Activision Blizzard’s name has become synonymous with industry trouble. This has been amplified with the latest scandal involving the company, where it was led to court because of the unfair treatment of female employees. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which has brought the charges against the company, has now alleged that Activision Blizzard actively impedes the investigation by destroying documents.
A Short Summary of the Recent Events
California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing put Activision Blizzard to trial after numerous reports of the latter company’s employees adopting a “frat boy” culture.
Female workers shared that they are severely mistreated by their male colleagues. It was said that many of the male employees made indecent remarks about women’s bodies. Additionally, it was mentioned that many of the men come to work hung-over and leave most of the heavy work to the female workers while they chill out. Alcohol consumption at the workplace was also a common occurrence.
A darker example suggested that one woman committed suicide because of a male supervisor. According to the reports, she used to have a sexual relationship with him. During the business trip, when the female employee committed suicide, her supervisor had reportedly brought all kinds of sex toys.
At first, Blizzard higher-ups were dismissive of the accusations, which fanned the fire and led to protests. Even Blizzard’s CEO Bobby Kotick condemned his own colleagues’ demeanor.
Blizzard Meddling With the Investigation
According to a recent report from Axios, California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing is now suing Activision Blizzard on one additional account: interfering with the investigation.
The department reported that the accused company is actively and knowingly shredding documents that are related to the investigation. If that isn’t enough, the reports continue that Activision Blizzard has been trying to reach an agreement with its workers behind the scenes, effectively interfering with the department’s investigation.
Additionally, the lawsuit will include a defense of temporary female workers as well as full-time employees in the equation. The changes to the complaint were reportedly filed this Monday, August 23.
The ongoing lawsuit and the several instances of inadequacy on Activision Blizzard’s side have tarnished the company’s public image. Because of that, numerous sponsors have either retracted or are reevaluating their support of its Overwatch and Call of Duty esports leagues. Some of those sponsors include Coca-Cola, T-Mobile, IBM, State Farm, Kellogg, Pringles, Cheez-it, Astro Gaming, and the US Army.
Losing so much support will surely have a tremendous negative effect on the popular Overwatch and Call of Duty leagues. It is of utmost importance for Blizzard to act now, comply with the investigation, and fix its inner ecosystem. Meanwhile, there have been reports that the Overwatch League’s upcoming season may be postponed, citing delays in the development of Overwatch 2, the game’s sequel. The case is still ongoing, and we are yet to see how it will unfold.