Activision Blizzard employees will walk out and host a protest in front of Blizzard Entertainment HQ on July 28 in Irvine, CA over the company’s executive response to the harassment lawsuit.
Employees will go to Irvine, CA Blizzard HQ on July 28 from 10AM PT – 2PM PT to protest and strike against the company over their lack of proper response to the lawsuit.
“We believe that our values as employees are not being accurately reflected in the words and actions of our leadership,” the organizers said.
The group sent the following statement of intent:
“Given last week’s statements from Activision Blizzard, Inc. and their legal counsel regarding the DFEH lawsuit, as well as the subsequent internal statement from Frances Townsend, and the many stories shared by current and former employees of Activision Blizzard since, we believe that our values as employees are not being accurately reflected in the words and actions of our leadership.
As current Activision Blizzard employees, we are holding a walkout to call on the executive leadership team to work with us on the following demands, in order to improve conditions for employees at the company, especially women, and in particular women of color and transgender women, nonbinary people, and other marginalized groups.”
In addition, the group asked all employees of Activision Blizzard to not work on July 28, from 9am PT to 6pm PT in protest of the company’s leadership.
The group of employees who have organized this have also listed their demands from the company’s executives, as shared by IGN:
- An end to mandatory arbitration clauses in all employee contracts, current and future. Arbitration clauses protect abusers and limit the ability of victims to seek restitution.
- The adoption of recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and promotion policies designed to improve representation among employees at all levels, agreed upon by employees in a company-wide Diversity, Equity & Inclusion organization. Current practices have led to women, in particular women of color and transgender women, nonbinary people, and other marginalized groups that are vulnerable to gender discrimination not being hired fairly for new roles when compared to men.
- Publication of data on relative compensation (including equity grants and profit sharing), promotion rates, and salary ranges for employees of all genders and ethnicities at the company. Current practices have led to aforementioned groups not being paid or promoted fairly.
- Empower a company-wide Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion task force to hire a third party to audit ABK’s reporting structure, HR department, and executive staff. It is imperative to identify how current systems have failed to prevent employee harassment, and to propose new solutions to address these issues.
Employees have asked those who cannot attend the protest should do so online with the hashtag #ActiBlizzWalkout.
Activision Blizzard employees have remained persistent in their demand for better responses from the executive team over the harassment allegations in the lawsuit.
Employees sent a letter, with over 2,000 current and former employees signing it, demanding Activision Blizzard executives issue a proper response and provide a better way to reach a solution.
Activision Blizzard’s only public statement on the lawsuit called the allegations “distorted” which was dismissed by employees. Their statement said the lawsuit from California DFEH “includes distorted, and in many cases false, descriptions of Blizzard’s past.”
The company’s Chief Compliance Officer, Fran Townsend, sent an internal email which caused further backlash internally. She stated the 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.”
Activision Blizzard spokesperson has not responded to requests for comments.
The employee organization group have also shared lists of charities to donate to, in order to help those experiencing discrimination in work place.
- Black Girls Code – https://www.blackgirlscode.com
- Futures without Violence – https://www.futureswithoutviolence.org
- Girls Who Code – https://girlswhocode.com
- RAINN – https://www.rainn.org
- Women In Animation – https://womeninanimation.org
- Women in Games International – https://www.getwigi.com
Activision Blizzard’s social media empire has still remained silent, with no posts from Call of Duty, Overwatch, Diablo, and more.
Activision apologize for using artist’s design in now canceled Vanguard & Warzone skin
Activision have scrapped an unreleased Warzone and Vanguard skin after using an artist’s work without permission.
Activision admitted to the major misstep of using an artist’s work without permission. The original art was to feature in an upcoming Vanguard and Warzone skin that has since been axed.
Major content drops like new seasons or midseason updates deliver weapons, maps, and changes to Call of Duty games, but they also tend to bring brand-new skins to enjoy. Vanguard and Warzone have seen some noteworthy skins that certainly got players talking.
After all, who could forget the Armored Titan, or Godzilla and King Kong skins? At the start of Season 4 Reloaded, players also received a new Terminator crossover. However, teasers for Season 4 Reloaded also hinted at a mysterious wolf-like skin.
After the wolf skin was teased in an official Call of Duty blog post, it was later inexplicably removed and replaced from the very same post. It turns out, Activision used content that did not belong to them in order to create the aforementioned skin.
When the wolf skin was first teased, it certainly generated a ton of buzz, or rather raised a ton of eyebrows. The anthropomorphic Operator definitely sticks out in a WWII-era Call of Duty game. Nonetheless, fans were excited at the prospect of running around as a wolf in Warzone.
Unfortunately, that idea won’t come to fruition as Activision have confirmed that they completely removed the skin from their planned content drop for Season 4 Reloaded.
It seems Activision overstepping bounds is the reason behind the skin’s cancelation.
An artist claimed that the wolf skin, also known as Samoyed skin, was stolen without their permission. In a strange turn of events, Activision has issued an apology, seemingly confirming the artist’s claims.
In a statement, Activision admitted that they “regrettably erred in our process and have removed this imagery from the game,” apologizing for the misstep.
While fans may be disappointed to lose their chance at slaying in a furry wolf skin, most would agree that if the artist’s claims are legitimate, the greater injustice was corrected as nobody should have their work stolen without credit.
For more, check out how CoD players are thrilled with the rumored change to Modern Warfare 2’s movement.
Image Credit: Activision
Activision Blizzard rake in $1.2 billion despite Warzone & Vanguard bringing lowest player count in years
Although 2022 has seen CoD with its lowest player count in years, Activision Blizzard still raked in $1.2 billion from microtransactions.
Although Q1 and Q2 2022 saw Activision have its lowest monthly player count since 2019, the publisher upped its Call of Duty microtransaction revenue in the second quarter, helping to rake in over $1.2 billion.
Activision Blizzard held their quarterly earnings call on August 1, and it was a mixed bag for the Call of Duty franchise.
Alongside teasing that there will be a premium CoD game in 2023, Activision revealed they have seen the lowest monthly player count since 2019 but their in-game cosmetics have been selling well, seeing a notable quarterly revenue increase.
In their earnings call, Activision Blizzard revealed that they raked in $1.2 billion from microtransactions during Q2 2022, which they said was a solid increase from Q1.
Call of Duty’s microtransactions have only got more ambitious as time goes on, bringing Godzilla and King Kong-themed Operator skins back with Season 3, and officially licensed Terminator skins live in Season 4 Reloaded.
“Call of Duty net bookings on console and PC grew sequentially in the second quarter, following gameplay improvements and seasonal content across Call of Duty: Vanguard and Call of Duty: Warzone that were well-received by players,” stated Activision Blizzard in their earnings call.
They also confirmed that “Net bookings for Call of Duty Mobile were consistent with the first quarter.”
However, “Activision’s second quarter segment revenue and operating income declined year-over-year, reflecting lower engagement for the Call of Duty franchise, but grew versus the first quarter.”
Despite microtransactions faring so well, Q2 2022 saw Activision’s monthly player count drop below 100 million for the first time since 2019. Back in June 2021, there were 127 million monthly active users across consoles, PC, and mobile, but this dropped to only 94 million in June 2022.
There’s no knowing what has caused this, but there are more players back at work and school, and Warzone’s devs candidly admitted that they “f**ked stuff up” with Caldera’s launch. Plus, players have been vocal in that they didn’t want another WW2 game, and have been slamming the devs over the lack of new Vanguard content.
Image Credit: Activision
Activision report hints at new Call of Duty title in 2023
An Activision Blizzard Q2 2022 earnings press release hints at the release of a brand-new Call of Duty title in 2023.
A previous report indicated that there wouldn’t be a Call of Duty game released in 2023 after development delays persisted. It seems these rumors may not come to fruition as an Activision report suggests there will be a premium Call of Duty title released in 2023.
Thanks to a Bloomberg report, Call of Duty fans already accepted that in 2023, they wouldn’t be getting a new CoD title for the first time in almost 20 years. While excitement for Modern Warfare 2 is high at the moment, most players were wary of a two-year game cycle.
Luckily, an August 1 report from Activision indicates that the franchise may very well receive a brand-new title in 2023.
Activision Blizzard’s Q2 2022 press release in which the company reveals their earnings for the period in question had some shocking bits of information to reveal. For starters, it seems like Vanguard and Warzone managed to increase in-game revenue in Q2.
Despite this increase, the company still produced lower year-over-year numbers than expected. There’s no telling how these poor numbers may have influenced decisions about future Call of Duty titles but it’s safe to say that Activision have lots in store when it comes to Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2.
In addition, to an exciting slate of 2022 releases, the report also hints at a new premium Call of Duty title in 2023.
Although nothing has been confirmed as of yet, the wording found in the report is certainly suggestive of a 2023 release.
As Activision detailed their plans for the future of the franchise they revealed that they would be, “continuing development of new premium content planned for 2023 and beyond.”
Players were quick to suggest that the premium 2023 content in question could be Modern Warfare 2 DLC or a standalone Zombies experience.
However, this is likely not the case as CharlieIntel explained: “Activision refers to the yearly CoD release as ‘premium’ as it’s paid. So definitely implying something more than just new content is coming next year.”
Stay tuned for more information concerning the possibility of a new Call of Duty title in 2023. For the time being, you can check out how to get Modern Warfare 2 beta codes by watching CDL Champs 2022.
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