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Games Industry Reacts To Activision Blizzard Lawsuit as Multiple Games Sites Halt Coverage Of Publisher's Games

Joseph Bradford Updated: Posted:
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In the wake of the sexual discrimination lawsuit filed against Activision Blizzard, multiple game press outlets have made the decision to stop covering Activision Blizzard products until meaningful steps have been taken to fix the problems listed in the lawsuit complaint.

In case you missed it, earlier this week the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit against the gaming giant, claiming the company allowed a bro culture to flourish, which in turn helped cultivate an environment of harassment and discrimination against its female employees. Activision Blizzard, for their part, have denied the claims made in the complaint, with Activision Blizzard executive Fran Townsend calling the lawsuit "meritless and irresponsible" in a memo to employees after the news broke. 

Bungie, who develops Destiny which at one point was published by Activision Blizzard, shared some thoughts on Twitter, reaffirming its stance towards cultivating a positive company culture. While it stresses the company is far from perfect and states that it's likely people have experienced harrassment at the company, the Halo creator states that they are "commited to rooting" out those toxic influences that would see marginalized individuals in the industry feel at risk.

Since the news has come out regarding the allegations made against the company, multiple sites have come out in support for those who have faced harassment and discrimination at not just Activision Blizzard, but across other companies within the games industry. As part of a desire to hold the company accountable, many gaming press sites have come out and stated they will no longer be covering Activision Blizzard products until the culture at the company has improved. 

The sites include many major outlets, such as TheGamer, The Escapist Magazine as well as Prima Games. Prima, for their part, are including Ubisoft in their suspension of coverage, citing similar sexual harassment claims made at the company over the last few years. 

PlayStation Lifestyle isn't stopping coverage of the games themselves, however the approach to how Activision Blizzard games will be covered will change based on the lawsuit's allegations. The outlet states that "any potential future coverage" will be "considered through the lens of the lawsuit allegations."

As I stated on Twitter earlier today when these reports started to trickle out from outlets, this is not an insignificant decision on the part of any site choosing to take this stance. As the vast majority of websites are funded based on traffic-supported ad revenue, by choosing to not cover one of the largest gaming publishers on the planet for any amount of time will ultimately result in lost traffic, and in the long run, money. This isn't a hollow stance by any stretch on the part of any site taking part in this.For our part, we will still be covering Activision Blizzard games, though we too will not be letting up on the reporting of the lawsuit and any news surrounding it. And, on our end here at MMORPG, we will be choosing to not stream any Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft or Riot game on our platforms for the foreseeable future until we have seen a clear and transformative change at the culture of these companies. 


Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore