Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has been receiving massive public backlash ever since an investigative report from the Wall Street Journal revealed that not only did he allegedly have far more knowledge over the ongoing sexual misconduct allegations going on within Activision and its umbrella companies, but that he faced many allegations himself over the years while leading Activision.
Ever since the latest revelations, employees within Activision have been demanding that Kotick resign from the company and even held a walk-out recently in response. Activision’s response so far has been to stand behind Kotick and call the report “misleading” despite people all around the industry demanding his removal as CEO. Many have found his response to the situation disturbing and among those was PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan. Ryan sent an email to employees on Wednesday where he admonished Kotick and Activision’s response.
On Thursday, head of Xbox, Phil Spencer also responded to everything currently taking place within Activision. According to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, Spencer sent out an email to employees calling the allegations “deeply disturbing.” Not only that, but he mentioned that the company is “evaluating all aspects of our relationship with Activision Blizzard.”
Microsoft Corp.’s head of Xbox said he’s “evaluating all aspects of our relationship with Activision Blizzard and making ongoing proactive adjustments,” in light of the recent revelations at the video game publisher. In an email to staff seen by Bloomberg News, Phil Spencer said he and the gaming leadership team are “disturbed and deeply troubled by the horrific events and actions” at Activision Blizzard Inc.
“This type of behavior has no place in our industry,” Spencer wrote. He joins a swell of outcry from employees to investors and shareholders in demanding a stronger response from the U.S.’s second-biggest gaming publisher.
Spencer would go on to confirm the report from Bloomberg to IGN and deliver an additional statement.
“I personally have strong values for a welcoming and inclusive environment for all of our employees at Xbox. This is not a destination but a journey that we will always be on. The leadership at Xbox and Microsoft stand by our teams and support them in building a safer environment for all.”
The promise of action from Spencer, as well as the messaging that they’re “evaluating their relationship” makes it sound like Spencer and the Xbox brand are willing to deliver a strong response to Activision if the company continues to allow Kotick to remain CEO. The strongest response would of course be Xbox removing Activision Blizzard titles from their platform. That would mean that titles like Call of Duty would not be purchasable for the Xbox. They could even take it a step further and remove their games from services like Game Pass.
We now wait for a response from Activision with the heads of the two largest video game companies in the world both publicly admonishing the company and Bobby Kotick.