Xbox has changed its relationship with Activision Blizzard, says Phil Spencer
Xbox will treat its business with Activision Blizzard differently in light of the troubling allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment and toxicity plaguing the publisher of Call of Duty.
Speaking with The New York Times (via PureXbox) in a recent interview, Phil Spencer, director of Xbox, said some changes took effect and were passed on to Activision Blizzard as well. Spencer, however, has refrained from publicly confirming these changes.
“I always feel for the people who work in any team, my own teams, other teams. I believe people should feel safe and included in whatever workplace they find themselves in. I’ve been in this industry long enough to perhaps feel more responsible for what’s going on in the video game space. And I am saddened and sickened when I hear about work environments that cause so much distress and destruction to individuals and teams… ”
“The work that we do specifically with a partner like Activision is something that obviously I’m not going to talk about publicly. We’ve changed the way we do certain things with them, and they are aware of that. But so do I. For us as Xbox, it’s not about shaming other companies, Xbox’s history is not without blemish.
Activision Blizzard faced damning allegations last year for harboring a highly abusive work culture where multiple executives were not only aware of the issues, but also played their part in activating toxic behavior.
Several lawsuits have been filed against Activision Blizzard with numerous frightening incidents, in particular one where an employee committed suicide after being subjected to intense sexual harassment by her male supervisor, “including circulating her nude photos during a corporate holiday party. “
The situation forced all entities to sever their ties with Activision Blizzard. Call of Duty, for example, has lost almost all of its esports sponsors. The same thing happened with Overwatch as the sponsors decided to distance themselves.
So it’s no surprise that Spencer has also taken the lead and reviewed his Xbox relationship with Activision Blizzard.