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Activision-Blizzard Has Fired 20 Employees After Harassment Investigations

More investigations into workplace misconduct are ongoing.

Activision-Blizzard’s housecleaning continues as the company has reportedly fired 20 employees after the public fallout stirred by its California state lawsuit regarding its workplace culture.

The report comes from a Financial Times article [via Windows Central], where Chief Compliance Officer Frances Townsend said these terminations came on Tuesday, October 19, after investigations into misconduct throughout the company.

“It doesn’t matter what your rank is, what your job is. If you’ve committed some sort of misconduct or you’re a leader who has tolerated a culture that is not consistent with our values, we’re going to take action,” Townsend told FT.

Townsend appears to be singing a different tune on the lawsuit and the contents found therein, as she initially called the lawsuit a “distorted and untrue picture” of the state of Activision-Blizzard. Those comments led to employees calling for her resignation alongside transparency regarding the workplace harassment the lawsuit laid out. The news of the 20 terminations was announced to employees through an internal email, alongside saying it would be expanding its ethics and compliance team. Jen Brewer, the senior vice president of ethics and compliance, has been promoted, and will be adding 19 full-time jobs to the team. In the meantime, Activision-Blizzard will continue to investigate further reports of harassment within the company.

More on Activision-Blizzard:

The ongoing saga surrounding Activision-Blizzard’s reaction to the lawsuit has been developing since July. Not all for the positive, however, as there have been reports that attempts by employees to organize and push back against leadership have resulted in threats from management. In the meantime, creative teams within Activision-Blizzard have been using this as a chance to remove references to those who were named in the lawsuit and other allegations from games like World of Warcraft and Overwatch. The Overwatch team seems to be making it a hard rule to stop making references to real-world figures in its game, as Overwatch 2 no longer references ex-director Jeff Kaplan.

About the Author

Kenneth Shepard

Kenneth is a Staff Writer at Fanbyte. He still periodically cries about the Mass Effect trilogy years after it concluded.