Following a bombshell Wall Avenue Journal report that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick allegedly knew, withheld, and even participated in harassment and abusive conduct, the corporate’s huge console companions Sony and Microsoft are semi-privately expressing their misery. Bloomberg is now reporting that Microsoft boss Phil Spencer has now advised employees he was “disturbed and deeply troubled by the horrific events and actions” at Activision Blizzard and that Microsoft is “evaluating all aspects of our relationship with Activision Blizzard and making ongoing proactive adjustments” consequently.
“The Bloomberg report is accurate,” a Microsoft spokesperson tells The Verge. Microsoft additionally shared a generic, fully unrelated assertion about how Microsoft desires a “welcoming and inclusive environment for all of our employees at Xbox.”
Yesterday, Sony PlayStation boss Jim Ryan equally advised workers that the corporate had expressed “deep concern” with Activision Blizzard, in accordance with Bloomberg, including that “[we] do not believe their statements of response properly address the situation.”
These personal statements from Sony and Microsoft clearly don’t carry anyplace close to the identical weight as if these corporations publicly known as out the scenario at Activision Blizzard, and it’s not clear if both firm is eager about taking any concrete actions but. Activision Blizzard is likely one of the strongest publishers within the online game business, and each console makers depend on them to offer new big-budget video games for his or her consoles.
That stated, Microsoft and Sony additionally wish to be seen as dedicated to a much less poisonous online game business, and Phil Spencer, particularly, has made combating toxicity a part of his public model. “This type of behavior has no place in our industry,” reads a part of Spencer’s new memo about Activision Blizzard, in accordance with Bloomberg.
“We respect all feedback from our valued partners and are engaging with them further,” Activision Blizzard stated in a press release. “We have detailed important changes we have implemented in recent weeks, and we will continue to do so. We are committed to the work of ensuring our culture and workplace are safe, diverse, and inclusive. We know it will take time, but we will not stop until we have the best workplace for our team.”
Whereas over 1,000 Activision Blizzard workers have signed a petition to take away CEO Bobby Kotick from the corporate, and a few shareholders have demanded his resignation, the board of administrators has to this point signaled they’re assured in his management.
[Disclosure: Casey Wasserman is on the board of directors for Activision Blizzard as well as the board of directors of Vox Media, The Verge’s parent company.]
Replace November 18th, 5:10PM ET: Added assertion from Activision Blizzard.