Activision Blizzard finds there is no 'evidence' of harassment at Activision Blizzard

Blizzard Entertainment HQ picture
(Image credit: Carli Velocci / Windows Central)

Update (6/16/2022, 2:05 p.m.): ABetterABK responds, saying the findings are an "incredible disrespect" to victims of harassment.

What you need to know

  • Activision Blizzard leadership has been under fire over the last year, with lawsuits alleging the company allowed a sexist workplace culture and abusive behavior to go unpunished.
  • Activision Blizzard recently finished an internal investigation, in which the Board of Directors found that there is "no evidence" the Board ignored allegations.
  • Activision Blizzard is currently in the process of being acquired by Microsoft.

Activision Blizzard leadership has found that Activision Blizzard leadership did not intentionally ignore any evidence of wrongdoing. 

Activision Blizzard published (opens in new tab) the results of an internal investigation on Thursday, finding that there is "no evidence" ignored or downplayed any allegations or reports. The report does find that there are "some substantiated instances of gender harassment" but that these issues never constituted a "systemic" issue.

"Outside advisors, after exhaustive review, also determined the Board never intentionally ignored or attempted to downplay the instances of gender harassment that occurred and were reported," the report states, adding that "Activision Blizzard senior executives responded in a timely manner and with integrity and resolve to improve the workplace."

Activision Blizzard has faced lawsuits since July 2021, when reports broke alleging that the company allowed systemic sexist workplace behavior, abuse, and more to go unpunished. Since that time, over 20 employees have been fired, while the company has committed to change and agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission. 

All of this comes as Activision Blizzard has agreed to be acquired by Microsoft. The purchase is worth almost $69 billion, the largest ever in the gaming industry. The deal is currently slated to be complete sometime in Microsoft's fiscal year ending June 30, 2023. 

QA workers at the Activision Blizzard-owned studio Raven Software recently voted to unionize as the Game Workers Alliance, a first for a studio under a North American gaming publisher. Microsoft has committed to working with the union, agreeing to a neutrality pact that'll go into effect 60 days after the deal to acquire Activision Blizzard closes.

Update

ABetterABK, a workers' collective representing the people working across Activision, Blizzard, and King, stated via Twitter (opens in new tab) that "This is an incredible disrespect to the victims of harassment."

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.