Developer and publisher Activision Blizzard was sued by a California agency for discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying less than a week ago, but data and shared experiences about abuse from current and former employees are unlikely to evaporate.
Several (former) developers have expressed their support or shared their own experiences in order to support those affected and show solidarity. During this time it became clear that the topic would likely remain with us for a long time. Let’s hope that victims who have come out will give other victims the strength to speak out about their experiences.
Of apologies, experiences and horror
Former president and co-founder of Blizzard Mike Morhaime apologized for his failure on Twitter and described his stance. It shouldn’t be the only one. Several former developers, including those currently at Blizzard, shared their experiences and described what they went through during their time at the company.
Join Joy Fields, former Blizzard developer More than a detailed statementNot only by talking about her own experiences of sexual assault, but above all by criticizing Blizzard’s work culture. Abusive people in particular are often put in positions of power because that fits with the culture that Blizzard promotes.
Field also wrote: “During my time at Blizzard, men treated me completely like a sexual thing. […] I think this culture was reinforced by the way Blizzard retired. Who you hire depends almost entirely on whether you fit in with the work culture, and as you can see, this work culture is toxic and marked by sexual harassment and abuse. I’m not sure if my move to CDev was solely due to my performance, as I was told several times that I was hired only because of my body and as a sexual choice.”
Victims fear the consequences
Also former Hearthstone boss Ben Brode, who left Blizzard in 2018 (According to private disclosures However, in order to start his own company, and not because he wanted to escape from a toxic work culture), he talked about accidents in the company. He didn’t get harassed himself, but his family mate is like him on Twitter books.
He had recommended that you contact Human Resources, the department responsible for such cases. However, his colleague refused, fearing the consequences: “Several years ago I often remember her when a colleague confided to me that she had been sexually harassed. I asked her if I was allowed to report to HR and she said no, that would be a breach of trust. She was scared and didn’t want to go through this process.”
“I tried to warn her that silence could mean that others would also become victims. I wanted to lose your trust and report this bastard, but I didn’t. I still don’t know if it was the right decision. But I know how incredibly brave you have to be.” It’s true until you talk about something like that,” Brod continued.
As former story head Chris Metzen spoke
Chris Mitzen, former Senior Vice President of Stories and Franchise Development at Blizzard, the company’s storyteller, especially for World of Warcraft, also spoke. on Twitter He issued a statement that opened with: “This is too late.”
Similar to former President Mike Morheim before him, Mitzen also wrote that he regretted his failure: “We failed and I’m sorry. To all of you at Blizzard – those I know and never met – I deeply apologize to you all for the role you played in the work culture that encouraged On harassment, deprivation and injustice.”
He went on to say in his statement, “We have disappointed so many people when they needed us the most, because we had the privilege of not noticing these things, not caring about them, and not creating the necessary environment for our colleagues who needed us. We as leaders. I hope my apologies make a difference. No They can.”
Metzen’s statement has been heavily criticized
Twitter commentators criticize his statement. Similar to Mourheim’s apology, Motzen is also charged with complicity. Users are especially angry because Alex Afrasiabi was Metzen’s successor. Afrasiabi received special mention in the lawsuit against Activision Blizzard and is one of the main culprits in his role as an executive. He attracted attention several times with abusive behavior, which led to the fact that his headquarters was internally referred to as the “Cosby Suite”.
Sober separates itself into one Another Tweet by Afrasiabi. “I loved working with him and brainstorming in story meetings. He was someone I thought a lot about business, but we had nothing to do with each other outside of those meetings. I was never his boss.” […] I’ve never heard of him except that he can be exhausted on a team or an idiot at times. So hearing all of this over the past week has been very terrifying.”
Stop playing Blizzard games is not a solution
Several former developers, including Cher Scarlett, who collected several testimonies in the lawsuit, advised players not to abandon Blizzard games due to accidents. Scarlett Books on Twitter: “I’ve had a lot of messages over the weekend from guys in the community telling me they’ve canceled their World of Warcraft subscriptions and what they can do to help. Don’t stop playing games. Keep watching streaming. This culture isn’t just in the studios.” It is in the community. Stop accepting such behavior.”
In another tweet She outlined her statements: “Listen to me: it’s not just about the people who take advantage of these games. Boycotting the game won’t do much if a large part of the gaming community (the people you leave behind) are the problem.” If you go, who will defend the victims?” So Scarlett argues that instead of leaving, one should stay and stand up against the perpetrators.
You can find more information on the case, more accurate points of the lawsuit and a statement from Blizzard in our corresponding article.
Source: Various Twitter posts in the article but thanks I’m overpowered to gather.
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