Activision Blizzard: Publisher is said to have destroyed evidence

Activision Blizzard: Publisher is said to have destroyed evidence

Activision Blizzard

Over a month ago, the state of California filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard that detailed abuse, sexism, gender discrimination and bullying within the company. The allegations have already had far-reaching consequences. For example, the first sponsors have dropped out, shareholders have also filed a lawsuit and many players want to forego buying Activision titles in the future.

According to a report, the state of California has now expanded the case again. Accordingly, Activision Blizzard is apparently withheld or even destroyed evidence relevant to the case. Human resources employees were asked to destroy documents related to the allegations, even though they should be freely accessible to investigators. In addition, those responsible are said to have asked their employees to speak to the lawyers at WilmerHale - instead of or before they contact the investigators of the US state. Activision Blizzard would thus interfere in the current investigation without permission.


Activision Blizzard - An overview of the sexism scandal loadVideoPlayer ('84174', '& sAdSetCsategory = article_featured', 12, '16: 9 ', false, 1378374, false, 212069, 260, false, 0,' ',' ', false); In addition, the publisher wanted its employees - according to the allegations from California - to silence with confidentiality statements so that they could not speak freely with the investigators. Activision is currently holding back when it comes to using its own logo in games. The publisher's logo could not be seen in the trailer for Call of Duty: Vanguard or in the alpha of the shooter.

via Kotaku

California Alleges Activision Blizzard Improperly Shredded Investigation Documents

(Photo Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Activision Blizzard lawsuit isn’t going anywhere, and instead, is expanding in scope, according to recent developments. The State of California and the DFEH have filed an amended complaint with new updates about the case, including accusing Activision Blizzard of blocking their progress in various ways.

Per Axios, one major component of the amendment is that the lawsuit seems to now cover contractors as well as employees, and language has shifted from “employees” to “workers” all over the filing in the wake of revelations about the treatment of contract workers at the company.

But California seems especially frustrated with Activision Blizzard’s conduct in regard to cooperating with the DFEH investigation. They say that workers are hamstrung by NDAs and are being told to talk with Activision Blizzard itself before the DFEH. They also say hiring law firm WilmerHale to investigate issues within the company has been something of a roadblock for their own investigation.

Most notably, perhaps, the DFEH now says “documents related to investigations and complaints were shredded by human resource personnel” when they were supposed to be retained for the investigation. Activision Blizzard has not yet responded to request for comment.

Call of Duty Vanguard


In the public sphere, Activision Blizzard has tried to move on, restarting their marketing campaign for Call of Duty Vanguard, and rolling forward with that release in early November, and showing off every aspect of it in the past week or so. But behind the scenes, the lawsuit isn’t going anywhere and only seems to be strengthening in intensity. How long this goes, when it gets resolved and what that resolution will be remains unclear, but a similar lawsuit filed against Riot Games for the mistreatment of women at the company resulted in a huge payout.

Activision Blizzard’s current plans are to hire 2,000 more employees for a dramatic expansion, but it’s reportedly finding it hard to increase its ranks with recruiting efforts due to the recent issues. The Activision side currently has a half dozen separate studios all working on the Call of Duty franchise. The Blizzard side is struggling with its upcoming mega-release, Diablo 4, as multiple high profile team members, including the director of the entire game, were let go by Blizzard in the wake of their own misconduct investigation, and the fate and timeline of that game remains more uncertain than ever.

Through all this, Activision Blizzard stock has remained relatively flat. It fell somewhat around the time the lawsuit was spooling up, but little has moved the needle since then. But that includes the debut of Call of Duty Vanguard, which in a normal year, might have resulted in a spike.

More details to come.

Update: Axios received a comment from Activision Blizzard on the new allegations:

'With regards to claims that we have destroyed information by shredding documents, those claims are not true. We took appropriate steps to preserve information relevant to the DFEH investigation...We have provided the DFEH with clear evidence that we do not have gender pay or promotion disparities. Our senior leadership is increasingly diverse, with a growing number of women in key leadership roles across the company.'

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