Treyarch Vaguely Gestures At Workplace Culture in Public Statement on Harassment [UPDATE]

The Activision-Blizzard studio chimes in months after the shitstorm began.

Update: Miranda Due, an associate producer at Treyarch, has posted about the statement and the Kotaku article that followed on her personal Twitter account. She clarifies that women at the studio organized to have the statement published, and asks for support rather than dismissing its intent.

That additional context does change things. So hopefully, these women getting this statement out there is the beginning of tangible change at Treyarch in the coming year.

Original story: Treyarch Studios, one of the developers under Activision-Blizzard’s umbrella, has released a statement vaguely gesturing at the company’s larger workplace culture issues that have been on public display since earlier this year.

The statement was released on the studio’s social channels, and while the underlying message of not standing for the discrimination outlined in a lawsuit against Activision-Blizzard is nice, it stops short of really talking about any concrete actions Treyarch, and Activision-Blizzard as a whole, is doing on the matter.

The full post reads as follows:

Our goal as a studio is to make awesome games for the world to enjoy. Having the privilege to pursue that endeavor is made possible because of Treyarch’s people: we are a studio comprised of smart, talented, world-class creative professionals who seek to perform at our best. Our culture has no room for sexism, harassment, racism, bigotry, discrimination, or bullying. As we move forward, providing a safe, diverse, inclusive working environment so that all may thrive will be our highest priority. Everyone at Treyarch is drawn to game development because we possess a deep love for the artistry of video games and the magic that can create moments that matter. This is a moment that matters and it starts by being better.

This comes five months after the aforementioned lawsuit became public knowledge back in July. But it also comes about a month after a report came out that revealed CEO Bobby Kotick intervened in a case being made against Treyarch Co-Head Dan Bunting to have him removed following alleged harassment. After the report was published, Bunting stepped down from his position at Treyarch. Well, if one of the people at the top is gone that’s at least progress. But I hope this vague platitude of a public statement is coming from a place of actual change. Because as of this writing, Kotick is still CEO at Activision-Blizzard and workers are leaving out of frustration with the company’s handling of its workplace culture.

Treyarch is one of the studios Activision-Blizzard has working on the Call of Duty series, with its latest entry being 2020’s Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.