Female employees of Activision Blizzard faced “constant sexual harassment” and discrimination based on their gender, according to a lawsuit filed against the company by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Some of the claims in the suit are disturbing enough to require a content warning. Activision Blizzard’s initial official response called the state’s descriptions “distorted, and in many cases false,” though one of Blizzard’s executives has called them “extremely troubling” and Activision Blizzard’s CEO later called the company’s first response “tone deaf.”
In response to Activision Blizzard’s denials, what’s estimated to be almost a third of the company’s employees signed an open letter calling for Activision Blizzard’s leaders to take accountability, with many planning a walkout on July 28th. Blizzard has also pledged to remove “inappropriate references” from its MMO World of Warcraft but hasn’t specified what those references are.
The case, along with employee’s response to it, could end up being an important moment for the video game industry, which has long struggled with the mistreatment of female and minority employees. You can check back here for the news on future developments in the case and employee actions.