Acti-Blizzard II: Tides of Darkness

Riley Thomas

Clever right?  Anyways, let’s skip all the formalities and move on with the article because holy crap there’s a lot to cover already!  Walkouts, firings, underhanded tactics by ActiBlizzard, the cowardly CEO finally replies…let’s get right into it.

So unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know about the Acti-Blizzard lawsuit.  Again, this article covers dark topics, including rape, suicide, sexual harassment, and I will pull absolutley zero punches as usual.  So if this offends you or triggers you, well, go read a kids novel or something, this isn’t for you.

First, let’s cover the walkout from the other day.  ActiBlizzard pulled a typical underhanded move with the “Oh you get paid time off for the protest” card, which is the start of ways to shut people up.  This is how companies start, they offer paid time off, and then lull you back in with niceties, and then pull the same shit again.  So it was no surprise that this likely came from the cowardly CEO.  He knows he’s going down with this ship and is scrambling to keep his head above water at this point, and really, even after he released a statement, it was too little too late.  But lets get back to the walkout, we’ll cover the cowardly CEO later on.

Picture from Jon Peltz twitter, thanks for being there and covering this!

During the walkout on 7/28/2021, it’s said that several hundred employees participated, exceeding the expected 100, which is fantastic.  This was well organized and stretched around the Blizzard campus.  They even had designated areas for pet sitting.  This wasn’t a random ‘Hey everyone get up and walk out’ as Acti-Blizzard i’m sure would like you to believe.  This was a well organized, well done protest.  Take a look at Jon Peltz (@JonnyPeltz on twitter) account, he has a great video and photo of all the people outside the ActiBlizz HQ, and you can clearly see hundreds of individuals, men and women, standing in solidarity.  It’s a fantastic site to see, and great to see that people understand what a real peaceful protest is.  What’s sad is the reason for the protest was to get demands met that should be standard in every workplace.  The employees should not have had to do this, because frankly what they want is common sense.  It all comes down to a safer working environment.  It’s 2021 ActiBlizzard.  They should not have to ask for this, it should have been GIVEN from day one.  Overall I think the walkout was a success, and I hope some scumbag at the top gets the hint, you can’t brush this one under the rug, this isn’t Ubisoft.  Action is going to be taken.

He even looks like a jerk. I mean a sweatervest? Come on man.

Speaking of the cowardly sack of trash CEO, he actually came out of hiding and published a letter to his employees on 7/27/2021.  Shockingly it looks like he might have actually learned how to write and not have some underling do it for him.  In Case you’re wondering why I’m so harsh on him, it’s because he released the initial statement that said all this was basically a big joke, and that everything at Activision was fine.  Yet, there was a massive walkout, and continuing protests?  I don’t know Bobby, to me it doesn’t seem like everything is fine.  It seems like your employees are angry, and you’re ignoring them.  Over and over and over Bobby Kotec ignores and fails to reply to the ACTUAL issues, instead dancing around them.  Bobby Kotec has still now acknowledged anything said by the employees, instead releasing this obviously hastily written letter as he again struggles to keep his head above water.  To me, these two letters that are total opposites of one another scream guilty.  One can’t help but wonder if Kotec was involved somehow in this?  Time will tell.  In the meantime, here’s the letter Kotec released on 7/27/2021:

You’ll note several things missing from this.

It doesn’t mention the end of forced arbitration for all employees

It fails to talk about worker participation in oversight of hiring and promotion policies

No mention of the need for greater pay transparency

No mention of employee selection of a third party to audit HR and other company processes

All these were outlined in the original terms of the walkout, found in my previous article, The Death of Activision-Blizzard

As of this moment, 10:45 AM 7/29/2021 over 3800 current and former ActiBlizzard staff signed an open petition that condemned the companies first reply to the lawsuit claiming that it was “distorted, and in many cases false descriptions of blizzards past”

But everything is fine at Acti-Blizzard.

Someone fire this idiot, please.

In even further developments into this chaos, finally some good has come of this, but not enough. Alex Afrasiabi, a former dev at Blizzard who had the “Cosby Suite”, was fired.  It’s widely thought that all references to this excuse of a human are being removed from World of Warcraft, but again, the damage has been done, it’s too little too late.  

Sadly firing this excuse of a human being isn’t enough.  Justice needs to be served.  They need to be arrested and given his own “Cosby Suite” in prison.  A bright part of all this is that this lawsuit, unlike Ubisoft, isn’t being swept under the rug.  This one is here to stay, and it looks like it’s full steam ahead, with no slow down in sight.  This is a major change from other companies such as Ubisoft who paid a lot of shut up money to keep things quiet.  Either way, I have been monitoring this chaos close and will put out more articles when there’s enough major content.  Let’s hope some good comes of this.  Let me rephrase, let’s hope some MORE good comes of this, as we’re already heading in the right direction.  Lets keep going, and make them all accountable.  There are a few charities the protesters in the ActiBlizz Walkout are promoting if you want to help get involved.

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