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Grand Theft Auto V beats Call of Duty’s record for day one sales

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Activision always touted Call of Duty as the biggest entertainment launch ever, but for now, Grand Theft Auto V is taking that title. GTAV made a record breaking $800 million in the first 24 hours of sales, compared to just $500 million by Black Ops 2 which was called by Activision, “the biggest entertainment launch.”

Activision themselves have reported that they don’t expect Ghosts to be as successful as previous Call of Duty games because of the number of platforms the game is launching on, and because of the different release dates for the platforms.

Black Ops 2 was released in 2012, and Grand Theft Auto V was released yesterday.

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Warzone players call for boycott over Blizzard lawsuit and hacking problems

Due to the Blizzard lawsuit and endless hacking, Warzone, and other Call of Duty players, are calling for a boycott of Store purchases.

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Warzone players are encouraging all Call of Duty gamers to boycott the purchase of skins and bundles from the store in response to the recent Activision Blizzard lawsuit and constant Warzone hacking.

It’s been an unsettling time for Call of Duty and its respective titles – Warzone, Black Ops Cold War, CoD: Mobile, and Modern Warfare. The ongoing Activision Blizzard lawsuit has impacted the franchise, and fans are calling for fellow players to stop buying goods from the CoD store in protest.

This includes everything from skins to Operator Bundles to even the Seasonal Battle Pass. Warzone players are citing the lawsuit, “empty updates,” and hackers as the driving force behind this movement.

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The lawsuit is dealing directly with an “alleged toxic workplace,” and has even lead to a full walkout by employees in response to the unfortunate situation.

Added to this is the purported series of empty updates “full of microtransactions in order to milk the players,” and the ever-increasing threat of hackers, and players have seemingly had enough.

Reddit user Jaszs has lead the charge by saying: “I’m writing this as someone who has played every. single. COD since COD2, and WZ since day 1 until yesterday, and also a former Blizzard fan. Yes, I know it may sound bad, but based on what’s going on (sexual harassment lawsuit, suppressing and abusive treatment of their employees…) I really think those guys don’t deserve anything from us, their customers.

“You can even keep playing the game if you want (there are some cool alternatives though; if you need some just ask in the comments!), just don’t spend any money in their store. In any case, you should also remember that they are the same guys that are releasing empty updates full of microtransactions in order to milk the players, releasing over and over the same game and not giving a single f*ck about the increasing number of hackers.”

The very passionate statement received over 300 comments and counting, and it’s universally in favor of boycotting Activision’s Store ahead of the Warzone Season 5 launch.

Given that there are many responses, here are a selection of replies:

  • “I’ve got 900 COD points and level 90 on the battle pass. Not spending a penny more on this game. They don’t respect their employees, they don’t respect the players (anti-cheat lmao) they aren’t getting anymore of my money.”
  • “Once all this sh*t came to light, my entire friend group collectively uninstalled the game and swore off of it for good. We were already mad at the game for being poorly managed with hackers and constant glitches/crashes. I suppose this was the lead straw that broke the metaphorical camel’s back.”
  • “Based on the way they’ve handled cheating, the CW integration, and the general state of the game in the last year, I’m shocked than any of you have been buying cosmetic items from them. Do you realize what kind of message you’re sending by making the worst CoD their highest-earning one?”

At the time of writing, the post has nearly 1.8K upvotes and rising. Given the player count of Warzone far exceeds this, it’s hard to imagine this boycott would do too much damage.

Conversely, Producer at Sledgehammer Games Alayna Cole has Tweeted an important message concerning the circumstances.

Boycotting the Activision store will have an obvious knock-on effect in terms of sales revenue, and would ultimately disrupt the salaries and jobs of many employees who are not involved in this lawsuit.

It’s a hard position for all involved and for players who engage in Call of Duty games. The lawsuit is still long ongoing, and we’ll continue to update you at Charlie INTEL with any breaking developments.

Image Credit: Activision Blizzard

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Activision Blizzard employees respond to CEO’s statement: ‘We will not return to silence’

Activision Blizzard employee group responds to CEO Bobby Kotick’s statement, demanding more changes.

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Activision Blizzard employee organization group has responded to the email CEO Bobby Kotick sent on July 27 over the allegations surfaced from the California state lawsuit.

Kotick stated that the executive team’s initial response was “tone deaf” and vowed to work together with employees on correcting the mishaps after receiving intense backlash from the company’s employees.

The employee group has responded saying that his response failed “to address critical elements at the heart of employee concerns.”

The statement demands action on the four major points of changes that Activision Blizzard employees want to see, including end of forced arbitration and changes to employee hiring and promotion practices.

It further states that “we will not return to silence; we will not be placated by the same processes that led us to this point.”

The statement from the employee group is below, shared by Axios:

On the evening before our employee walkout, Activision Blizzard leadership released a statement apologizing for their harmful responses to last week’s DFEH lawsuit. While we are pleased to see that our collective voices — including an open letter with thousands of signatures from current employees — have convinced leadership to change the tone of their communications, this response fails to address critical elements at the heart of employee concerns.

Activision Blizzard’s response did not address the following:

The end of forced arbitration for all employees.

Worker participation in oversight of hiring and promotion policies.

The need for greater pay transparency to ensure equality.

Employee selection of a third party to audit HR and other company processes.

Today’s walkout will demonstrate that this is not a one-time event that our leaders can ignore. We will not return to silence; we will not be placated by the same processes that led us to this point.

This is the beginning of an enduring movement in favor of better labor conditions for all employees, especially women, in particular women of color and transgender women, nonbinary people, and other marginalized groups.

We expect a prompt response and a commitment to action from leadership on the points enumerated above, and look forward to maintaining a constructive dialogue on how to build a better Activision Blizzard for all employees.

Today, we stand up for change. Tomorrow and beyond, we will be the change.


Whether Activision Blizzard executives have plans for the above changes remains to be seen. Over 2,600 employees of the company are participating in the Activision Blizzard walkout on July 28, with #ActiBlizzWalkout trending on Twitter.

The movement encourages all employees to not work on July 28 in protest of the company’s executive responses to the lawsuit and allegations.

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Activision Blizzard CEO issues new statement on lawsuit, saying initial response was ‘tone deaf’

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Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick sent out a new email internally to the entire company’s staff on July 27 further addressing the harassment lawsuit which surfaced several issues with the company’s culture.

In this new internal email, Activision Blizzard CEO acknowledges that the company’s initial responses to the situation was “tone deaf.”

Our initial responses to the issues we face together, and to your concerns, were, quite frankly, tone deaf.”

He commits to working with all employees to build a better culture across Activision Blizzard.

His full email is below, shared by Activision Blizzard publicly:

This has been a difficult and upsetting week.

I want to recognize and thank all those who have come forward in the past and in recent days. I so appreciate your courage. Every voice matters – and we will do a better job of listening now, and in the future.

Our initial responses to the issues we face together, and to your concerns, were, quite frankly, tone deaf.

It is imperative that we acknowledge all perspectives and experiences and respect the feelings of those who have been mistreated in any way. I am sorry that we did not provide the right empathy and understanding.

Many of you have told us that active outreach comes from caring so deeply for the Company. That so many people have reached out and shared thoughts, suggestions, and highlighted opportunities for improvement is a powerful reflection of how you care for our communities of colleagues and players – and for each other. 

Ensuring that we have a safe and welcoming work environment is my highest priority. The leadership team has heard you loud and clear.

We are taking swift action to be the compassionate, caring company you came to work for and to ensure a safe environment. There is no place anywhere at our Company for discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind.

We will do everything possible to make sure that together, we improve and build the kind of inclusive workplace that is essential to foster creativity and inspiration.

I have asked the law firm WilmerHale to conduct a review of our policies and procedures to ensure that we have and maintain best practices to promote a respectful and inclusive workplace. This work will begin immediately. 

The WilmerHale team will be led by Stephanie Avakian, who is a member of the management team at WilmerHale and was most recently the Director of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement.

We encourage anyone with an experience you believe violates our policies or in any way made you uncomfortable in the workplace to use any of our many existing channels for reporting or to reach out to Stephanie. She and her team at WilmerHale will be available to speak with you on a confidential basis and can be reached at [email protected] or 202-247-2725. 

Your outreach will be kept confidential. Of course, NO retaliation will be tolerated.

We are committed to long-lasting change. 

Effective immediately, we will be taking the following actions:

  1. Employee Support. We will continue to investigate each and every claim and will not hesitate to take decisive action. To strengthen our capabilities in this area we are adding additional senior staff and other resources to both the Compliance team and the Employee Relations team. 
  2. Listening Sessions. We know many of you have inspired ideas on how to improve our culture. We will be creating safe spaces, moderated by third parties, for you to speak out and share areas for improvement. 
  3. Personnel Changes. We are immediately evaluating managers and leaders across the Company. Anyone found to have impeded the integrity of our processes for evaluating claims and imposing appropriate consequences will be terminated. 
  4. Hiring Practices. Earlier this year I sent an email requiring all hiring managers to ensure they have diverse candidate slates for all open positions. We will be adding compliance resources to ensure that our hiring managers are in fact adhering to this directive. 
  5. In-game Changes. We have heard the input from employee and player communities that some of our in-game content is inappropriate. We are removing that content.

Your well-being remains my priority and I will spare no company resource ensuring that our company has the most welcoming, comfortable, and safe culture possible.

You have my unwavering commitment that we will improve our company together, and we will be the most inspiring, inclusive entertainment company in the world.

Yours sincerely,

Bobby


This new message comes hours after employees of the company announced they’d stage a walk out on July 28 in protest of the company’s initial response to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit has caused many employees of the company to protest in anger over how executives have handled the situation so far.

It remains to be seen how or if this new statement from Kotick will change employee’s views as time goes on.

Activision Blizzard’s new statement took 6 days since the initial lawsuit (and statement) were released.

We’ll continue to keep everyone updated as the situation continues to unfold.

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