Activision Blizzard had already been in hot water over the last few months over persistent and problematic issues with discrimination and abuse against employees, but a recent report published by The Wall Street Journal shed even more light on the company’s troubling issues, many of which seem to stem right from CEO Bobby Kotick himself. Unexpectedly, the response from all corners of the industry has been one of shock, which includes one of Activision’s more prominent working partners as well.
In an email sent to PlayStation employees that was then viewed by Bloomberg, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan criticized Activision Blizzard’s patterns of harassment and discrimination. Ryan, who wrote that he was “disheartened and stunned” by the reports, says Activision hasn’t “done enough to address a deep-seated culture of discrimination and harassment.”
Interestingly, PlayStation has also reached out to Activision Blizzard to ask them about the claims in the WSJ report, and about how the company is dealing with the issues, because their response to the situation thus far, according to Ryan, has not been satisfactory.
“We outreached to Activision immediately after the article was published to express our deep concern and to ask how they plan to address the claims made in the article,” he wrote. “We do not believe their statements of response properly address the situation.”
Ryan also wrote that PlayStation itself remains “committed to ensuring our community of developers and gamers feel safe and respected, and providing a secure work environment for every employee.”
With the exception of its more PC-centric titles like World of Warcraft, Activision Blizzard publishes most of its biggest hitters on PlayStation, including, of course, the likes of Call of Duty and Overwatch. Notably, PlayStation has also had an exclusive marketing deal in place for Call of Duty for several years running.
How PlayStation responds to the situation unfolding at Activision remains to be seen, but the company has been known to be take surprising steps against situations it is dissatisfied with. Cyberpunk 2077, for instance, was delisted entirely from PlayStation Network following the game’s drastic launch on consoles, and it remained delisted for several months afterward.
Unsurprisingly, Activision Blizzard’s own employees have responded to the current events loudly as well, with many of them even calling for CEO Bobby Kotick’s resignation. Read more on that through here.