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UPDATED: Activision Blizzard Doubles Down, Xbox's Phil Spencer Says Microsoft is Reevaluating its Relationship With the Company

Christina Gonzalez Updated: Posted:
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The tense situation at Activision Blizzard continues, following the events of the week including the Wall Street Journal report, the response Kotick citing the “zero tolerance policy” he announced, followed by the company's board issuing a statement that they were standing behind him. Today, according to emails confirmed by Bloomberg, Xbox’ Phil Spencer, said in a staff email that Xbox is “evaluating all aspects of our relationship” with Activision Blizzard.

While the company seems to continue doubling down, its stock price has suffered a little bit this week, and comments from both Jim Ryan of PlayStation and Phil Spencer may have an impact. With their concerns potentially tipping the balance with the threat of financial impact of keeping its CEO on board. “This type of behavior has no place in our industry,” Spencer’s email also stated, calling the reports disturbing and then considering the relationship.

Yesterday, the board continued its defense of Kotick taking place at an all-hands meeting for employees where leadership only answered prescreened questions and promised live appearances from staff were not fulfilled. Details about the all-hands meeting were covered by Game Developer, and mentioned that the company extended Thanksgiving break to a full week with knowledge that the WSJ report would be out this week. This means that the company had at least some idea of what to expect in the report from an unspecified date, and thus began mounting its defenses. 

When asked if the company’s “zero tolerance” policy would apply to Kotick, the board said they lacked evidence, despite the Wall Street Journal pointing to evidence of legal settlements with past employees. 

Meanwhile, a petition demanding that Bobby Kotick resign has now gotten over 700 employee signatures from across various Activision Blizzard owned companies and subsidiaries. This comes after the second employee walkout in several months in response to the long list of allegations and discrimination.UPDATE: The petition now has topped over 1,000 signatures.



Christina Gonzalez

Christina is MMORPG.COM’s News Editor and a contributor since 2011. Always a fan of great community and wondering if the same sort of magic that was her first guild exists anymore.

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