Activation is a blizzard The latest video game company will face scrutiny for promoting a culture of sexism. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing has filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging gross sexual harassment and discrimination against female employees of Activ Citation Blizzard. The constructions and systems outlined in the lawsuit are similar to the pain caused by riot games and Ubisoft lawsuits and exposures over the years.
The sports industry has been counting down the years with workplace inequality. Leading companies build forts of shelters around their more problematic employees and systems, in some cases even slower to respond to their discriminatory cultures. Activision Blizzard has the opportunity to set a different tone. So far, that seems unlikely.
The sports industry is notoriously male dominated, and has long been known for its hostility to women. The 29-page DFEH complaint follows a two-year investigation by the publisher of Activision Blizzard – a high profile title Call on duty, The world of craft craft, And Overwatch– and includes allegations of improper hair-raising, ranging from harassment by top officials to so-called “cube crawls”, in which male employees report that they drink large amounts of alcohol as they pass through various cubicles of the fee. And often engage in inappropriate behavior towards female employees. “It describes a culture in which double standards prevent women from moving forward and remain in the company; she says women across the board are paid significantly less for” equal work “than men. The agency alleges that female employees Only 24 percent of the 10,000 employees of Acquisition Blizzard are women, and the top leadership is almost entirely white and male.
In this “free-reading boy” culture, the complaint states, men “proudly” came to work in Hangover, assigning responsibilities to women while they were playing such games. Call on duty, Openly discussing sexual encounters and even joking about rape. The complaint also alleges that employees and officials also resisted in any way without sexually harassing female employees. It said a female employee who had experienced sexual harassment at work – in which co-workers at the party allegedly shared an intimate photo of her – later committed suicide. (In a statement, Activision Blizzard said, “We are fed up with the defamatory behavior of DFEH to file a complaint, which has no bearing on the death of its employees in this case and no attention to its bereaved family.”)
“We value diversity and strive to promote a workplace that includes everyone,” a spokesman for Action Blizzard said in a statement. There is no place in our company or industry, or any industry, for sexual misconduct or any kind of harassment. We take every allegation seriously and investigate all claims. Proceedings were held to consider this issue in cases involving misconduct. The company says it has tried to promote diversification over the past several years, including helping employees report violations, adding a confidential hotline and setting up a team to investigate workers’ concerns. And in many cases incorrect, Blizzard’s past descriptions are included. “
DFEH is seeking compensation and penalties for damages, unpaid wages and attorney fees. Citing ongoing investigations, the department declined to respond to Wired’s request for comment.
Activision Snowfall Reveals echo in Riot Games in 2018 and Ubisoft in 2020. Just as a large gaming culture has been slow to embrace women and minorities, companies that were previously accused of fostering a culture of sexism have been slow to develop.