Blizzard Entertainment has canceled its annual event, BlizzCon, scheduled to take place in February 2022. The company stated that it would re-invent the event during this time. The company has also been charged with lawsuits claiming that it did not provide a safe environment for female workers.
BlizzCon, which was initially planned for February 2022, has been canceled. This was according to an announcement from Blizzard Entertainment who plans to remodel the event. It has been rough for Blizzard Entertainment as this was supposed to be the first BlizzCon in 16 years. Blizzard canceled the event partly due to the ongoing fallout from the California lawsuit against the company.
The company was accused of tolerating a toxic work environment, where women are subjected to sexual harassment and less pay. The California Department of Fair Employment and housing has investigated Blizzard. Apart from confirming the allegations, they found out that the company did not punish the perpetrators. The DFEH eventually expanded its lawsuit against Activision Blizzard to include claims that the company suppressed evidence in its investigation.
Why Is This a Big Deal
Several lawsuits have been filed against the company, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the company. One of the company’s lawsuits, which the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission filed, was settled for $18 million. Blizzard also announced that Cole Cassidy, Overwatch Character is known as McCree, would now be named Cole.
Since the story was publicized, many people have come forward to share their stories of abuse. Some have even tried to distance themselves from the situation. Many employees of other studios have also started sharing their thoughts and feelings regarding the incident.
These issues have affected the company and its community in different ways. Amidst it all, Blizzard has still managed to stay active in dropping updates on its games and the general community. Although BlizzCon was postponed, esports tournaments such as the Arena World Championship and Overwatch League were held throughout the year.
Current Issues with Blizzard
After being mentioned in the Blizzard lawsuit, the company president left saying that he would “pursue new opportunities”. According to the lawsuit, former president J. Allen Brack was aware of the sexual harassment issues at the company. These issues caused employees to leave the company as early as 2019. Blizzard Executive VP and GM Mike Ybarra and Executive VP Jen Oneal plan to serve as co-leaders of Blizzard. This information was given by Activision Blizzard President and Chief Operating Officer Daniel Alegre in a post.
The post came in less than a week after employees had staged a walkout in the Company’s office in Irvine, California. This walkout was a result of the management’s dismissive reactions to the July 20 Lawsuit. The lawsuit claims that the Company’s frat-boy culture breeds harassment and discrimination against female employees. It also states that despite women being the minority of the office population, only a few women reached top positions. By July 28, current and former employees had signed a letter that criticized management’s decisions. The walkout was supported by Hundreds of former employees who also believed it was the right thing to do.