Overbuff Recall - September 24, 2021
Zero Employee Demands Addressed
It’s been over seven weeks since the employee walkout at Blizzard and leadership continues to ignore the demands of their employees:
Activision Blizzard Employee Demands
The end of forced arbitration for all employees.
Worker participation in oversight of hiring and promotion policies.
The need for greater pay transparency to ensure equality.
Employee selection of a third party to audit HR and other company processes.
Today’s walkout will demonstrate that this is not a one-time event that our leaders can ignore. We will not return to silence; we will not be placated by the same processes that led us to this point.
This is the beginning of an enduring movement in favor of better labor conditions for all employees, especially women, in particularly women of color and transgender women, nonbinary people, and other marginalized groups.
We expect a prompt response and a commitment to action from leadership on the points enumerated above, and look forward to maintaining a constructive dialogue on how to build a better Activision Blizzard for all employees.
Today, we stand up for change. Tomorrow and beyond, we will be the change.
OWL 2021 Grand Finals!
The Grand Finals are almost here!
As of this writing all we know is that the Shanghai Dragons are in the finals, and they will face either the:
- San Francisco Shock;
- Dallas Fuel; or
- Atlanta Reign.
Overwatch 2 @ Grand Finals
Don’t forget we were promised a look at Overwatch 2 during the Grand Finals!
We will get a look at the reworks for both Sombra and Bastion in Overwatch 2 and a look into Bastion’s visual design in the new game. We’ll also get an exhibition match with players from teams who failed to make it to the Grand Finals.
During the playoffs games this week a pop-up has appeared saying: “Be sure to tune in at 4:45 p.m. Pacific Time to the Grand Finals Watchpoint Preshow on September 25 for an update from the Overwatch 2 team!” According to the YouTube scheduler, the preshow is also set to begin at 4:45 p.m. Pacific Time (6:45 p.m. Central / 11:45 p.m. GMT), so apparently our first look is what kicks off the event.
Separately, the Overwatch League Twitter account tweeted on Thursday that things start 15 minutes later: “Watchpoint (Preshow): Hero Reworks @ 5 p.m. Pacific (7 p.m. Central / 12 a.m. GMT)” and “Halftime: Overwatch 2 Exhibition @ 6 p.m. Pacific (8 p.m. Central / 1 a.m. GMT)“.
So when everything will be happening? I suspect the broadcast pop-up tells us that we’ll get 15 minutes of countdown to the show starting at the top of the hour. Anyway, we have a good guess based on the times above but so it would be smart to show up early if you want to make sure you see this content.
OWL Skins @ Grand Finals
Don’t forget that for watching the Grand Finals you can earn some in-game rewards.
30 minutes: a spray unique to the Grand Finals
1 hour: Orisa, Pharah, and Symmetra, plus the spray
2 hours: Genji, Moira, and Reaper, 100 League Tokens, the three skins listed above, and the spray
You can see the entire schedule on the Overwatch League website.
SEC Investigating Activision Blizzard
The Wall Street Journal reported (paywall) this week that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating Activision Blizzard due to how it handled employee allegations of discrimination and sexual misconduct.
The SEC is a U.S. federal agency meant to protect investors, so this investigation probably has to do more with investors losing money than some kind of federal investigation about what happened.
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has been subpoenaed to speak. The article is behind a paywall so I don’t know if a date has been set, and Polygon reported on WSJ’s report if you are unable to read it due to the paywall.
Blizzard CLO Departs
This week the Chief Legal Officer of Blizzard (not Activision Blizzard), Claire Hart, has left the company.
Her leaving made headlines this week after recent departures of high-profile employees, such as former Blizzard President J. Allen Brack, but this one is different from the past departures because we don’t know much about her role with the company or with recent events.
Every company is different, but the generic job role for a CLO is they advise the company on legal matters and help protect the brand. The CLO is not the person people typically report employment issues to, they are the person the leadership goes to say, “We have a problem you need to fix.” If leadership never does that, the CLO may never be aware, or leadership may not have taken her advice. This is both an oversimplification and not to excuse her, but instead a pause to point out that we do not have the facts on this one yet.