I’m uninstalling battle.net until I hear that Blizzard can act like a grown-up

July 23, 2021

I love some of the games Blizzard has produced. Overwatch’s PVP focus isn’t for me, but the gameplay would be fun with a PVE focus… The Diablo family is the perfect representation of the genre it birthed, where no other entry really matches the chemistry of the originals… Starcraft and Warcraft are some of the most fun RTS gameplay in their genre… And WoW’s siren call is amplified by the fact that it’s one of the first big games to make an M1 native version a priority.

All that being said, no matter how much I love the games, I can’t give a cent to the company that also breeds these stories:

Activision Blizzard sued by California over constant abuse of women employees | Boing Boing:

At one point Activision Blizzard is described as a “frat house”, but that doesn’t begin to capture the scale and gravity of the allegations. Women punished for becoming pregnant. Women kicked out of lactation rooms. Women punished for leaving the office. African American women denied full employment and subjected to unique requirements. A woman committed suicide on a business trip with a male colleague who brought along lube and butt plugs.

In the office, women are subjected to “cube crawls” in which male employees drink copious [amounts] of alcohol as they “crawl” their way through various cubicles in the office and often engage in inappropriate behavior toward female employees. Male employees proudly come into work hungover, play video games for long periods of time during work while delegating their responsibilities to female employees, engage in banter about their sexual encounters, talk openly about female bodies and joke about rape.

Female employees are subjected to constant sexual harassment, including having to continually fend off unwanted sexual comments and advances by their male co-workers and supervisors and being groped at the “cube crawls” and other company events. High-ranking executives and creators engaged in blatant sexual harassment without repercussions.

In a particularly tragic example, a female employee committed suicide during a business trip with a male supervisor who had brought butt plugs and lubricant with him on the trip.

Its response to this lawsuit is libertarian dogma about “irresponsible behavior from unaccountable State bureaucrats that are driving many of the State’s best businesses out of California.”

Activision Blizzard says interviewing diverse candidates for every opening “unworkable”

Activision Blizzard attorney told the SEC in January, “While the Company has implemented a Rooney Rule policy as envisioned [for director and CEO nominees], implementing a policy that would extend such an approach to all hiring decisions amounts to an unworkable encroachment on the Company’s ability to run its business and compete for talent in a highly competitive, fast-moving market.”

Activision Blizzard’s attorney further said the proposal was micromanaging in nature, and “leaves no room for the Company’s management or Board of Directors to exercise discretion in how new hire decisions are structured.”

Costs and poor leadership were why Blizzard’s Warcraft 3 reboot bombed

With Activision focussing on larger titles, such as Overwatch 2, and laying off 800 of its workforce in 2019, Classic Games would never receive the full support required to recapture Warcraft 3. Nevertheless, they plowed on, and even started taking pre-orders for the game. That left the team committed to releasing the title. A Blizzard spokesman told Bloomberg: “In hindsight, we should have taken more time to get it right, even if it meant returning pre-orders.”

Despite getting help from other Blizzard departments during the final development push, it was too late. The game was so poorly received that demands for refunds were upheld. Even now, 18 months on, the game is missing much of the promised content that it was sold on.

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