Activision Blizzard Will Never Change Until Leadership Changes

In light of horrible new accusations of abuse and cover-ups, Activision Blizzard’s Board of Directors have chosen a side. Hint: it wasn’t the right side.

Earlier this year, Activision Blizzard was slammed with an eye-opening lawsuit that unveiled a darker, abusive, discriminatory work environment. It described a hostile workplace where women and people of color were discriminated against, harassed, abused, and paid unreasonable wages.

While several abusers were rightfully ousted, the man who oversaw all of it, remains in charge. CEO Bobby Kotick has been doing tons of PR acrobatics since the lawsuit was filed. He’s claimed ignorance (despite being part of group texts related to the “Cosby Room”), minimized accusations before ultimately accepting those accusations, and almost grudgingly making policy changes. Most recently, he cutting his salary to minimum wage until changes has been made (thanks Mr. Millionaire!).

However, he wasn’t as innocent as he’d like you to believe. A bombshell of a report from the Wall Street Journal released today claims Kotick knew of the exploits happening within the walls of Activision Blizzard and all other events that misconduct took place. Reports go so far as to explain he hid it all from the Board of Directors, as well. Even worse are reports of his own abuse towards employees. From directly covering up sexual assaults and even threatening to have a female employee killed.

So, with the insurmountable guilt laid upon Kotick, what did the Activision Blizzard Board do? If you’re thinking, “Fired him” I’m sorry but that would make too much sense. No, no. Instead they backed him up and made statements he is instilling change and making the company a more welcoming place with a zero-tolerance policy.

How could allowing someone who aided, abetted, and oversaw abuse, discrimination, harassment, misconduct and every other accusation that’s been made to remain in charge be in line with the new company rhetoric? “We have a zero-tolerance policy, but we’re gonna keep the guy who tolerated all of the despicable horrible things stick around.”


By backing Kotick, the board themselves is minimizing and discrediting every single victim of abuse. They are setting the standard that as long as you’re a person in power and you’re making them money, you are impervious to your own bad actions. You’re showing that you’re as morally bankrupt as Kotick.

So no, nothing at Activision Blizzard will change. Not as long as the powers that be are there. They could oust Kotick. Make him quit. It won’t change anything, because the people who hold him accountable just gave him a free pass, which sets a precedent for whoever would take the role next.

The whole lot of them need to resign and a new regime of people who actually take the welfare of their employees seriously need to take up the reins. Only then can the rotten core of this company begin to heal.

Since the Wall Street Journal report, more than 100 employees have staged a walkout. We stand with them in this and maintain our ban of not reporting on Activision Blizzard products (an act that has rubbed them the wrong way considering ourselves and other outlets have been blacklisted since voicing our support for the victims a few months ago) until there is change.

We encourage these employees to stay strong and fight for better leadership and conditions. We also encourage you, our awesome readers, to help them in any way possible.

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RPG Gamer by Day, FPS Gamer by Night. Matt has been covering games for nearly a decade. The quickest way to his heart is discussing anything The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Naughty Dog, Bungie, just any game really. Also into movies, TV, travel, and anime.