Xbox Boss 'Disturbed' By What's Going On At Activision Blizzard, Reconsidering Relationship

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  1. Calliers

    Calliers Administrator/Editor Staff Member

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    Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, sent an email to staff calling the latest wave of allegations about Activision Blizzard deeply troubling, as first reported by Bloomberg and confirmed to Kotaku by Microsoft PR. Spencer joins a growing list of developers, shareholders, and game industry executives speaking up about reported abuse at one of the largest gaming publishers in the world.

    “This type of behavior has no place in our industry,” Spencer wrote in the email, according to Bloomberg, saying he was “disturbed and deeply troubled” by the events and actions brought to light in a bombshell report by The Wall Street Journal earlier this week. The Xbox executive also said the console manufacturer would make “ongoing proactive adjustments” to its relationship with Activision Blizzard moving forward, but apparently did not go into any specifics.

    These remarks follow a big California lawsuit in July alleging widespread sexual harassment and discrimination stemming from the makers of Overwatch and the annual Call of Duty series. The more recent report by The Wall Street Journal surfaced new allegations of mistreatment of women, including by CEO Bobby Kotick. He reportedly told an assistant over a voicemail in 2006 that he would have her killed, and intervened to prevent another executive from being fired from the company for sexual harassment in 2018.

    The news has since led at least one shareholder group to call for Kotick’s resignation, as well as generating renewed scrutiny from the CEO’s own employees. After staging a walkout this week, many in the games industry started calling for the longtime head of the company to resign. On Thursday, over 1,000 Activision Blizzard employees announced that they had signed a petition calling for the same. November also saw PlayStation boss Jim Ryan calling out Activision Blizzard’s actions in his own email to staff.
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    Source: kotaku
     

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