Fuck Activision-Blizzard and anyone who looks like ‘em
Fuck ’em with a cactus
If you follow news regarding video games, or anything vaguely relating to feminism you’ll be aware that in the last few months there’s been numerous outings of video game developers running their offices as some sort of hellscape where white men are encouraged to act on worst impulses.
Content warnings for racism, sexual harassment mention of suicide
Currently the state of California is engaged in a lawsuit against Blizzard-Activision since it has determined, based on its history of complaints and the seriousness of those complaints – that the company is literally a hazard to the well being of the state.
Charges include a massive amount general harassment and truly horrifying behaviour including, but not limited to:
- One employee feeling so harassed she committed suicide on a work trip where she had to accompany her main harasser – who also brought sex toys on that work trip.
- Having a “Bill Cosby” suite at conventions which was a hotel room that existed primarily for managers (including a HR manager) to offer a lot of booze to attractive female con goers in the hopes of then coercing them into sex.
- Harassing a Black woman employee to the extent she was required to write a one page essay explaining what she would do with the leave she was entitled to, before they would consider approving it.
The company’s responses to this were to pretend it was insulting they could be accused of such, issue a fauxpology for anyone upset and then hire a union busting law firm to suppress their staff who have begun actively protesting them.
Then there is well… this headline… being a real thing…
Sadly, Blizzard is far from the only company that is having this sort of thing going on.
Much like Blizzard employees, Ubisoft employees have been publicly voicing that they have to endure a “culture of abuse” and was responded to by their CEO, Yves Guillemot, who acted like this was a complaint about a coffee machine not working.
Its not surprising since review of the conglomerate finds that its founders have basically been treating it like their own personal West World for decades, with everything ranging from subsidy abuse and tax avoidance to horrifying instances of sexual harassment.
This is separate to, but following up how this same culture of abuse led to several of their key staff getting outed as sexual abusers last years. Employees are pointing out that CEO claiming in the last year or so that he will fix things, has actively and obviously continued to support abusers.
Sometimes it seems that David Cage spends more time in court than he does in his studio – a couple of months after managing to overturn charges of being a toxic workplace on appeal, the studio essentially confirmed they’re much worse than that in a defamation case around the reporting of said toxic work environment – perhaps best summarized by a single quote…
“But I’m not under oath, so can I lie?” – Quantic Dream co-CEO Guillaume de Fondaumière
David Cage also reported threw a tantrum in the court because he felt it was impinging on his honour. Try imagining working at a place where the man in charge, who famously doesn’t keep promises (cw: Elliot Page deadnamed due to old article here), does that sort of thing when called out. Yeah.
So if you’ve ever wondered why we’re sceptical of claims that “x is actually a great place to work” or “well it wasn’t proven so those reports of employee abuse can’t be trusted” statements – now you know.
The company makes League of Legends, and which employees former Blizzard executive and Biil Cosby suite enthusiast and which tried to get out of trouble by offering to pay $10 million to settle gender discrimination cases in 2019, the amount was described as “measely” by law professionals and rjected by the Department of Fair Employment, also has an ongoing lawsuit against them from the state of California.
So many more….
The worst part is these are just the biggest companies, which have had the most public outings of their abuse – thousands of reports of abuse by others have been surfacing in the wake of these stories.
Most heart-breaking of all are the women who talk about having experienced these companies, or just the wider industry, first hand they couldn’t bring themselves to be surprised or shocked.
This isn’t just video games. This isn’t just the entertainment industry. This is every industry where people are told they’re “lucky” to work there and become beholden to the whims of parasitic corporate shitlords who are used to getting away with everything.
There are, of course, also a staggering number of other abuses such as crunch, labour exploitation, and tax avoidance… such is the world we live in.
– wincenworks &~Ozzie