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  • Blizz/Acti being Sued by Cali State

    As some may know from Discord or anywhere period California has filed a lawsuit against Blizz after a 2 year investigation which alleges: https://aboutblaw.com/YJw

    Makes you wonder as more info comes out it seems a lot of the old dogs who left even knew or had an idea of it.

    J. Allen Brack Email

    Hello Blizzard -

    I personally have a lot of emotions coming out of yesterday, and I know you do, too. The allegations and the hurt of current and former employees are extremely troubling.

    I know many of you would like to receive more clarity. While I can't comment on the specifics of the case as it's an open investigation, what I can say is that the behavior detailed in the allegations is completely unacceptable.
    • It goes - with saying - it is completely unacceptable for anyone in the company to face discrimination or harassment.
    • It goes - with saying - that everyone should feel safe working here, whether we are on campus, at BlizzCon, or working from home.
    • It goes - with saying - it takes courage to come forward, and all claims brought to the company are investigated by internal and (when needed) external investigators. We take these claims very seriously. Claims can be made without fear of retaliation, and many times, I attend to them personally, along with our other leaders.

    Stepping back - when I talked with Bobby about taking this job, one of the first things I mentioned was a revered saint of the Brack household - Gloria Steinem. Growing up, the value of women as equals, understanding the work that had been done for equal treatment, and the fact that there was still much to do, were common themes. This is just one of the reasons why the fight for equality is incredibly important to me. People with different backgrounds, views, and experiences are essential for Blizzard, our team, and our player community. I disdain "bro culture," and have spent my career fighting against it.

    Iterating on our culture with the same intensity that we bring to our games is imperative, with our values acting as our north star. This is some of the most important work we do, both as professionals and human beings.

    A company is more than a legal construct that exists as a piece of paper in a filing cabinet in Delaware. The people that work at the company make it what it is, through their actions and creations. Each of us plays a role in maintaining a place of safety for one other. And it is also up to each of us to continue to craft the Blizzard we want - and commit to doing our part in keeping Blizzard great but always aspiring for more.

    The leadership team and I will be meeting with many of you to answer questions and discuss how we can move forward. In the meantime, I want you to know that you can talk to any manager, any HR partner, any member of the legal team, or to any one on the executive team [including, Hey J]. If you feel more comfortable talking to someone outside Blizzard, or prefer to be anonymous, you can contact the Way2Play Integrity Line.

    I feel angry, sad, and a host of other emotions, but I also feel grateful to work alongside a set of leaders and thousands of employees who join me in their commitment to continuous improvement.

    Thank you Blizzard.

    JAB
    Frances Townsend Email

    Everyone,

    As the Executive Sponsor of the ABK Employee Women's Network and our Chief Compliance Officer, I wanted to reach out to you. I know this has been difficult for many of us. A recently filed lawsuit presented a distorted and untrue picture of our company, including factually incorrect, old, and out of context stories — some from more than a decade ago.

    The Activision companies of today, the Activision companies that I know, are great companies with good values. When I joined the Executive Leadership Team, I was certain that I was joining a company where I would be valued, treated with respect, and provided opportunities equal to those afforded to the men of the company. For me, this has been true during my time. As a leader, I an committed to making sure that the experience I have is the same as the rest of the organization. We have a leadership team that is committed to these principles in every way.

    I am proud to be part of a company that takes a hard—line approach to inappropriate or hostile work environments and sexual harassment issues. Our Speak Up campaign reinforces our zero tolerance for retaliation against those who do speak up. We've made significant investments to foster inclusive behaviors, and to reflect greater diversity within our leadership teams including:

    * Investing in and strengthening our DE&I Employee Networks; creating global networks to bring together the efforts in all of our business units and the introduction of Executive Sponsors.
    * Introducing learning and development programs, including inclusive hiring training.
    * Amplifying internal programs such as the Way2Play Heroes and the recurring Speak Up campaign.
    * Reinforcing channels for employees to report violations including the "ASK List."
    * Introducing an Employee Relations team dedicated to investigating employee concerns.
    * Continuing to require all employees to take Equality & Diversity training including anti—harassment training (and have done so for many years).

    We put tremendous effort into creating fair compensation policies that reflect our commitment to equal opportunity. We review compensation regularly and feel confident that we pay all employees fairly for equal or substantially similar work. We take proactive steps to ensure that pay and advancement are driven by merit. We reward performance, and we conduct extensive anti—discrimination trainings, including for those who are part of the compensation process.

    We work at a company that truly values equality and fairness. Rest assured that leadership is committed to continuing to maintain a safe, fair, and inclusive workplace. We cannot let egregious actions of others, and a truly meritless and irresponsible lawsuit, damage our culture of respect and equal opportunity for all employees. We aspire in our company to do great things: in our games, in our impact on society, and in our work environment. We continue to hold firm to our principles and invest, as we have in the past, the resources to ensure quality opportunities for all employees. We remain committed as a leadership team to doing what is right.

    - Fran
    Blizz publicly responded to Polygon - https://www.polygon.com/22588407/act...fornia-lawsuit

    We value diversity and strive to foster a workplace that offers inclusivity for everyone. There is no place in our company or industry, or any industry, for sexual misconduct or harassment of any kind. We take every allegation seriously and investigate all claims. In cases related to misconduct, action was taken to address the issue.

    The DFEH includes distorted, and in many cases false, descriptions of Blizzard’s past. We have been extremely cooperative with the DFEH throughout their investigation, including providing them with extensive data and ample documentation, but they refused to inform us what issues they perceived. They were required by law to adequately investigate and to have good faith discussions with us to better understand and to resolve any claims or concerns before going to litigation, but they failed to do so. Instead, they rushed to file an inaccurate complaint, as we will demonstrate in court. We are sickened by the reprehensible conduct of the DFEH to drag into the complaint the tragic suicide of an employee whose passing has no bearing whatsoever on this case and with no regard for her grieving family. While we find this behavior to be disgraceful and unprofessional, it is unfortunately an example of how they have conducted themselves throughout the course of their investigation. It is this type of irresponsible behavior from unaccountable State bureaucrats that are driving many of the State’s best businesses out of California.

    The picture the DFEH paints is not the Blizzard workplace of today. Over the past several years and continuing since the initial investigation started, we’ve made significant changes to address company culture and reflect more diversity within our leadership teams. We’ve amplified internal programs and channels for employees to report violations, including the “ASK List” with a confidential integrity hotline, and introduced an Employee Relations team dedicated to investigating employee concerns. We have strengthened our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and combined our Employee Networks at a global level, to provide additional support. Employees must also undergo regular anti-harassment training and have done so for many years.

    We put tremendous effort in creating fair and rewarding compensation packages and policies that reflect our culture and business, and we strive to pay all employees fairly for equal or substantially similar work. We take a variety of proactive steps to ensure that pay is driven by non-discriminatory factors. For example, we reward and compensate employees based on their performance, and we conduct extensive anti-discrimination trainings including for those who are part of the compensation process.

    We are confident in our ability to demonstrate our practices as an equal opportunity employer that fosters a supportive, diverse, and inclusive workplace for our people, and we are committed to continuing this effort in the years to come. It is a shame that the DFEH did not want to engage with us on what they thought they were seeing in their investigation.
    needless to say if everything is indeed proven in that lawsuit, people need to be brought to justice.

  • #2
    Mike Morhaime post:

    https://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1srp1ie

    I have read the full complaint against Activision Blizzard and many of the other stories. It is all very disturbing and difficult to read. I am ashamed. It feels like everything I thought I stood for has been washed away. What’s worse but even more important, real people have been harmed, and some women had terrible experiences.

    I was at Blizzard for 28 years. During that time, I tried very hard to create an environment that was safe and welcoming for people of all genders and backgrounds. I knew that it was not perfect, but clearly we were far from that goal. The fact that so many women were mistreated and were not supported means we let them down. In addition, we did not succeed in making it feel safe for people to tell their truth. It is no consolation that other companies have faced similar challenges. I wanted us to be different, better.

    Harassment and discrimination exist. They are prevalent in our industry. It is the responsibility of leadership to keep all employees feeling safe, supported, and treated equitably, regardless of gender and background. It is the responsibility of leadership to stamp out toxicity and harassment in any form, across all levels of the company. To the Blizzard women who experienced any of these things, I am extremely sorry that I failed you.

    I realize that these are just words, but I wanted to acknowledge the women who had awful experiences. I hear you, I believe you, and I am so sorry to have let you down. I want to hear your stories, if you are willing to share them. As a leader in our industry, I can and will use my influence to help drive positive change and to combat misogyny, discrimination, and harassment wherever I can. I believe we can do better, and I believe the gaming industry can be a place where women and minorities are welcomed, included, supported, recognized, rewarded, and ultimately unimpeded from the opportunity to make the types of contributions that all of us join this industry to make. I want the mark I leave on this industry to be something that we can all be proud of.

    -Mike
    Chris Metzen post:

    https://twitter.com/ChrisMetzen/stat...76394546470913

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    Last edited by Ari; 07-25-2021, 08:00 PM.

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    • #3
      and this is all it got people https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-gb/ne...ld-of-warcraft

      Over the last few weeks, artists and writers across the WoW team have updated a small number of old quests, art assets, names, and dialogue that we identified as outdated and inconsistent with our values as a team. These updates are a relatively small part of a comprehensive, company-wide effort to improve the WoW team and Blizzard as a whole, but they’re important to us as developers.

      In early August, we set up internal channels where the WoW team could share feedback on content that doesn't represent who we are as a team today. During this time, we also gathered a great deal of feedback from players on practically every aspect of the game. The player feedback influenced many gameplay improvements we’re working on for patch 9.1.5, and our internal feedback identified some in-game content that is inconsistent with our goal of building an inclusive and welcoming game world.

      In a game that has thousands of art elements and a word count in the millions, we recognize that these updates will amount to very few total changes overall. Nonetheless, we believe these changes are worthwhile. World of Warcraft is meant to evolve over time, and every day, new players from every walk of life and every corner of the world experience our in-game content for the very first time. As a team, we want the world they see to stand as an expression of our talents and principles.

      Goofy jokes and occasional mature innuendos are part of WoW, and probably always will be. Still, we want to remain mindful of whether certain elements of that world are welcoming to all players. In short, we want our jokes to be inclusive and not punch down.

      Occasionally, when determining whether to adjust content, there can be circumstances that further complicate our decision-making. For example, some of the art that populates our world is often re-used throughout the game. To be certain that we don’t have any instances in which this art appears in a way that is not respectful, in some cases, we might opt to replace specific elements entirely. It’s important to us that we ensure Azeroth is the best place it can be for everyone, and we will continue to improve our processes when it comes to this kind of decision-making.

      We also want players to be able to express themselves through their characters, so we don’t intend to change existing player looks or cosmetics. Instead, we want to ensure that we're offering a wide range of options for players to represent themselves. This work is ongoing alongside our development of new content and features. You’re going to see more of it soon in 9.1.5, and in updates to come—and where applicable, in WoW Classic as well. An example of a post-9.1.5 improvement is the creation of an incubus demon, which we can add to places where succubus models currently appear. We're also planning to make the incubus a glyphable option for Warlocks when they summon that classification of demon.

      As WoW continues to evolve and grow, we’ll keep discussing, reviewing, and acting on this kind of feedback. As always, we’re immeasurably grateful for your input, and we hope you keep it coming.

      -- The World of Warcraft Team
      the actual demands & issues ignored.

      Blizz also laughed at the EEOC charges with a simple 18 mil tag.

      SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep. 27, 2021-- Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI) today confirmed that, as part of its effort to have the most welcoming, inclusive workplace, it has reached an agreement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to settle claims and to further strengthen policies and programs to prevent harassment and discrimination in the company’s workplace. Under the agreement, the principal terms of which are summarized in Attachment A to this press release, Activision Blizzard has committed to create an $18 million fund to compensate and make amends to eligible claimants. Any amounts not used for claimants will be divided between charities that advance women in the video game industry or promote awareness around harassment and gender equality issues as well as company diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, as approved by the EEOC. The agreement is subject to court approval.

      The company also announced an initiative to develop software tools and training programs to improve workplace policies and practices for employers across the technology industry.

      Commenting on the agreement, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said: “There is no place anywhere at our company for discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind, and I am grateful to the employees who bravely shared their experiences. I am sorry that anyone had to experience inappropriate conduct, and I remain unwavering in my commitment to make Activision Blizzard one of the world’s most inclusive, respected, and respectful workplaces.”

      Kotick added: “We will continue to be vigilant in our commitment to the elimination of harassment and discrimination in the workplace. We thank the EEOC for its constructive engagement as we work to fulfill our commitments to eradicate inappropriate conduct in the workplace.”

      In addition to the agreed funds, the company is taking additional steps, including:

      Upgrading policies, practices, and training to further prevent and eliminate harassment and discrimination in its workplaces, including implementing an expanded performance review system with a new equal opportunity focus;

      Providing ongoing oversight and review of the Company’s training programs, investigation policies, disciplinary framework and compliance by appointing a third-party equal opportunity consultant whose findings will be regularly reported to our Board of Directors as well as the Commission.

      Attachment A
      Summary of Agreement
      Below is a summary of the principal terms of the agreement with the EEOC, which is subject to approval by the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

      Creation of an $18 million fund, with any amounts not used for claimants divided between contributions to non-profit organizations whose mission involves advancing women in the video game and tech sectors or who promote awareness around sexual harassment and gender equality and further investments in diversity and inclusion efforts at the Company that go beyond what we agreed to with the EEOC, all as approved by the EEOC.

      The Company will upgrade policies, practices, and training to prevent and eliminate harassment and discrimination in the workplace, including implementing an expanded performance review system with a new equal opportunity focus;

      The Company will engage a neutral, third-party equal employment opportunity consultant – a non-employee who must be approved by the EEOC – who will provide ongoing oversight of the Company’s compliance with the agreement. This independent consultant’s findings will be reported directly to the EEOC and Activision Blizzard’s Board of Directors; and

      The Company will hire an internal EEO Coordinator with relevant experience in gender discrimination, harassment, and related retaliation to assist the Company and the neutral, third-party EEO consultant with implementation of the agreement’s requirements.

      Except as otherwise noted in the agreement, its terms will remain in effect for three years from its effective date. The full text of the agreement, which sets out the commitments in detail, is available in the Investor Relations section of the Company’s website at investor.activision.com/consent-decree-with-EEOC.

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