In a statement, Activision Blizzard called on the Fair Employment and Housing Department which brought the lawsuit against “irresponsible state bureaucrats”, and said the allegations were “distorted and in many cases false.” Some Activision Blizzard employees, including senior developers on World Of Warcraft, are said to be “pissed off” by the response.
Yesterday, emails from Blizzard President J. Allen Brack and Executive Fran Townsend were sent to staff and shared with Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier.
Fran Townsend, an executive with Activision Blizzard, who was George W. Bush’s homeland security adviser from 2004 to 2007 and who joined Activision in March, sent a very different type of email that has some people rave about it. Blizzard employees. pic.twitter.com/BxGeMTuRYF
-Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) July 23, 2021
Brack’s email qualifies the allegations as “extremely disturbing,” but Townsend dismisses them completely, describing the “company’s uncompromising approach to inappropriate or hostile work environments” and calling the lawsuit a “Truly baseless and irresponsible”.
“I’m unhappy with the company’s response so far,” a Blizzard game designer wrote on Twitter. “I don’t think that represents me or what I believe in. “
“I stand with the AB victims and believe in their stories,” wrote another employee. To say that these stories are ‘factually incorrect’ or ‘wrong’ is a slap in the face for current and former employees, and does not represent my core values. “
“I really hope Blizzard releases a statement about this situation that I actually agree with and can support, and no more legal defense,” another wrote. “Because the things said so far are unacceptable and do not represent me. And I know I’m not the only one feeling that way here. “
Several other employees criticized the company’s dismissal of the allegations, while pledging to support their colleagues and those who speak out.
Blizzard co-founder and former chairman Mike Morhaime, who stepped down in 2018, also released a statement via TwitLonger. “To the women of Blizzard who have been through any of these things, I am extremely sorry that I failed you,” the part read. “I realize these are just words, but I wanted to thank the women who have had horrible experiences. I hear you, I believe you, and I’m so sorry I let you down. “
World Of Warcraft players have also organized themselves in solidarity. One group staged a protest sit-in and at the time of writing this has raised over $ 11,000 for Black Girls Code.