Activision, the developer of the popular video game franchises Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and StarCraft, is facing a lawsuit in which it is accused of fostering a work environment where sexual harassment of female workers, unequal pay and discrimination are allowed. discrimination .
The reaction on the part of the study, assuring that it was going to be investigated although that the complaint contained “distorted descriptions” and false, provoked the anger of many of its employees. Specifically, more than 1,500 employees and former employees signed an open letteraddressed to Activison executives asking them to take responsibility.
A strike has also been called and a list of demands presented to the executives, including ending mandatory arbitration clauses in workers’ contracts, hiring and promoting more diverse candidates, transparency over wages and allow a third party to audit Human Resources procedures and Activision reports. That same day, the company’s shares plunged 6.76% to $ 84.05 at the close, reaching the lowest since December 2020.
The stance of the developer’s employees and former employees is especially significant when it comes to a sector such as video games, dominated by men and known for its overtly toxic behavior and its reluctance to change . In 2014, several feminist activists critical of this industry faced death threats in what became known as Gamergate .
The complaint includes incidents ranging from lower wages just for being a woman, through humiliating comments, alcohol consumption in the office and inappropriate behavior with women, to the case of an employee who committed suicide during a business trip after having sex with your superior.
Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision and one of the highest paid executives in the United States with a salary of $ 155 million this year, addressed his employees in a statement to assure them that he regretted not having provided “the empathy and the adequate understanding. ” It also promised to strengthen the team that investigates complaints of inappropriate behavior. However, employees consider these statements insufficient.