Recent reports have shed more light on the rabbit hole that is Activision Blizzard’s deeply troubling workplace culture of abuse, harassment, and discrimination, and the industry has reacted the way anyone would be expected to. A recent report talked about PlayStation boss Jim Ryan’s criticisms of Activision’s practices and the way it has dealt with the situation, and it seems Xbox is in the same boat.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently sent out an email to Xbox staff that was then reviewed by Bloomberg, in which Spencer expressed unreserved criticism for the situation at Activision, saying he is “disturbed and deeply troubled by the horrific events and actions” and that “this type of behavior has no place in our industry.” According to Spencer, Xbox is “evaluating all aspects of our relationship with Activision Blizzard and making ongoing proactive adjustments.” Whether this leads to any material steps being taken by the platform holder currently remains to be seen.
In statements to IGN, Spencer and Microsoft confirmed the accuracy of Bloomberg’s report. Spencer said: “I personally have strong values for a welcoming and inclusive environment for all of our employees at Xbox. This is not a destination but a journey that we will always be on. The leadership at Xbox and Microsoft stand by our teams and support them in building a safer environment for all.”
In response to Xbox and PlayStation’s statement, an Activision Blizzard spokesperson said: “We respect all feedback from our valued partners and are engaging with them further. We have detailed important changes we have implemented in recent weeks, and we will continue to do so. We are committed to the work of ensuring our culture and workplace are safe, diverse, and inclusive. We know it will take time, but we will not stop until we have the best workplace for our team.”
Activision Blizzard employees themselves have spoken out against the company and its leadership in recent weeks and months as well, understandably enough. A contingent of both company employees and shareholders have demanded CEO Bobby Kotick’s resignation, though Activision leadership doesn’t seem to be budging on the issue at the moment. Read more on that through here.