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Julius

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick Knew for Years About Sexual-Misconduct Allegations at Videogame Giant [WSJ]

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Well, well, well, look at how the tables turn. 

This should be huge. Kotick is obviously not the only thing wrong with Activision Blizzard, the place sounds like it's been rotten to the core of its hierarchy for a while now, but the biggest change at massive companies almost always has to come from the top - even if (perhaps especially if) their hands are forced by great journalism like this. 

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Holy shit!!

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Over the years, Mr. Kotick himself has been accused by several women of mistreatment both inside and outside the workplace, and in some instances has worked to settle the complaints quickly and quietly, according to people familiar with the incidents and documents reviewed by the Journal.

In 2006, one of his assistants complained that he had harassed her, including by threatening in a voice mail to have her killed, according to people familiar with the matter. He settled the matter out of court, the people said.

The Activision spokeswoman said: "Mr. Kotick quickly apologized 16 years ago for the obviously hyperbolic and inappropriate voice mail, and he deeply regrets the exaggeration and tone in his voice mail to this day."

In 2007, he was sued by the flight attendant on a private jet he co-owned. The flight attendant claimed the plane's pilot had sexually harassed her, and, after she complained to the other owner, Mr. Kotick fired her. The defendants denied the allegations. In a separate action related to legal fees in the case, an arbitrator, citing what he said was sworn testimony, wrote that Mr. Kotick told the flight attendant and her attorneys, "I'm going to destroy you." A spokesman for Mr. Kotick denied that he said that.

In 2008, they settled by paying the attendant $200,000, according to the arbitrator's decision. A spokesman for Mr. Kotick said he couldn't have fired her in retaliation for complaining because she never complained directly to him.

He threatened a hit on one of his own sexual harassment victims!? And they have a voicemail to prove it!?

He’s surely done now.  NO way he can survive as CEO now, surely!?!? This HAS to be the end of Bobby Kotick now surely!?!?

Edited by Dcubed

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Fuck’s sake!!

Well of this news won’t do it, then the 40% sales drop for COD combined with more muckraking and a company-wide walkout might just do it…

Edited by Dcubed

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In 2007, he was sued by the flight attendant on a private jet he co-owned. The flight attendant claimed the plane's pilot had sexually harassed her, and, after she complained to the other owner, Mr. Kotick fired her.

I'm not surprised Kotick is a creep, but the part above legit made me re-read it. Man owned a private jet!? In 2007!? Was he already an entitled rich boy before Activision, or was the company already this successful at that point? Like, "owning a private jet" should put you on any watchlist for suspicions of corruption.

Anyway, the situation is fresh, so I expect Activision to pretend nothing's wrong until their lawyers advise them to throw Kotick under the bus.

Also, didn't we have another thread for this topic? I could swear we had something...

Edited by Jonnas

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Well this is unexpected!

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-11-17/playstation-chief-criticizes-activision-response-to-allegations
 

Quote

"In an email to employees reviewed by Bloomberg, Ryan linked to the Wall Street Journal's Tuesday report. He wrote that he and his leadership were "disheartened and frankly stunned to read" that Activision "has not done enough to address a deep-seated culture of discrimination and harassment."

"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," he wrote. "We do not believe their statements of response properly address the situation."

Wonder how much this will damage Sony’s marketing partnership with Activision/COD…

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It’s pretty much the same story as Ubisoft. These “leaders” have perpetuated a toxic workplace for years and now they’ve been called out on it they will do the absolute bare minimum to look like they’ve addressed it but in reality continue with he status quo.

Given that most huge deals such as CoD marketing will be done at multiple levels of the company this will make it very hard for Kotick to remain in the position. I’m sure other partners (especially American ones) won’t be too far behind in condemning all of this. The shareholders only care about making money, as soon as Kotick has a negative push on that, which it seems is not too far away, he’ll be out.

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It's already having a hit on share value

 

And Microsoft has spoken out too

 

 

 

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On 17/11/2021 at 8:40 PM, Dcubed said:

Well this is unexpected!

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-11-17/playstation-chief-criticizes-activision-response-to-allegations
 

Wonder how much this will damage Sony’s marketing partnership with Activision/COD…

Considering how much change Jim Ryan has forced internally at PlayStation over the last few years, and how he seemed to always be on the side of doing what's best for business above all else (staying relatively quiet on bigger issues in the industry until now, waiting until the fire was under their feet to jump into cross-play, etc.), I really wasn't expecting him to speak up on this of all things, so fair play to him. It's not on, and we need people in key positions making sure things like this aren't allowed to continue in every industry, but especially gaming, where unfortunately these sorts of thing seem to have been thriving for the last decade or so. 

As for the marketing partnership, I reckon Activision needs PlayStation just as badly as PlayStation need them these days, if not a while lot more. They follow the money: PlayStation sells more consoles (currently) than Xbox does, and with that and Game Pass competing for the time they want people to be playing their games, they really haven't got a choice but to go with PlayStation from a financial perspective. 

4 hours ago, Ashley said:

It's already having a hit on share value

 

And Microsoft has spoken out too

 

 

 

You love to see it. 

Yeah, Phil Spencer stepping up I almost expected, much more so than Jim Ryan at least. I think Xbox still has quite a ways to go to get where they want to be, but from everything I've read and heard about Phil - the interviews I've watched of him, the initiatives like the adaptive controller that he really loves to put in the spotlight - I think he just seems like a pretty genuine guy who is almost tired of some of the stuff we see in the industry today.

I mean, who isn't tired of it? I only follow the industry and I'm genuinely exhausted by it. 

Honestly, it's a shame more of the big Activision Blizzard games aren't on the Switch, would've loved to see all three console manufacturers just issuing statements on this. 

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Plus Spencer has spoken out against NFTs recently; more reason to appreciate him.

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Nice, nice.  Looks like we’re getting some nice momentum going here.

Nice.

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It's times like this you wish there was a big statue of him outside their HQ that they could topple, Sadam style.

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Yeah, Ninty aren't the kind of company to voice their disapproval directly via e-mail. This is bad for Kotick.

Let's hope the pressure doesn't end there. Kotick needs to be made entirely untenable.

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Wow!! Never would’ve expected Nintendo to chime in!

You know you’ve fucked up when Nintendo of all companies decides to publicly dump on you!

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