resigning. Instead, they’ve put out a desperate press release in the middle of the night, announcing the formation of a “Workplace Responsibility Committee.”

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Photo: Kevin Dietsch (Getty Images)

Bobby Kotick Has Always Been A Slimy Asshole

Bobby Kotick is a weasel of the highest order. And while he may finally be facing a reckoning for some of his actions as CEO of Activision Blizzard, it’s been a long time coming.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Photo: Clickhole

Right-Wing Group Wants Bobby Kotick Removed From Coca-Cola’s Board

The National Legal and Policy Center, a right-wing organization that “promotes ethics in public life,” has written to Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO James Quincey, asking that he “immediately seek the resignation” of besieged Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick from the company’s board of directors, on which Kotick also serves.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Activision Blizzard / Kotaku

Government Officials Pressuring Activision Blizzard Are Now Threatening The Company’s Profits

State treasurers from California, Massachusetts, Illinois, Oregon, Delaware, and Nevada are calling on Activision Blizzard to take more serious measures in addressing ongoing high-profile investigations and lawsuits about the company’s troubling culture. According to Axios, said treasurers have asked to meet with the board members at Activision Blizzard by December 20, threatening action against the company if it does not comply.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Screenshot: Activision

Call of Duty QA Testers Face Layoffs After Reportedly Being Promised Raises By Activision

Today, contract testers at the Call of Duty studio Raven Software were told that the studio would face layoffs on January 28th of next year, a Call of Duty community manager said on Twitter. A source familiar with the goings-on at the company confirmed to Kotaku that for the next few days in early December, the quality assurance team would be meeting one-on-one with management individually to learn if they were out of a job.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Activision Blizzard / Kotaku / Yevgenij_D (Shutterstock)

Inside The Revolt That Led To Activision Blizzard Workers’ Historic Unionization Push

Several Call of Duty developers have revealed to Kotaku that Activision Blizzard’s internal unwillingness to directly respond to the recently announced Raven Software layoffs was what ultimately sparked the just-revealed, broader labor organizing effort at the troubled publisher.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Activision

Call Of Duty: Warzone Devs Stage Walkout Over Layoffs

Now in its second day, Activision Blizzard workers involved in the Raven walkout say QA from other studios have joined in from offices in Texas, Minnesota, and California, including at Blizzard’s Irvine campus.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Image: Activision Blizzard / Kotaku

Sexually Harassed Activision Blizzard Employee Holds Press Conference To Demand Apologies, Money

Today, a woman named Christine who works at major game publisher Activision Blizzard held a press conference with her lawyer Lisa Bloom to describe the sexual harassment she experienced at the company.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Photo: David McNew (Getty Images)

Activision Blizzard Devs Announce Strike Fund To Support Work Stoppage

The ABK Worker Alliance, made up of employees at publishing giant Activision Blizzard, have called on supporters today to donate to a strike fund to support an ongoing work stoppage over recently announced layoffs.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Photo: Pool (Getty Images)

Activision Exec To Organizing Workers: Pwease Don’t Unionize 😞🥺

With Activision Blizzard employees more organized than ever in the wake of the company’s multiple sexual harassment lawsuits and layoffs in quality assurance, a top executive apparently felt the time was right to send out a fear-mongering email warning workers about the vague “consequences” of unionizing.

Image for article titled Everything That Has Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed
Screenshot: Activision

Call of Duty Studio Vaguely Promises To Do Better A Month After Sexual Harassment Report

Call of Duty studio Treyarch just issued the latest in a long series of murky apologies from Activision-owned studios regarding the ongoing investigation into company-wide sexism, harassment, discrimination, and bullying. In a tweet issued today, Treyarch says there’s no room in its culture for sexism, harassment, racism, bigotry, discrimination, or bullying.


Update 5 (12/26/2021, 2:45 p.m. ET): This will likely be the last time in 2021 this round-up is updated with new stories.

Update 4 (11/18/2021, 5:10 p.m. ET): This round-up has been updated with new stories.

Update 3 (10/02/2021, 4:00 p.m. ET): Once again this round-up has been updated again with more stories.

Update 2 (08/21/21, 11:15 a.m. ET): This round-up has been updated again with more stories.

Update (08/04/2021, 3:14 p.m. ET): This story was originally published on 7/31/21 at 3:30 PM. It has been expanded with additional stories since then.