Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick Addresses "Tone Deaf" Response To Lawsuit

  • Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has issued a letter to employees addressing the lawsuit brought against the company by the state of California that alleges widespread harassment, discrimination, and a "frat boy" culture at the gaming giant. In the letter to staff, he called the initial response from Activision Blizzard "tone deaf," and promised changes. "It is imperative that we acknowledge all perspectives and experiences and respect the feelings of those who have been mistreated in any way," Kotick's letter read. "I am sorry that we did not provide the right empathy and understanding."

    Activision Blizzard's initial response called the lawsuit "distorted, and in many cases false," and was widely condemned by staff who saw the response as downplaying legitimate issues at the company. Over 1000 current and former employees at the company signed an open letter that condemned the company's initial response to the lawsuit, with current employees also planning a walkout on Wednesday as a protest. Activision's share price has taken a hit since the walkout was announced, plunging from around $90 a share on July 26 to $82.38 on the 27th.

    The letter promises five immediate changes within the company, including adding more staff and support to its human resources team, and implementing "listening spaces" moderated by third parties for staff to share ideas for improvement. Another list item reiterates that diverse hiring practices are mandatory for all open positions--though this policy was already in place earlier this year.Continue Reading at GameSpot