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Head of Xbox Phil Spencer Joins PlayStation Boss Jim Ryan in Criticizing Activision Blizzard

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer Joins PlayStation Boss Jim Ryan in Criticizing Activision Blizzard - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 18 November 2021 / 2,206 Views

It was reported this week Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick knew for years about the sexual misconduct allegations at the gaming giant. Later in the same day over 100 employees staged a walkout calling for Kotick resign and be replaced with a new CEO.

Sony Interactive Entertainment boss Jim Ryan sent out an email to employees saying he was "disheartened and frankly stunned to read" to read the report and that Activision "has not done enough to address a deep-seated culture of discrimination and harassment."

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has now joined Jim Ryan in criticizing Activision Blizzard in an email to employees obtained by Bloomberg.

Spencer says Xbox is "evaluating all aspects of our relationship" with Activision Blizzard. He and the gaming leadership team are "disturbed and deeply troubled by the horrific events and actions" at the publisher.

Phil Spencer Joins PlayStation's Jim Ryan in Criticizing Activision Blizzard

A group of Activision Blizzard shareholder with a total of 4.8 million shares (out of roughly 779 million total shares) in a letter to the company's board of director have called for Kotick to resign.

The shareholders are also calling for the two longest serving directors on the board, Brian Kelly and Robert Morgado, to retire by December 31. Kelly is chairman of the Activision Blizzard board of directors and Morgado is a lead independent director.

The shareholders said that if Kotick, Kelly and Morgado don't resign, they would not vote for the reelection of the current directors on the board at the next annual meeting in June 2022, and is urging other shareholders to do the same.


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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66 Comments
2zosteven (on 18 November 2021)

if you are concerned do not buy anymore of their products!

  • +9
VAMatt (on 20 November 2021)

Off topic: The comment threads on articles are often better than the forums here lately.

  • +3
pitzy272 (on 20 November 2021)

Seems this email was clearly sent just for the sake of PR and reputation. Sony may have done it for the same reason, knowing it would be leaked, but Phil’s email being sent after feels especially fake and staged.

  • +2
AllfatherStarr (on 18 November 2021)

I can only imagine how many internal emails these guys had to send to confirm there is no harassment going in their studios before making these statements.

  • +2
VAMatt AllfatherStarr (on 19 November 2021)

I hope they're not dumb enough to have those conversations via internal e-mail, considering what the WSJ just uncovered about Activision. They should be calling personal cell phones so that they can talk freely.

  • +3
KrspaceT (on 18 November 2021)

I'd wonder if Nintendo would join in but...not sure Nintendo has leverage the way the guys with COD do.

  • 0
VAMatt KrspaceT (on 19 November 2021)

Nintendo has plenty of clout. But, they probably don't want their name in the same sentence with Activision right now. They're a much more conservative company than MS, and the gaming division of Sony.

  • +4
CaptainExplosion (on 18 November 2021)

We need to vote with our wallets.

  • 0
DroidKnight (on 18 November 2021)

I hope this tanks their stocks further and then I'll buy in and wait for the turn-around.

  • -1
Vinther1991 (on 19 November 2021)

Some people here still defend Kotick, despite a grotesque amount of evidence that he treats his employees like shit.
But then again there are people who think Harvey Weinstein was the victim, even after he was found guilty. Because nothing can ever be the harasser/rapist's fault, it can only be the person who gets harassed or raped who is to blame, everything else is cancel culture!

  • -3
padib Vinther1991 (on 19 November 2021)

Nobody is saying that and nobody is defending him. I don't care about the guy I actually want him fired.

But evidence is to be handled by a court or by professional reviewers, not by observers like you and I who have no competence on the matter and have absolutely no access to the information needed to make a judgement. The guy is not even judged properly and we are seeing all this call to arms and for his call to being fired.

Did it ever occur to you he might have done his job? It's unlikely but it's possible. Perhaps he did a half-job and needs to be corrected. We don't have the set of information needed to judge any of this.

Let judgement run its right course and enough with this damned mob.

If we don't do this, it is only a matter of time before propaganda and news papers become the official source of justice. I don't want to be in that future which is already starting to manifest.

Look no further than the last president of the United States himself, who was accused through political games by all the media of calling people to arms to storm the capitol, which he never did or ever hinted at, on the contrary. All the people (the mob) and the media were blaming him for the events, and a ridiculous call to impeach him was driven by politicians. When it was taken to a proper court that could judge the matter seriously, it was all proven to be unfounded accusations and untrue.

We are moving in a very dark future and unless some of us wake up and stop the madness it will only get worse.

Again, I really hate the guy, but enough with this nonsense and let him be evaluated by professionals before people jump to conclusions because of journalists and protestors.

  • +5
Vinther1991 padib (on 19 November 2021)

You want the board to fire him, 'the damned mob' wants the board to fire him. That's all we ask for. So what action of 'the damned mob' do you have a problem with exactly.

The legal system still has shit to do with it, they will handle the charges he faces, and decide if he gets a fine or goes to prison, his job situation is not their concern. It is not like his previous sentences got him fired anyway.

  • -3
padib Vinther1991 (on 19 November 2021)

I already explained it all to you in my reply. Just reread it and hopefully you'll understand.

  • +3
Hiku padib (on 19 November 2021)

In the example you gave, the senate leader of his own party said he is "practically and morally responsible" for the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, but let him off on a technicality. That he cannot be impeached for it, because he is no longer the president.
Which goes with the point I was about to make.

How many times have rich and powerful people gotten away with it because they had a mountain of money to pay for legal fees and drag things out until the significantly poorer plaintiff can't continue? How many times have they settled things out of court because they could offer someone life-changing money, and then they subject more victims to the same thing? Because that is also part of the due process you speak of.
And when you say evaluated by professionals, that often comes down to the decision of randomly picked jury members, who are not professionals in any way.

I don't think you should say "We don't have the set of information needed to judge any of this" because people can only speak for themselves in these situations. I don't know how much of this you've looked into, but since you're seemingly always going to be opposed to any situations like this by default, you probably have little to no incentive to read any more about it than you've already heard.
Either way, even if you had read every word of the WSJ report which is behind a paywall, along with everything related to the investigation and lawsuit by the state of California, the hundreds of people who shared similar stories or corroborated others of things that happened under his watch, it doesn't really matter when people can have vastly different ways of reasoning. You and me included.

When we spoke about a certain game a while back and I asked you why you think a certain story portion was written to occur at the point in the story it did (very early), I was thinking about how from a writing perspective if you want the viewers to go from absolutely hating a character more than you possibly ever have, to no longer doing so, it would take a long time for the viewers to come around. So the event that makes you hate them needs to occur early. Or at least give you a lot of time to go through that emotional roller coaster.
But you weren't thinking about any of that. Instead you told me how the release of the game coincided with mothers day, and things like that. And only things like that.
It's as if we weren't speaking the same language.

So I think it's best to say "I' instead of 'we', as everyone should speak for themselves, as not everyone evaluates information the same, nor are equally informed on the matter. There's for example another member who interjected with a similar argument in another situation, when the suspect in question had already confessed. Because this member didn't read up on it first (and according to himself had no obligation to do so), because he had already decided to take the 'innocent until proven guilty' stance by default.
Rather, if you think it's a conclusion we all should have, that'd require a long discussion dissecting every piece of potentially incriminating information from this particular case. Because every case is different.

Though personally, for me there's a point when there's too much smoke to not be a fire. And I think this situation is way beyond that.

But even if it's at that point, the rich and powerful have a tendency to get away with it, because of that fact. Case in point, the board of directors stand behind him. While it's more of a different tune if you ask the employees. But people who think there's way way too much smoke can say "I won't do business with you unless this person is no longer affiliated with your company". And that's what a lot of people are doing. And that's what Sony and MS are evaluating.

If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck over and over and over, I'll do so as well.

  • +2
padib Hiku (on 19 November 2021)

Hiku, I read that the the whole board of directors are urging Kotick out. This means that they can easily hire a neutral 3rd party to arbitrate and boot him out justly.

What knowledge I have is what I've read and others have shown me. I read it and followed it as best I could as a layman. At the end of the day, all I'm seeing here are political games with people throwing oil to the fire, and this I am seeing it over and over again on the internet. If it quacks like a duck and talks like a duck, this also applies to politics and mob mentality. My biggest point here is not that people want to put pressure on the situation, it's how. The letter from Microsoft appears intentionally leaked with pollical words used that are out of proportion. The acts are not in any way horrific, they are shameful and offensive but not horrific in any way at all.

As for TLOU Part II, I didn't just say it came out on Father's day (which is a very strange coincidence given that Joel is a father figure to Ellie), but much more about the politicising of movies in general, with all male figures being converted to female ones not to advance a plot but to push an agenda. This applies to TLOU P2 where the male figurehead was destroyed just as much as happened with the assassination of Luke Skywalker's character in the highly feministic new star wars series, whether you think I'm being honest about it or not it's my opinion and it is still true to me today after all the defense that people wanted me to gobble I did not agree with any of it even after having spent many days looking into the arguments on all sides. You are pretending like I was expressing myself uninformed but you have no idea how much time I put into understanding the question and my conclusions remain the same. It's okay if you think I didn't research it, but that is YOUR opinion.

So to me it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, which is the beautiful new internet we live with today, where people are up with their pitchforks putting judgements on scapegoats and getting them lynched without pushing for proper justice.

This is what makes me angry.

And I hate the guy a lot.

And for the record, Trumps senate leader was a politician, not a judge. This is very telling and again when he was actually judged in a courtroom it was proven that the accusations were unfounded and laden with lies. I personally believe that the Capitol penetration was planted politically and staged, to show you how nasty I believe politics can be, but that is a debate for another day.

  • +3
Hiku padib (on 19 November 2021)

Could you direct me to where you read that the board of directors want him out? Because if you Google "Activision Board of Directors statement", you should find their statement from 3 days ago, which is as follows:

"The Activision Blizzard Board remains committed to the goal of making Activision Blizzard the most welcoming and inclusive company in the industry. Under Bobby Kotick’s leadership the Company is already implementing industry leading changes including a zero tolerance harassment policy, a dedication to achieving significant increases to the percentages of women and non-binary people in our workforce and significant internal and external investments to accelerate opportunities for diverse talent. The Board remains confident that Bobby Kotick appropriately addressed workplace issues brought to his attention.

The goals we have set for ourselves are both critical and ambitious. The Board remains confident in Bobby Kotick’s leadership, commitment and ability to achieve these goals."

That was their joint statement, so he has the full support of the board. And this situation has not changed as of today, as far as I've seen.

I believe you may be thinking of one group of shareholders that called for his resignation? But a few things:
This group, SOC, owns 4.8 million shares, or just 0.6% of Activision Blizzard. So that won't shift the needle.
And SOC has been criticizing Kotick for a long time.

And yeah, I agree the MS (and Sony) internal e-mail leaks appear intentional. Though I'm not sure since I don't know how their internal communication works.

As for the game, that's what I meant when I said you were thinking of things like that. I was looking at it from a writing perspective. And because my question was very specific (I asked why that event occurred WHEN it did) I did not expect a reply with nothing but conspiracy theories, etc. I was asking why a writer would put that event at that specific spot in the story (as many people were upset at not just the event, but the timing). I don't know if you recall, but I didn't respond to you after that. And truth be told, it was because it was a bit shocking to me, as I remembered other conversations we've had in the past that were very normal. I didn't know how to respond in a way that would get the answer I was looking for, or in a way that may not possibly hurt your feelings, so I just left it at that. And I hope you don't take it that way this time.

Although this could perhaps be attributed to another example of how we don't think alike, but I avoided mentioning the game's name to avoid the risk of potentially spoiling someone.

I didn't suggest that you were uninformed about that game. In fact I've seen people do an unhealthy amount of research such as analyzing a screenshot of a certain character's schedule to determine if they had enough time to build the kind of muscle they did.
What I was saying was that your mind was focused on something else, so you missed the point of my question.

As for Luke, I don't see how him acting out of character is correlated to feminism any more than any of the other 100 things Rian Johnson botched in that film. (Some of which had to be un-explained in the next film.) But you do. And since people keep doing it whenever there's the slightest excuse to, it appears that they're always looking for any reason to do so.
But shitty writing and 'feminism' are not mutually exclusive. One is not always a correlation of the other. They can co-exist. But someone will always claim "that's why everything else is bad". And that to me is a very disingenuous way to go about it.

You say it makes you angry that the internet are up with pitchforks without proper justice, but don't you think you do exactly that when you blame a writer for something you believe they were thinking? Let's imagine for a second that you're wrong, and Rian Johnson would have f***d up Luke's character in the same way, regardless. Then how is your outrage any different?

Well there is one big difference. There's no WSJ report or a state lawsuit with dozens of interviewed witnesses claiming the exact thing you are insinuating.
You are connecting the dots yourself.
What I tend to see you point back at is if a writer said something like "We want inclusiveness", and then you draw a line between two separate dots yourself. Such as why a movie tanked at the box office (that wasn't you, but a different member here), or why this other character was written poorly, etc.

While on the subject of Bobby Kotick, the dots have already been connected by other people who work with him. It's just a matter of whether or not we believe some of them. (Others have already been proven, such as when he threatened to have his assistant killed in a voicemail, which he admitted to, but claimed it was hyperbole.)

But there's probably no one on this planet who can tell you exactly what any writer was thinking when they wrote the script for any one particular thing. Because it's in their head.

  • +1
padib Hiku (on 19 November 2021)

I have to go to a family function and I'll have to answer later but fortunately I found the source at least.
https://www.vgchartz.com/article/451541/activision-blizzard-shareholders-call-for-ceo-bobby-kotick-to-resign/

I can't review it perhaps I confused board with shareholders. If you are right then of course there is a great chance of abuse of power which for that I am completely against.

Still my idea stands that I want him to be tried or have his behaviors reviewed. If it is impossible due to the corporate structure, then there needs to be an external agency which forces the process.

In the end my point is that justice should be handled via the right channels, not like what we see every day on the internet.

For your other points I'll read them later and reply as soon as I am back online.

  • +3
Hiku padib (on 19 November 2021)

Yeah, those are the shareholders I was referring to. They only have 0.6% of shares, so they are not among the board of directors.

The board stands with Kotick because money. Unless their bottom line is affected in a substantial way, it's unlikely that they will change their tune, or that he will step down.
And I don't believe the lawsuit against Activision Blizzard contains any charges against him specifically that would lead to jailtime. So likely the only way for him to be removed is if the shareholders turn against him or he steps down. And since they've shown that they are sticking by him despite all this incredibly negative PR, the only plausible way that would happen is if they consider him a financial liability.
If sales go down and their stock value drops for an extended period.
That could happen if for example Sony and MS pull their games from their stores.

And no rush with the reply. Life comes first. I have some hospital visits in the next few days so it may take some time for me as well.

  • 0
padib Hiku (on 20 November 2021)

I appreciate that, that's really understanding of you.

In my humble opinion, I think there should be a governmental measure to review situations like this in a general and legal way. I don't know enough about the legal and governmental aspect about it to say whether there is one or not, but it is upsetting if the situation was handled irresponsibly and there is nothing that would be done to have justice be brought.

About the disagreement we had about the game, it's unfortunate that sometimes as people we don't know what to do and how to express ourselves, and online I find it especially hard because we all come from such diverse viewpoints and those can either be misunderstood or can clash. I appreciate a lot that you were sensitive to how I felt and I value that.

The situation with Bobby Kotick is really different than the situation with the game. To be honest, you asked me to connect them together but they are entirely different. Can we agree that it's not really going to help us to try and connect them? We both agree that they are entirely different situations.

I'll at least share a reply. I don't know what a writer is thinking, though I can read interviews and listen to them. What I can tell you is that there was a call to diversity, and stories were botched in favor of an inexplicably powerful female, and the trend could be seen in various movies which suffered from the same syndrome. Poor story, diversity (usually for female dominant protagonists), lack of focus on the material, focus on the political message. I don't want to give a dissertation on this, you could say that this is an observation based on interviews and the content itself. If you want to go deeper, we would need to have a proper conversation about it. I am a subscriber to Nerdrotic, have watched many of his analyses which contain portions of movies, articles, interviews, critic pieces, it all points to the same thing. I feel strongly that you are not interested in such content. I am anyway past much of the anger I had since I already abandoned Star Wars (I am not a fan anymore) and can accept to look at the problem I perceived with some perspective. This applies to the game and many other cases I noticed.

As for Activision Blizzard, I don't know about the witnesses coming forward and who they were testifying against, if it was Bobby or other managers. I would need more information to connect the dots more. The harassment claim was outside of Activision and related to his private jet, and the blackmail situation/death threat was dealt with. The only thing that tells me that the problem is still there is that there were harassment problems for years, but do we know what was done about it? Not completely. For example, were people fired during this time when the misconduct was reported? You know that I want him to be judged so at the end of the day I stand by justice, I just don't feel like we have the full set of information to judge from the outside. It certainly looks bad, but what if he did take measures? Then we call for his removal but we don't know truly if that would be justice. That's why I believe that these kinds of things need to be handled properly.

I feel like Bobby most likely did something bad, and I hope it's evaluated professionally. I also feel like there is a spectacle being made, of a political nature, and I am not comfortable with that at all.

This year, since our conversation on the game, a lot has happened. The president of the United States was banned from the world's widest networks of communication with the public (Twitter, Facebook and Youtube) which constitutes censorship. Banks refused to serve his accounts, and it was also done to people who supported him (example MyPillow). I was personally expulsed from vgchartz (permabanned) after clashing with an abusive mod over my political views who thankfully is no longer one, and in my country (Canada) I am no longer allowed to dine at restaurants and go to gyms, among many other freedoms I once enjoyed, because I want to be free regarding vaccination. Without a Covid pass, I can't access these things, and had to cancel a very important business flight to another country. My own government was telling others around me that those unvaccinated are dangerous to those around them, and the mission to banish misinformation by non-neutral companies such as Facebook, Youtube and Twitter has created a bit of a mess to try and find alternative sources of science on the matter. In Quebec, a panel of doctors had to be made to offer actual medical opinions in a world where political messages come first regarding explanations, safety measures and statistical reporting by the government which are often misleading and unethical.
Here is the source to the latest article I read by this body of doctors, you can use Google translate to read it.
https://reinfocovid.ca/vaccination-effets-secondaires-quebec/?fbclid=IwAR15tq8015emu3RZFKGgnnH3Ytg8iXl_oPDrAtcgxfPOuzBBQlCBXhH5VtQ

Government imposes vaccination to the population via a health pass (even youth as of age 12 need a pass to participate in sports activities) and corporate policies forcing employees to have the pass without which they cannot hold their jobs, and vaccination targets to lift the sanitary measures once 80% of children aged 5 to 11 are vaccinated, lack of information on the secondary effects of the vaccine and grossly irresponsible reporting (I know bad stories in my own circle), I am a bit upset at the whole situation of censorship and abuse of power, and people following the common accepted political messages are often being rude towards those who disagree, even often harassing them. I have seen it first hand and suffered from it. Source for lifting restrictions once kids aged 5 to 11 are vaccinated at 80%: https://www.journaldequebec.com/2021/11/18/enfants-de-5-a-11-ans-la-vaccination-pourra-commencer-des-la-semaine-prochaine-au-quebec

Look only a few comments above, my opinions were completely attacked and convolved. I just don't like this villager atmosphere we are in and I want to highlight it so maybe a small fraction of people can wake up. You might not like this analogy, but in the time of Hitler the thing that allowed the discrimination of Jews was propaganda which used very deceitful messages to seed hatred in the hearts of people, who were charmed to believe they were right to think that way. Propaganda is a very dangerous thing, and needs to be vigilantly watched. People love to take justice into their own hands because it gives them a sense of value, they are doing what is right! But in reality this is often the wrong thing to do, and justice should be left in the hands of people who have the authority and ability to do it. In relation to this article, the ultimate verdict on Bobby's handling of the allegations is up in the air. People in this thread want to say that it is obvious and certain, but I don't see it that way. Then add to this the political moves of companies like Sony and Microsoft, publicising their letters to their staff, with Microsoft particularly here grossly misrepresenting the nature of the crimes (you are free to disagree), it is making a political spectacle of something that should be handled not politically but legally. Then add all the cases we have seen of people suffering from defamation such as Johnny Depp in the negative sides of the MeToo movement (false accusations of harassment), actors like Chris Pratt and Scarlett Johanssen being somehow painted in a bad light due to their political beliefs, it boils down to one thing for me: affecting the positions/livelihood of people and putting justice in the hands of political agendas. It is very dangerous, and that again is my point of view.

To tie it all together I will tell you an anecdote. On a sunny, early October afternoon, I was in a good mood going to meet up with my extended family. When I sat at the table, one of my relatives asked me in joke if I was vaccinated. I told him no. He got scared and told me to sit at the end of the table where there was nobody. I told him that since I was not vaccinated, I should be afraid of him since I was not protected as he was. I also explained that the vaccine prevents the symptoms but there is no proper evidence to the fact that it prevents the spread. I was looked at very strangely and bullied by a few of my relatives to sit at the end of the table. This feeling was mixed with my frustrations of losing my rights to enjoy the freedoms others enjoy. Fortunately my direct family arrived soon enough and I was able to sit comfortably with them. This is the mob mentality I dislike, and is similar here. Unless I say that Kotick should be fired, I am a deaf-eared uninformed individual who does not understand reason and believes that Kotick is guiltless or that his fault (if proven true) is less offensive than what it really is (twisting my arguments). And what if I am a minority that goes against the majority opinion and am right? This can also be true of my views on mandatory vaccination. I disagree with it and with how the government is behaving, but the government is meant to protect me, yet it is spreading false messages that lead me to be ostracised for my personal convictions.

These are all deep topics that we can discuss for an eternity, but my point is this: I disagree with the politicisation of this topic, I disagree that matters should be handled outside of justice, I disagree with the cancel culture, I disagree with intolerance of peoples' individual opinions and political views, I disagree with the political climate around COVID, I disagree with the mob dynamics of the internet, and I dislike the fact that people can't discuss controversial subjects without being blasted or rejected.

I don't know what else I can say about it other than my door is always open to you, my friend. Write to me anytime. We may disagree on some things, and if you think I'm being closeminded, we'll find a way for you to communicate that to me.

All the best with your work.

  • +3
padib (on 18 November 2021)

Why are management letters being leaked to Bloomberg? This kind of herd dynamics is really ridiculous. Let every company manage themselves and deal with their internal issues. When will this ridiculous cancel culture ever end?

  • -5
Kakadu18 padib (on 18 November 2021)

Cancel culture, it's bs in most cases. But do you seriously think Kotick should keep his job?

  • +6
padib Kakadu18 (on 18 November 2021)

I think it should go through a legal process, Kakadu. We live in a time where twitter decides justice. Of course I disagree with justice not being applied to higher-ups due to immunity that comes with power, but here is the opposite he is getting lynched without a proper evaluation.

I think this is very important to remember in a society that is sliding into a mob mentality.

  • +3
Kakadu18 padib (on 18 November 2021)

He isn't being lynched. It's just talking.

  • +3
padib Kakadu18 (on 18 November 2021)

You just asked me if you think he should keep his job. I told you I'm not a judge and it is not my job at all. Do you have any facts?

  • 0
Kakadu18 padib (on 18 November 2021)

The articles as of late gave us enough facts.

  • +3
padib Kakadu18 (on 18 November 2021)

You are a layman and do not know the veracity of any of the allegations. If they are true I would say he should lose his job but it is not at all my place, such accusations must be verified in a court of law (or by professionals like a 3rd party review board).

  • +2
Kakadu18 padib (on 18 November 2021)

You're basically telling me you don't have an opinion because you're not a judge.

  • +1
padib Kakadu18 (on 18 November 2021)

I basically told you the exact opposite. I told you if it's true I think he should be removed. But I also told you that I completely disagree with how every internet warrior and business owner feels the right to jump into the question when it really should be handled in the right channels, not on the internet like everything is nowadays, with gross misinformation and jumps to conclusion.

  • +1
Ryuu96 padib (on 18 November 2021)

Activision-Blizzard has literally fired people this year for this stuff without it going through courts but the exact same rule isn't being applied to Bobby despite them saying they have a "zero tolerance policy"

Not to mention Bobby has been a known asshole for years now and has had multiple allegations levelled towards him, one of which he actually did get taken to court for and lost.

https://kotaku.com/activision-boss-loses-legal-battle-over-sexual-harassme-452575586

It's absolutely zero surprise to me that Bobby knew about these harassment allegations at Activision-Blizzard for years and did nothing about it.

  • +2
padib Ryuu96 (on 18 November 2021)

I hate Bobby Kotick as much as the next guy, but before bandwagoning and the internet playing grand justice, I think my anger is aimed at the lack of due process in many cases online, people like Johnny Depp losing their job because they were being beaten by their spouse, or Scarlett Johanssen losing her job because of her personal views, or in this case this idiot Bobby Kotick who everyone has already decided is complicit in harassment.

Moreover, the wording in this letter is so grossly misformulated. Harassment is terrible of course, but it is not horrific. Horrific is someone who mutilates another person, much more severe abuses like rape or murder. Harassment is a crime but it's not horrific, people can recover from it and often when harassment is an issue, these people had a choice to also go work in a safer environment. If this had been going on for years, then why did people just go on with it? Often these harassment claims happen in drunken parties where everyone is on the effect of a given substance. I am not justifying anything, but I am saying that the question of harassment is not as black and white as we always read. Easy to dispel accusations, easy to play victim, all sides can be right and all sides can be wrong.

I am absolutely against harassment, but the whole question is being politicised and mediatized, and add to that some internet herd mentality and you get this crap justice where we call facts some report we read and feel good about our opinion.

If people put pressure to have this case looked into properly then that is a good thing, but otherwise before there is any proof that the allegations are true, people should learn to ask for proper justice through proper evaluation.

  • +1
Kakadu18 padib (on 18 November 2021)

As a CEO it is part of his job to help create a good work environment. He failed at that completely. He doesn't deserve to keep his job because of that.

  • +1
padib Kakadu18 (on 18 November 2021)

He already fired those that were found problematic. Now the question left is about how he dealt with things, if he was accomplice or turning a blind eye. We don't know if that is true or not, and articles are not facts, sorry I can't agree with you on that. I believe people should be judged fairly, always.

  • +3
icykai padib (on 19 November 2021)

People should be dealt with by a real judge, not the internet and rumors. You are spot on padib.

  • +2
Ryuu96 padib (on 19 November 2021)

Were those people he fired also found guilty in court? Lol. Why isn't Activision's "Zero Tolerance" policy being applied to Bobby Kotick?

Are we playing "Poor Billionaire CEO" when at the absolute minimum as CEO he failed to provide a safe working environment for his employees, he fucked up hugely, their initial response was garbage, and after all that they couldn't even be bothered to pay their new co-lead of Blizzard (a woman) an equal wage to her male lead!

With the sheer scale of problems happening at Activision-Blizzard it is foolish to believe he didn't have a clue what was happening and as CEO the fuck up is still on his shoulders regardless of whether he knew or not, I will also say again, Bobby himself has been found guilty in court of very similar stuff.

  • +2
Chazore Ryuu96 (on 19 November 2021)

He's playing devil's advocate and is scared of being wrong, so he's telling us to wait so he can tell us how right he is in waiting, despite all the evidence and history that we can easily read.

  • -5
Ryuu96 padib (on 19 November 2021)

Don't know what Depp or ScarJo have to do with this, I do support Depp, I don't support Bobby, not everything is painted with the same brush, I'm not even sure what this ScarJo thing even is so I won't comment on that.

Bobby Kotick is nothing like Depp's case, he has had allegations thrown at him in the past, he has lost court cases in the past, he's in general a huge dickhead and he is the CEO of Activision-Blizzard, with how wide reaching and deep these problems were at Activision-Blizzard it would be foolish to assume he didn't know about it.

Honestly, I think your second paragraph is pretty disgusting, harassment is terrible, you should end at that but instead you start downplaying it, victim blaming and throwing out an excuse for peoples actions.

You can't make a blanket statement such as "harassment is not horrific, people can recover from it" Sometimes harassment can be vile, sometimes people can't recover from it, you can't paint everyone with the same brush, you're assuming everyone has the same strong mental fortitude to get over anything.

"These people have a choice to go work in a safer environment" is bullshit dude, it's almost victim blaming, you don't know their mental or financial situation to just leave one job for another, not to mention they shouldn't have to leave, this shit shouldn't be happening in the first place!

People don't speak out in harassment cases usually and just "go on with it" exactly because of comments like these, when it should simply be, harassers are pieces of shit, end of story.

Being drunk isn't an excuse for being a dickhead...You may say you aren't trying to justify it but your post is equally as bad trying to downplay it. I'm not even sure what the purpose is of going "harassment is bad but rape is worse!"

I only see you politicising this, I will refer you to my other post about why Microsoft and Sony are commenting on this, this is mainly about these two companies looking out for themselves, if their business partner is accused of such heinous shit they're going to comment about it to their employees.

  • 0
padib Ryuu96 (on 19 November 2021)

I said it can go both ways, I didn't downplay it I am explaining reality. In the case of Johnny Depp, it was playing victim she was pretending like she was being abused by him when in fact it was HE that was being abused. Now you're the one playing political and twisting my words. I also talked about people pretending like nothing happened and that is also wrong.

I said that it can go both ways, it can be a legitimate case, or it can be illegitimate, I would never discourage anyone to speak out about a harassment, but I have heard cases where EVERYBODY is drunk and then after the fact someone cries murder, not just the person claiming of being harassed. And I personally find your comment quite sexist by calling the aggressor a "dick". Do you not think girls can also harass men? You are speaking out of your hat.

The way I see you, you are taking what evidence you are cooking up outside of the Activision affair, asking me to accept those facts, and join the lynch mob as you wish everyone else did because there is all the reason to do so in your view. I disagree with that! And I find that disgusting. There is a system, and as for those who were fired before, I very much hope it was done based on facts and reviews, witnesses coming forward and the truth being handled by professionals.

You are also twisting my words by saying I am downplaying harassment when I was explaining the misuse of the word "horrific", which to me should apply to actual horrific crimes like torture, rape, murder or war crimes like bombing an entire country or attacking civilians with gas and bombs for expansionist gain, that is horrific but you'd have to imagine it to understand the real use of that term. Everyone knows that harassment is a crime, but it is not horrific in relative terms as I just explained it and people are losing sense of reality.

I am not saying you're wrong about him possibly being guilty, I'm saying you're wrong to fight against me when all I'm asking for is a world where people are judged properly, not by internet warriors like the way you are behaving right now. Put your weapons down, and try to understand my point of view. I understand yours, you can understand mine.

  • +2
Ryuu96 padib (on 19 November 2021)

Lol, I'm aware of the Depp case, it's not the same as Bobby, Depp had multiple character references about him along with not having a prior history, Kotick doesn't have that, nor is Depp responsible for a major corporation which is ripe with harassment claims.

"harassment is not horrific, people can recover from it" - This is definitely downplaying harassment and painting them all with the same brush.

Do you not realise how this line of questioning can discourage people from speaking out about harassment: "If this had been going on for years, then why did people just go on with it?" or "harassment isn't horrific, you can recover from it" or "these people have a choice to work somewhere else" etc.

You're downplaying their experiences whether it's intentional or not, you're victim blaming them for not speaking out sooner, these lines of questions will make people not speak out out of fear that they won't be believed or what they went through wasn't a big deal.

I'm sorry for using a commonly used insult, I could use cunt and dick together if you'd prefer, or I'll use a non-gendered insult such as asshole, if that makes you happy.

It's a fact that Bobby lost a sexual harassment case in the past, it's a fact he threatened to kill a former employer, it's a fact that they've fired people under the same "zero tolerance" policy that isn't being applied to Bobby, it's a fact that he's CEO of Activision-Blizzard and thus a lot of this does fall on his shoulders, the public want him gone, his own employees want him go, he should step down but the chances he goes to court are next to zero.

You're downplaying it, we all know rape is the worst shit in the world, it's irrelevant to this conversation, it doesn't mean that harassment can't also be really f*cking bad. Harassment can be horrific, mental damage can be equally as bad as physical damage in some cases, again, you're painting all harassment cases under the same brush.

  • -2
padib Ryuu96 (on 19 November 2021)

Do you realize that your usage of the word "Dick" when talking about people at parties under the influence constitutes harassment talk? This article may be informative to you. The part that might interest you is in the Sexual Harassment paragraph.
https://theconversation.com/whats-the-difference-between-sexual-abuse-sexual-assault-sexual-harassment-and-rape-88218

"Most sexual harassment, however, entails no sexual advance. This third and most common manifestation is gender harassment: conduct that disparages people based on gender, but implies no sexual interest. Gender harassment can include crude sexual terms and images, for example, degrading comments about bodies or sexual activities, graffiti calling women “cunts” or men “pussies.” More often than not, though, it is purely sexist, such as contemptuous remarks about women being ill-suited for leadership or men having no place in childcare. Such actions constitute “sexual” harassment because they are sex-based, not because they involve sexuality."

You want to portray that I am downplaying it but from the start I said it can be problematic on both sides (turning a blind eye, or possible victim playing). You also need to understand that there are levels of sexual crimes and my point had nothing to do with downplaying but to explain the difference between offensive actions and horrific ones, you still are playing with my words to paint my opinion the way you want to read it. If it can help calm your insistent anger against me, when I said that people can recover from it, I was referring to professional therapy.

A person will have a lot of difficulty recovering from a horrific crime such as rape or torture, but harassment is not of the same level at all. If you can't accept that there is a difference and can't appreciate my explanations, I can't keep repeating myself so you can be appeased in your intentionally limited view of what I'm trying to say.

I said, and will have to repeat, that despite all the sides I've tried to outline and all the nuances, never should a person be afraid to SPEAK OUT against any form of harassment, period. Then let a proper body (either a 3rd party review panel or a judge) decide on the matter. If you can't accept that some cases were judged against the allegations of harassment, then I don't know what to tell you, perhaps we live in two different worlds, idk.

Again, if everything you're saying is true, then let it be decided by a professional and that's it.

As for my suggestion for people to change jobs, if what is being said is true and that this has been going on for years, people have the right to work in a safer work environment. There are many jobs in the industry and great companies looking for talent. Of course this does not mean that people shouldn't report a case, but if it has gone on for years then it is also in the hands of workers to realize that their workplace is unsafe and move to somewhere safer. This is my opinion, I find it reasonable and you are free to disagree with it. I know many people who left one company for another on questions of salary, how much more important on questions of sexuality and mental health?

Do you still want to fight? I don't understand what you have against what I'm saying. You want me to judge him guilty, I told you I don't have the information to make that judgement and don't want to see people on the internet playing justice warriors. Is that okay in your worldview? If it isn't, then allow me the freedom to hold my opinion without trying to bully me into some kind of guilt.

  • +3
Matsku padib (on 19 November 2021)

Lol it had been proven in court that with Johnny Depp it was the other way around. Of course it was odd he'd go to court against a news paper for defamation of character if he was guilty, but for some reason he did.

  • 0
padib Matsku (on 19 November 2021)

Exactly. To me it's not really odd, and I don't think people realize the power newspapers have. And that's really the problem here.

I hope people can start being careful about putting justice in the hands of newspapers.

I am totally okay with him being judged professionally a blackmailer, irresponsible, a harasser, but I hate seeing people take the words of newspapers and then jump to their conclusions like what happened with Johnny Depp, which after a year and recorded evidence and proper justice was able to start showing that he was actually the one being abused.

  • +3
Vinther1991 padib (on 19 November 2021)

I wonder how many of the people Activision fired over the years got the privillege of a legal process before their contract was terminated? My guess is about zero. So no, you definitely think these CEO's deserve an extra layer of immunity, because of their position of power.
Bobby Kotick sent death threats to a woman to stop her from speaking out against him in court. The threat is recorded on tape and he admitted it himself. You don't need a court to figure out that he is a piece of shit. A court can only decide if he has done something criminal. How you judge him as a person is up to you.

  • 0
padib Vinther1991 (on 19 November 2021)

Then you and I are saying the same thing. I hate the guy, my point is not to save him if he is a piece of shit, I already said that. On the contrary I am advocating for justice, not internet mob lynching. However if the facts are there that he blackmailed an employee then he must be fired and fined.

That's what I'm saying, not that he should have immunity, I specifically mentioned that that is something I am vehemently against. I am vehemently against both forces: abuse of power, and mob lynching.

Again, if what you're saying is true, then through the right channels, he should be stripped of his authority and perhaps even severely fined.

You might know all the details of his actions but most people don't and are bandwagoning. I have a lot of work and don't have time to read the whole affair. Again, if what you're saying is true, then let a proper justice system handle him.

  • +1
Vinther1991 padib (on 19 November 2021)

What right channels?
The justice system has no power over who Activision choose to have as CEO. That's the board of director that choose that.
The employees and the public are only doing what is right when they request that he gets fired.

  • +1
KratosLives Kakadu18 (on 19 November 2021)

Brian kelly needs to go , more so than kotik. He makes more money than bobby, has more activision shares, and overlooks everything. He is more to blame than anyone else.

  • +1
Ryuu96 padib (on 18 November 2021)

Microsoft and Sony are business partners of Activision-Blizzard, of course they're going to speak about something this major with their employees, what Activision-Blizzard does can have a reflection on Xbox and Sony too by extension of working with them, this isn't cancel culture, it's called consequences of actions.

  • +5
Dante9 padib (on 19 November 2021)

True. Consequences should be determined by the justice system after a thorough investigation, not by the mob. Consumers are free to vote with their wallets, but that should be the extent of their power.

  • +1
Vinther1991 Dante9 (on 19 November 2021)

It's not the justice system that hires and fires people

  • 0
ClassicGamingWizzz padib (on 19 November 2021)

Protect the billionaire piece of shit, poor bobby.

  • -1
padib ClassicGamingWizzz (on 19 November 2021)

I hate Bobby Kotik for ruining one of my favorite companies (Blizzard) and if everything being said is true I hate him even more, but I hate most of all the internet mob mentality.

  • +1
Azzanation padib (on 19 November 2021)

Unfortantly this is a issue we deal with in the modern age. Its also alot easier to blame the head. People are jealous and hated Kotick way before this harassment was put to light and people hate him now. People want to jump on anyone they see too successful for thier liking.

Boycotting and sacking the CEO will not stop work harassment and crimes unfortantly. I agree with you in that this should be dealt in a court of law, not by some media outlets.

If Kotick is proven innocent than these media outlets and those that follow are no different to the harassments going on.

  • +1
Ryuu96 Azzanation (on 19 November 2021)

This is a crazy concept, bare with me, could it be that folk simply don't like him cause he's a dick? Or that he has lost similar cases in the past? Lol.

Folk could also have real issues with how he has managed Activision-Blizzard over the years, essentially turning every Activision studio into a CoD studio or the complete mess that Blizzard is in.

It's 'easy' to blame the head of a company because at the end of the day it is the head of a companies, responsibility to look after his or her own damn company, Lol.

I can assure you that there's CEO's who are just as big and bigger than Kotick that I couldn't give a damn about, I don't hate nor am jealous of, Kotick is just a dick.

  • +2
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Azzanation Ryuu96 (on 19 November 2021)

People hate Kotick for his money, heck i remember people hating Bill Gates because of his money. Its a lot easier to point the finger at one guy which to this point, is innocent until proven guilty.

Its a natural human behavior to cast blame on others. Same with sports, the coach is the one that gets the sack if the team doesn't preform.

At the end of the day, ill wait for actual results before casting my judgement.

Sacking or Boycotting will not stop work place harassment or crimes. People just want to see others burn.

  • +1
Chazore Azzanation (on 19 November 2021)

Why are you all playing devil's advocate for a piece of shit CEO, because of money?.

Why are you throwing Bill into this, as if it's an MS side to defend?. Bill left years ago and isn't in control, but Bobby has been in control for years and still is.

it's baffling to watch gamers(tm) defending a rich af CEO like this.

  • 0
Azzanation Chazore (on 19 November 2021)

I am not defending Kotick, i don't care about the guy, however my morals don't change. Unless his proven guilty, i am not throwing my hat in the ring until its been proven. The internet and media are not the justice system.

I used Bill as an example of people hating rich people and want to watch them burn, even when they have done nothing wrong.

  • -1
Ryuu96 Azzanation (on 19 November 2021)

Who are these people and why don't they in that case hate every CEO of every billion dollar company? Do you really think the Xbox fans here hate Satya or the Playstation fans hate Yoshida? Or the Nintendo fans hate Furukawa? Cause they're rich?

There are plenty of GOOD reasons for disliking Kotick, the way he has ran Activision-Blizzard, the fact that he has lost a legal battle over a sexual harassment case, shitty things he has said in the past.

People always said EA was the worst company but at least they treat their employees well, I've long believed that Activision was the worst major publisher and it isn't because Bobby is rich, basically every CEO of every major publisher is rich. Bobby just screams corporate suite who doesn't care about gaming other than a means to make money.

Kotick has already been proven guilty in the past. Your coach analogy is weird, sure, the team plays a part but the coach is also vital to the performance of a team and thus it does often fall on their shoulders too.

So in this case, we have folk being fired for breaking the rules but Bobby as CEO also shares responsibility, blame has to fall on his shoulders too, this ain't just a few cases of inappropriate behaviour, it's far and wide in the company that he is responsible for, the fault is on him too, and that's without getting into the fact that he is also accused of inappropriate behaviour too.

  • 0
Chazore Ryuu96 (on 19 November 2021)

Thank you, Ryuu

(Also Bobby was found to be on Eptsein's list as well)

  • -2
padib Chazore (on 19 November 2021)

So was Bill Gates. I never heard anyone on here say anything about that.

  • +2
Chazore padib (on 19 November 2021)

Batting for Bobby isn't a good luck.

  • 0
padib Chazore (on 19 November 2021)

Nobody is batting for Bobby. I want him to be tried or his behavior to be reviewed by a neutral panel.

  • -1
Azzanation Ryuu96 (on 19 November 2021)

Kotick has been part of Activation since 1991 and was CEO in 2008. Activision has been pretty good in the past. Why all of a sudden his being judged on how poorly the company is being run? what about when Acitivison was on top of their game?

Activison isn't just one building where he works directly with all his staff. His the CEO and he wouldn't even know 90% of the staff at his company. If harassment happens, that doesn't mean he saw it with his own eyes.. in fact a lot of questions are being raised to why are these issues being brought up now and not at the time they happened? How come no one cares to hear his side of the story? pretty unfair to cast judgment without learning his side. There are always 3 sides to a story. Their side, Your side and the truth.

Everyone has had bad moments in their life and its just another method of blowing someone up, by going over his entire life and picking out his flaws. You can do that with anyone and find some saucy info on anyone, no one is perfect.

Does Kotick need to retire, probably, it is his fault that this has happened? No idea. Ill wait for actual evidence to prove his fate. I don't just hate on someone and wish the worst on someone unless the justice system has had their say.

You know how i know people just hate Kotick for jealously and off topic reasons? Its because no one is asking for Bobby's side of the story, instead they see an opening and choose to attack without knowing the truth because they just want to see blood.

  • -1
Ryuu96 Azzanation (on 19 November 2021)

Changes don't happen overnight, Blizzard has been on a slow decline for a while now, employees are most important to a company and Bobby has shown to not really give a shit about them in the past with comments he has made.

He is being judged on how poorly the company is being run because he is the one running it, we're talking about today, not 10+ years ago. It seems to be that you want to give him credit for all the good but none of the bad is his fault.

I'm well aware the CEO in a company won't personally know his 10,000 employees but it still falls on him to ensure the company is a safe environment for his employees, he failed to do so.

It's irrelevant whether they're brought up now or then, they weren't brought up then likely out of fear of retaliation, although I will say for the 3rd time that Bobby has already lost a sexual harassment case, that alone should have got him booted from Activision-Blizzard, Imo.

No one is perfect but I doubt most people have a sexual harassment case against them, that isn't just a bad moment in life, stop downplaying it, threatening to have someone killed which he admitted to.

Kotick won't have a court date, the chances he goes to court for any of these recent allegations are next to zero, he should leave because he fucked up massively, cause he's a dick and his employees don't want him there, at the end of the day, the employees are the most important thing.

Nothing about Kotick's history as a person is off-topic, I'm jealous of Kotick because he's rich despite not hating far richer people? C'mon dude, that's just an excuse to defend the dude, a weak one at that, and I find it a little ironic considering you hate on companies for far more pettier reasons.

  • -1
Azzanation Ryuu96 (on 20 November 2021)

Like i said i am, i am not defending the guy, i don't care for Bobby, he ruined Blizzard in my eyes. However this recent case, nothing has been proven (yet) or that its any of his fault. We don't know if he has done his part. Unless its proven, we are just using a previous case (probably not work related, no idea) to bring him down. The previous case doesn't mean its his fault his employees are harassing people today.

I don't care if Bobby steps down or gets sued, as long as its for all the right reasons and not just internet propaganda.

  • +2
padib Ryuu96 (on 19 November 2021)

I hate him just as much as the next guy. I used to be a big fan of Blizzard and now no longer. That and how people and companies are handling this news and bandwaggoning, to me, is just as bad. I don't want any of it, either or.

  • 0
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