Activision harassment lawsuit stops World of Warcraft development
By Aron GerencserJuly 26, 2021
Sexual harassment is disturbingly common and deeply embedded in the video game industry.
Activision-Blizzard is the latest company involved in a harassment controversy, and it's affecting the development of World of Warcraft.
In a lawsuit filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the company is being accused of turning a blind eye towards harassment and cultivating an unsafe working environment with 'fratboy culture'.
The lawsuit is based on testimonials given by several former and current employees who witnessed or suffered sexual harassment while working at Activision-Blizzard.
Senior System Designer Jeff Hamilton also turned to Twitter to air his thoughts about the on-going controversy, revealing that "[...]almost no work is being done on World of Warcraft right now".
He touched on the company response to the suit which made employees "[...]so mad and traumatized they’re rendered unable to keep making a great game".
Hamilton prefaced his take by stating that he personally had positive experiences working at Activision-Blizzard, but that it is "DAMNINGLY OBVIOUS that that experience has not been universal."
Activision-Blizzard employees are highly critical of the company's stance, outlined in Executive VP of Corporate Affairs Fran Townsend's internal e-mail sent out following the lawsuit being filed.
It is unclear how the lawsuit will affect the content pipeline. The Phase 2 release of PTR for The Burning Crusade Classic is the only outstanding release fans are waiting for.