Gaming Industry Pressures Activision Blizzard Over Scandal

    • Sony and Microsoft have internally expressed displeasure regarding Activision Blizzard's handling of sexual misconduct allegations.
    • A recent report stated that CEO Bobby Kotick knew of serious allegations for years.

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Activision Blizzard is facing mounting pressure from its biggest partners in the gaming industry over allegations including sexual harassment and a toxic workplace scandal that now implicates its CEO.

The scandal gained new life on Tuesday with a Wall Street Journal report that CEO Bobby Kotick knew of sexual misconduct allegations for years.

Executives at both Sony and Microsoft have expressed dismay over the allegations and Activision’s handling of them.

“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,” Sony’s PlayStation chief Jim Ryan wrote to employees. “We do not believe their statements of response properly address the situation.”

Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s head of Xbox, expressed similar sentiments, adding that the company is “evaluating all aspects of our relationship with Activision Blizzard and making ongoing proactive adjustments.”

Activision Blizzard, maker of “Call of Duty,” “Diablo,” and “World of Warcraft,” is a key partner to both tech giants. The company brought in $2.1 billion in net revenues in the third quarter.

  • Over 800 Activision Blizzard employees called for Kotick’s resignation.
  • Shareholders representing less than 1% of the company’s shares also called for Kotick to step down.

Activision Blizzard’s stock is down nearly 30% since the start of the year.