Mike Morhaime, ex-Blizzard boss, has released a statement regarding recent claims about the company. He said: “I’m ashamed.”
Activision Blizzard was sued by the State of California over alleged “fratboy” culture which it claims created harassment and discrimination towards women.
Plaintiffs allege a culture of sexual harassment at Blizzard Entertainment (maker of Overwatch, Diablo, World of Warcraft)
Activision Blizzard strongly refuted the allegations, calling many of them false or distorted.
Morhaime was a cofounder of Blizzard, back when it was called Silicon & Synapse. He became president in 1998 and then CEO in 2007.
Blizzard produced huge hits like World of Warcraft and Overwatch during Morhaime’s tenure. This contributed millions of dollars to Activision Blizzard’s bottom line. Morhaime resigned from Blizzard as president in 2018, a decision widely viewed as a major blow to the company.
Below is the complete statement of Morhaime:
I have read all of Activision Blizzard’s complaints and many other stories. This is all extremely disturbing and hard to read. I am ashamed. This feels like all that I believed in has disappeared. Worse, but perhaps more importantly, it seems like real people were hurt, with some women having terrible experiences.
I was with Blizzard 28 years. I worked very hard during that time to make the environment safe and welcoming for all people, regardless of their backgrounds and gender. Although I was aware that we weren’t perfect, it wasn’t impossible. We let women down by mistreating and not supporting them. We also failed to make it safe for them to speak their truth. Other companies are facing similar problems, which is not a consolation. We should be better, and different.
Harassment, discrimination and other forms of harassment exist. These are common in the industry. Leadership must ensure that all employees feel safe and supported. Leadership must eliminate harassment and toxicity at all levels. Blizzard ladies who have experienced these types of things: I’m deeply sorry.
Although I know these words are not the truth, it was important to recognize those women who have had terrible experiences. You are right, I understand you and I’m sorry that I have disappointed you. If you’re willing to share your experiences, I would love to hear them. Being a leader within the industry I have the power and ability to influence positive changes and combat discrimination and harassment. We can improve, I think, and the gaming industry should be an environment where minorities and women are welcome, supported, recognized, rewarded and given the chance to make the contributions we all want to this industry. This industry should be something we all can be proud to leave a mark.
Morhaime quit Blizzard in order to start Dreamhaven, a game development company. Dreamhaven is composed of Moonshot and Secret Door studio teams, each headed by ex-Blizzard employees.
Dreamhaven states on its website that it is committed to providing a “safe place for developers, creators and players to connect in meaningful manners”.
Publited Sat, 24 July 2021 at 09:29.25 +0000