Activision-Blizzard isn't in a good place right now. For most of 2021, the publishing giant has been the subject of much controversy, mostly surrounding workplace toxicity and sexual harassment. The ongoing lawsuits and investigations have resulted in the departure of several studio executives as well as the delays of some of its biggest games. However, true to the adage that "when it rains, it pours", the problems just keep on mounting as Activision CEO Bobby Kotick now finds himself in hot water following the latest set of allegations.
With that said, all of this talk about Activision Blizzard has not gone unnoticed, with the Head of PlayStation, Jim Ryan, publicly condemning Bobby Kotick and his actions, as well as reaction.
Jim Ryan is disappointed in Activision
Activision and PlayStation have long had a close partnership. PlayStation owners are currently enjoying exclusive content and freebies in Call of Duty: Vanguard. So, you can understand why Jim Ryan has some pretty strong words against his fellow CEO.
In an email acquired by Bloomberg, Ryan expressed his disappointment and added that Activision did not do "enough to address a deep-seated culture of discrimination and harassment." The statement comes after the recent findings that show Kotick knew about the earlier harassment and rape allegations as early as 2006 but paid no mind. What makes this even worse is that several women accused Kotick of using his position in Activision as the company's CEO to abuse and harass them.
Ryan isn't alone in his sentiments. The Strategic Organizing Center Investment Group is calling on Kotick to resign from his long-time position in Activision. The investment group owns around 0.6% of the company's total stock, which is a sizable amount. In addition to Kotick, the SOC Investment Group is also requesting the resignation of two other board members.
The SOC Investment Group has had an antagonistic relationship with Kotick for years. It has been vocal about its distaste for Kotick's large bonuses and salary, as well as the CEO's mass layoffs, among several others.
What is perhaps the largest voice here belongs to Activision employees who are working under Kotick. The ABK Workers Alliance organized a walkout last November 16, which was attended by some 150 employees, as part of its "Zero Tolerance Policy". Ironically, Kotick himself announced that the company would have a zero-tolerance policy going forward in light of the then-recent accusations thrown against senior staff members.
In other Activision-Blizzard news, the ongoing internal turmoil has affected the timeline of its upcoming titles. Both Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 have been delayed with BlizzCon 2022 on indefinite hold.