Overbuff Recall - October 29, 2021
Activision Blizzard Leadership Addresses SOME Employee Demands After Three Months
Three months after the walkout of Activision Blizzard employees where four demands were issued to company leadership, CEO Bobby Kotick finally addressed some of the demands in a letter to the company.
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.
In the letter, Kotick stated there are five changes the company is implementing:
A new zero-tolerance harassment policy. The goal is to have the strictest harassment and non-retaliation policies of any employer. Anyone investigated and found to have harassed another or retaliated against a complaint will be terminated.
33% or more of the workforce will be women and nonbinary people by or before 2026. The workforce currently sits at 23% of employees identifying as women or nonbinary. This promise includes an investment of $250 million (USD) over 10 years toward initiatives that foster opportunities for underrepresented communities.
Ending forced arbitration of sexual harassment and discrimination charges. This means employees no longer have to give up the right to go to court on these matters as a clause of their hiring contract.
Increased visibility on pay equity. Pay will be reported annually for employees.
Quarterly and annual progress updates. Updates will include reports on gender hiring, diversity hiring, and workplace progress of policies.
These steps don’t fix everything, but they are progress. For example, the promise to end forced arbitration is not for all matters as employees demanded, and only for sexual harassment and discrimination.
Kotick also requested in the letter that the board of the company reduce his pay to the minimum salary allowed by California, $62,500 (USD), and to no longer give him bonuses or equity “until the Board has determined that we have achieved the transformational gender-related goals and other commitments.” The request comes just months after he received massive bonuses of over $150 million (USD). Still, there’s something there at the request.
No BlizzConline in 2022; BlizzCon of the Future Being Worked Out
Earlier this week Blizzard announced that there would be no BlizzConline in 2022.
The reasoning was short and simple, saying, “…we feel the energy it would take to put on a show like this is best directed towards supporting our teams and progressing development of our games and experiences.”
Announcements and updates on games will still occur when they’re ready, there just won’t be any specific event that they’re tied to.
The future of BlizzCon was also addressed, with the announcement declaring the BlizzCon event team wants to reimagine was the event looks like. Things have changed dramatically since the first event was held 16 years ago, and they want to create new ways to ensure the event feels safe, welcoming, and inclusive. While they did not specifically state no BlizzCon in 2022, personally I would not hold my breath.
Cole Cassidy Renaming is Live
In Tuesday’s patch, the name change for Cole Cassidy went live.
During the first few hours of the patch, players scoured the game to find places were references to McCree had been changed. From skin descriptions to sprays, and to Echo’s ultimate callout for Duplicating the cowboy, as far as I can tell they caught everything.
We also changed the name of the hero on our site as soon as we could.
Not all references have been fixed on Blizzard website media yet, and you can find old references to the hero in the PR section still use the old name. These areas are not visited often except by people like me who use the images in her stories for the site.
- Final weekend for Halloween Terror. It will end on Tuesday at 1 p.m. Central (6 p.m. GMT).
- Final weekend for Season 30. It will end on Thursday at 1 p.m. Central (6 p.m. GMT).
- Free BattleTag change for anyone who does not currently have a free name change available. This offer continues through Friday, November 5. (PlayOverwatch)