ESA Claims Harassment in Video Game Industry

Following allegations against Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, the ESA has commented on the ongoing harassment cases.

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The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) commented on ongoing harassment at Activision Blizzard. Following the allegations against CEO Bobby Kotick, the ESA addressed the type of accusations that continued to be brought forward for Call of Duty publishing company.

News initially came on July 21, 2021 that a lawsuit was filed against Activision Blizzard by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, claiming that the publisher was home and encouraged an environment ” comrades-in-arms”. It is noted that female employees are regularly subjected to sexual harassment, while the company and its executives Bobby Kotick is said to be aware of the lack of professionalism and problematic behavior occurs.


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After the lawsuit, thousands of Activision Blizzard developers responded by signing an open petition confirm the conduct stated in the complaint before the strike. Since July, an increasing number of companies and organizations have been addressing issues in Activision Blizzard, including most recently the ESA. After Nintendo’s Doug Bowser mentioned that Nintendo has been working with the trade body to strengthen its stance against harassment and ensure a case like what happened at Activision Blizzard doesn’t happen again.

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In its statement, ESA does not directly refer to Activision Blizzard, though the trade body describes the type of action and allegations against Activision Blizzard. “Harassment, abuse or mistreatment of any kind in the workplace is unacceptable and should never be tolerated,” the ESA said. “As allegations arise, those affected need to have their voices heard. Any allegations should be acknowledged, thoroughly investigated, and addressed with meaningful consequences.”

The ESA is not alone in taking a stance against harassment and abuse in the workplace. In addition to the trade body, three pillars of the gaming industry, Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, have all issued statements refuting the practices seen at Activision Blizzard. In a company-wide email, Doug Bowser is said to have expressed great concern about the ongoing situation, labeling the allegations as “sad and disturbing”. Bowser didn’t elaborate on that in his email, though the Nintendo executive confirmed that the company has been working closely with the ESA and strives to create an “open and inclusive workplace.”

PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan, and Xbox boss Phil Spencer have both made comments against the alleged harassment in the lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, with Ryan claiming he was “stunned” by the conduct on display at Call of Duty publisher while Spencer claimed he was “disturbed and deeply troubled.”

This news follows Allegations against Activision Blizzard’s CEO Bobby Kotick, who was accused of being aware of his “brother’s” behavior and not taking action as soon as possible to combat harassment in the workplace. Kotick found himself under pressure to resign and has so far informed the company that he will consider resigning if the problem cannot be rectified.

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