Following the news that a group of shareholders is calling for Bobby Kotick’s resignation, Jim Ryan and Phil Spencer, heads of PlayStation and Xbox respectively, are starting to question their relationships with Activision Blizzard.
Per a report by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, Ryan emailed his employees earlier this week regarding the Wall Street Journal article detailing that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick was aware of sexual misconduct and harassment claims for years prior to this year’s investigation and lawsuit.
Ryan is quoted saying:
We outreached to Activision immediately after the article was published to express our deep concern and to ask how they plan to address the claims made in the article. We do not believe their statements of response properly address the situation.”Source: Bloomberg
It should be noted that back in 2015, former PlayStation CEO Andrew House announced the Sony platform as the home of Call of Duty. While the deal has been altered in regards to time-delayed playable DLC, this year’s Vanguard release still contains exclusive content to the PlayStation platform. To hear Ryan question such an important business partner indicates serious concerns with how Kotick has handled things.
Phil Spencer also chimed in as well, saying that he is “evaluating all aspects” of Xbox’s relationship with the publisher/developer. He added in too that he is “disturbed and deeply troubled by [their] horrific events and actions.
IGN, in their reporting of the story, received a response from an Activision Blizzard spokesperson:
We respect all feedback from our valued partners and are engaging with them further. We have detailed important changes we have implemented in recent weeks, and we will continue to do so. We are committed to the work of ensuring our culture and workplace are safe, diverse, and inclusive. We know it will take time, but we will not stop until we have the best workplace for our team.Source: IGN
As for how developers and workers at Activision Blizzard feel, they are still demanding to see Bobby Kotick’s removal.