In the corporate world, how long is an appropriate amount of time to hide your company’s name in your video game’s marketing when you’re in the middle of a discrimination lawsuit? For Activision-Blizzard, about a month, apparently, as the company’s name is once again being shown in marketing material for the upcoming Call of Duty: Vanguard.
As pointed out by VGC, Activision is once again using its logo in trailers for Vanguard, which was omitted from the first reveal trailer back in August. A proper Activision credit was also missing in the start-up screen for Vanguard’s alpha test last month. All of the above seemed to hint the company was trying to keep the name that was in all the headlines following the lawsuit out of the games it was trying to get the public to buy. But now, the logo appears once again in the trailer for the game’s beta. When asked about the omission by Axios’ Stephen Toltilo, the company’s PR said this was a creative decision.
“Call of Duty has continued to expand into an incredible universe of experiences. This was a creative choice that reflects how Vanguard represents the next major installment in the franchise”
More on Activision-Blizzard lawsuit:
- ‘Nice Quarter, Guys’: Investors Respond to Activision-Blizzard Harassment Lawsuit Plans
- Activision-Blizzard Shareholder Criticizes ‘Inadequate’ Response to Workplace Culture Lawsuit
- J. Allen Brack Out as Blizzard President Following Workplace Harassment Lawsuit
While it seems like Activision is trying to get back to business as usual, the ongoing saga following the lawsuit is far from over. The lawsuit alleges Activision-Blizzard has allowed a harassment-driven, sexist workplace culture to thrive for years, with one story even ending tragically with an employee’s suicide. Soon after, workers staged a walkout to protest the working conditions within the company. Games like Overwatch and World of Warcraft are being updated to remove references to offenders named in the lawsuit, but employees are still working toward better conditions and demanding accountability from the company in the meantime. In a letter to company leadership, workers called for the resignation of Frances Townsend, the company’s executive vice president for corporate affairs, who attempted to undermine the claims made in the lawsuit, then proceeded to make an ass of herself on Twitter about it.