Disdain and disgust at Activision Blizzard seem to be universal for the gaming community, with the exception of the company's Board of Directors with their out-of-this-world support for their infamous CEO. This disdain and disgust appear to be shared by a couple of game company executives, extending to the heads of Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft.
Through separate statements, Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft executives have called out Activision Blizzard's behavior, decrying the way the company has handled its sexual harassment and discrimination issues.
PlayStation chief Jim Ryan was the first to make a move. In a report by Bloomberg‘s Jason Schreier, Ryan wrote an email to PlayStation employees informing them that he has called unto Activision to address the allegations raised by the scathing The Wall Street Journal report from last week. “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,” Ryan writes. “We do not believe their statements of response properly address the situation.”
Bloomberg would later report that Microsoft's Xbox Chief Phil Spencer has made a similar move. Spencer, similar to Ryan, emailed his staff, saying that he finds the WSJ report to be deeply disturbing. He would also insinuate that Activision's working relationship with Xbox might be affected by these allegations, saying that Xbox will be “evaluating all aspects of our relationship with Activision Blizzard.”
These two statements alone may have been enough to push Activision Blizzard's Board of Directors to expel Kotick, but most recently, Nintendo also joined in denouncing the company. Fanbyte reports that Nintendo of America's Doug Bowser has issued his own internal email to Nintendo of America staff. “Along with all of you, I’ve been following the latest developments with Activision Blizzard and the ongoing reports of sexual harassment and toxicity at the company,” Bowser writes. “I find these accounts distressing and disturbing. They run counter to my values as well as Nintendo’s beliefs, values and policies.”
Pressure from three of the world's major gaming console manufacturers may just be enough to make Activision Blizzard's Board of Directors crack. However, it's still distressing that it would take this much public pressure for the Board to decide to remove someone as problematic as Kotick from his position. It shouldn't have reached this point, and any whiff of misconduct should have been taken care of internally, long before any of these came to public scrutiny.