Activision Blizzard execs have mixed response to California lawsuit

Activision Blizzard execs have mixed response to California lawsuit

Management at US games giant Activision Blizzard can't seem to figure out its stance on the recently-filed class-action lawsuit alleging harassment, abuse and other misconduct towards employees.

In the wake of the news, Blizzard president J Allen Brack sent employees an email – as posted to Twitter by Bloomberg's Jason Schreier – in which he described the accusations levelled against the company as "completely unacceptable" and "extremely troubling."

Activision Publishing president Rob Kostich also sent out a similar email to staff – revealed by Polygon's Nicole Carpenter – saying that the behaviour laid out in the lawsuit is "deeply disturbing" before stating that the company has a "zero tolerance for this type of behaviour in our workplace or frankly, in our society."

Kostich also said that the claims are going to be investigated and those in the wrong will be held accountable.

Meanwhile, Activision Blizzard's recently-appointed EVP for corporate affairs – and former Homeland Security Advisor to George W Bush – Fran Townsend very much came out swinging, writing in an email to staff – again, reported by Schreier – that the lawsuit presents "a distorted and untrue picture of our company" and said that the stories it references as "factually incorrect, old and out of context," many of which are apparently from "more than a decade ago."

The exec says that the lawsuit doesn't reflect the Activision Blizzard she knows and says that the company "truly values equality and fairness."

The class-action lawsuit was filed last week against Activision Blizzard by California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing and details a wildly toxic working culture. The publishing giant denied the allegations made against it.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.