Xbox will be conducting business with Activision Blizzard differently from hereon in light of the troubling allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment, and toxicity marring the Call of Duty publisher.
While speaking with The New York Times (via PureXbox) in a recent interview, Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, stated that certain changes have come into effect which have also been forwarded to Activision Blizzard. Spencer however refrained from confirming those said changes publicly.
“I always feel for people working on any team, my own teams, other teams. I think people should feel safe and included in any workplace that they’re in. I’ve been in this industry long enough to maybe feel more ownership for what happens in the video game space. And I’m saddened and sickened when I hear about workplace environments that cause such distress and destruction of individuals and teams…”
“The work we do specifically with a partner like Activision is something that, obviously, I’m not going to talk publicly about. We have changed how we do certain things with them, and they’re aware of that. But I also — this isn’t about, for us as Xbox, virtue-shaming other companies. Xbox’s history is not spotless.”
Activision Blizzard faced damning allegations last year for housing a highly abusive workplace culture where several executives were not only aware of the problems but also played their roles in enabling the toxic behavior.
Several lawsuits were filed against Activision Blizzard with numerous bone-chilling incidences, especially one where a female employee took her own life after being subjected to intense sexual harassment by her male supervisor, “including having her nude photos passed around at a company holiday party.”
The situation forced all entities to break away their ties with Activision Blizzard. Call of Duty, for example, lost nearly all of its esports sponsors. The same happened with Overwatch as well as sponsors decided to distance themselves.
It hence comes unsurprising that Spencer took the lead as well and reviewed his Xbox relations with Activision Blizzard.