Activision Blizzard employees plan walkout following lawsuit

Blizzard Logo
Blizzard Logo (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Update 7:38 p.m. ET: Blizzard reportedly told employees that it's offering paid time off for those participating in the walkout.

What you need to know

  • Activision Blizzard employees are planning a walkout following the recent lawsuit from the State of California.
  • The lawsuit alleges that Activision Blizzard has a "frat boy culture" with numerous cases of sexist workplace behavior.
  • Over 800 employees previously signed a letter referring to the company's response so far as "abhorrent."

Activision Blizzard employees are planning a walkout in protest to the company's response to the ongoing lawsuit, per Bloomberg. This lawsuit followed a two-year investigation by the State of California, which alleges that Activision Blizzard has fostered a "frat boy" workplace environment, with multiple cases of sexist behavior towards women, alongside allegations of abuse.

The strike is planned for Wednesday outside of Blizzard's office in Irvine, California. Striking employees are demanding new guidelines for recruiting, interviewing, hiring and promoting, alongside the ability to publicize salary information and a third-party audit of the company leadership and HR department.

Activision Blizzard's response to the lawsuit has proven mixed so far, with Blizzard president J. Allen Brack saying that "I feel angry, sad, and a host of other emotions, but I also feel grateful to work alongside a set of leaders and thousands of employees who join me in their commitment to continuous improvement."

Meanwhile, Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs Frances Townsend took a different tone, indicating that the lawsuit contained "distorted, and in many cases false, descriptions of Blizzard's past."

In response, over 800 Activision Blizzard employees signed an open letter calling for "immediate corrections" while also noting that "...our values as employees are not accurately reflected in the words and actions of our leadership."

Activision Blizzard is a massive publisher responsible for large gaming franchises like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Diablo and more. The company saw record Q4 2020 revenue of over $2.4 billion. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has not yet commented on the lawsuit.

Update: Blizzard reportedly offers paid time off for walkout participants

According to Bloomberg's Jason Schreier, Blizzard told employees participating in the walkout on Wednesday that it'll be offering paid time off.

See more

The walkout is expected to take place from 10 p.m.-2 p.m. PT.

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.

  • The tech industry desperately needs to be unionized.
  • Wouldn't many of the people that would be apart of the walkout be part of the cause of the walkout? Especially if it's paid?
  • Maybe? Maybe they've realized the error in their ways and want to do some good, I don't know. But either way does it matter?
  • Not really. But I guess my point is what is this solving? The company obviously agrees things need to change. (mostly because of the loss of money and lawsuit I'm assuming) I just don't understand why people would assume Activision as a whole would be adverse to solving these problems.
  • I don't know if the company as a whole agrees things need to change. Based on other things I've read there seems to be differing opinions on the lawsuit and allegations that don't show a unified voice (from leadership) about what's going on. Also, yes a lawsuit can be an effective way to get things to change but it doesn't mean the company is making the changes because they really want to address the root issues. By the employees showing a unified front it is harder for the company as a whole to have a superficial response if they indeed don't really care.