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by Published on 2021-07-28 09:23 PM

Employee Response to Bobby Kotick's Statement
The Verge has posted an employee response to Bobby Kotick's letter.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
On the evening before our employee walkout, Activision Blizzard leadership released a statement apologizing for their harmful responses to last week’s DFEH lawsuit. While we are pleased to see that our collective voices — including an open letter with thousands of signatures from current employees — have convinced leadership to change the tone of their communications, this response fails to address critical elements at the heart of employee concerns.

Activision Blizzard’s response did not address the following:

  • The end of forced arbitration for all employees.
  • Worker participation in oversight of hiring and promotion policies.
  • The need for greater pay transparency to ensure equality.
  • Employee selection of a third party to audit HR and other company processes.

Today’s walkout will demonstrate that this is not a one-time event that our leaders can ignore. We will not return to silence; we will not be placated by the same processes that led us to this point.

This is the beginning of an enduring movement in favor of better labor conditions for all employees, especially women, in particular women of color and transgender women, nonbinary people, and other marginalized groups.

We expect a prompt response and a commitment to action from leadership on the points enumerated above, and look forward to maintaining a constructive dialogue on how to build a better Activision Blizzard for all employees.

Today, we stand up for change. Tomorrow and beyond, we will be the change.



Additional Information on Cosby Suite
Kotaku published some additional information about the Cosby Suite. It also confirms that Afrasiabi was terminated for his misconduct in 2020.

Reddit users have also posted about related tweets that aren't in the article.

An employee brought these 2013 events to our attention in June 2020," a spokesperson for Activision Blizzard told Kotaku when asked about the “Cosby Suite” images and allegations against Afrasiabi. “We immediately conducted our own investigation and took corrective action. At the time of the report, we had already conducted a separate investigation of Alex Afrasiabi and terminated him for his misconduct in his treatment of other employees.

by Published on 2021-07-28 01:36 AM

A Letter From CEO Bobby Kotick to All Employees
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
This has been a difficult and upsetting week.

I want to recognize and thank all those who have come forward in the past and in recent days. I so appreciate your courage. Every voice matters - and we will do a better job of listening now, and in the future.

Our initial responses to the issues we face together, and to your concerns, were, quite frankly, tone deaf.

It is imperative that we acknowledge all perspectives and experiences and respect the feelings of those who have been mistreated in any way. I am sorry that we did not provide the right empathy and understanding.

Many of you have told us that active outreach comes from caring so deeply for the Company. That so many people have reached out and shared thoughts, suggestions, and highlighted opportunities for improvement is a powerful reflection of how you care for our communities of colleagues and players – and for each other. Ensuring that we have a safe and welcoming work environment is my highest priority. The leadership team has heard you loud and clear.

We are taking swift action to be the compassionate, caring company you came to work for and to ensure a safe environment. There is no place anywhere at our Company for discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind. We will do everything possible to make sure that together, we improve and build the kind of inclusive workplace that is essential to foster creativity and inspiration.

I have asked the law firm WilmerHale to conduct a review of our policies and procedures to ensure that we have and maintain best practices to promote a respectful and inclusive workplace. This work will begin immediately. The WilmerHale team will be led by Stephanie Avakian, who is a member of the management team at WilmerHale and was most recently the Director of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement.

We encourage anyone with an experience you believe violates our policies or in any way made you uncomfortable in the workplace to use any of our many existing channels for reporting or to reach out to Stephanie. She and her team at WilmerHale will be available to speak with you on a confidential basis and can be reached at ATVI@wilmerhale.com or 202-247-2725. Your outreach will be kept confidential. Of course, NO retaliation will be tolerated.

We are committed to long-lasting change. Effective immediately, we will be taking the following actions:

  • Employee Support. We will continue to investigate each and every claim and will not hesitate to take decisive action. To strengthen our capabilities in this area we are adding additional senior staff and other resources to both the Compliance team and the Employee Relations team.
  • Listening Sessions. We know many of you have inspired ideas on how to improve our culture. We will be creating safe spaces, moderated by third parties, for you to speak out and share areas for improvement.
  • Personnel Changes. We are immediately evaluating managers and leaders across the Company. Anyone found to have impeded the integrity of our processes for evaluating claims and imposing appropriate consequences will be terminated.
  • Hiring Practices. Earlier this year I sent an email requiring all hiring managers to ensure they have diverse candidate slates for all open positions. We will be adding compliance resources to ensure that our hiring managers are in fact adhering to this directive.
  • In-game Changes. We have heard the input from employee and player communities that some of our in-game content is inappropriate. We are removing that content.
  • Your well-being remains my priority and I will spare no company resource ensuring that our company has the most welcoming, comfortable, and safe culture possible.

You have my unwavering commitment that we will improve our company together, and we will be the most inspiring, inclusive entertainment company
in the world.

Yours sincerely,

Bobby

Blizzard Offers Paid Time Off For Employees Participating in Walk-Out
Jason Schreier tweeted today that Blizzard has offered paid time off to any employee participating in tomorrow's walk-out.


by Published on 2021-07-27 10:45 PM

Patch 9.1 Hotfixes - July 27, 2021
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes

  • Druid
    • Fixed an issue where Kindred Affinity (Runecarving Power) would persist even after the Legendary was removed.
  • Monk
    • Fixed an issue that could cause Touch of Death to be unable to be used on targets at the correct health threshold.

Creatures and NPCs

  • Towering Exterminator and Konthrogz the Obliterator will now re-appear in a central part of Korthia if they manage to fall off the side of the world.

Dungeons and Raids

  • Sanctum of Domination
    • Remnant of Ner'zhul
      • Adjusted the recast of Orb of Torment to ensure it is cast more consistently on Mythic difficulty.
      • Orbs of Torment have had their health reduced by 66% on Mythic difficulty.
      • Adjusted the recast of Malevolence to ensure it is cast more consistently on Mythic difficulty.
    • Kel'Thuzad
      • No longer maintains his mana between phases, and now resets to 100 mana when he exits the Phylactery Phase.
        • Developers’ note: This should alleviate issues where pushing into a new phase at various mana levels was causing bad timings.

Items and Rewards

  • Broker Ko'tul in the Great Vault room will now exchange excess Anima for caches of tradeskill goods, including Korthite Crystals.
    • Developers’ note: As players have traversed the more Anima-rich lands of Korthia, some players are finding that they no longer have new unlocks to spend it on. We do not intend to add significant new one-time Anima sinks in Chains of Domination, and want to provide an outlet for players who are content with their choice of Covenant but have purchased everything that is offered.
  • The re-purchase price of the Covenant armor set granted as quest rewards from the Shadowland campaign have been increased to reflect the greater abundance of Anima.

Quests

  • Players will now receive credit for “To the Vault” if they ride the flayedwing from Keeper's Respite to the Vault of Secrets.
by Published on 2021-07-27 09:53 PM

UPDATE - The shard of domination set bonus nerfs have been reverted, however the changes might be implemented again later with the next weekly resets.

Patch 9.1 - Domination Shard Set Bonus Nerfs
According to multiple sources around the internet, it seems as if the set bonuses provided from Domination Shards have been heavily nerfed across the board. This is apparently already live in EU and we will update with hotfixes when we know more.


Blizzard Employees Stage Wednesday Walk Out
Blizzard employees have staged a walk out for tomorrow to protest the insulting response from company leadership regarding the recent lawsuit. You can read more about it by checking out the Polygon article below!


by Published on 2021-07-27 09:04 PM

A Message from the World of Warcraft Team
Originally Posted by blizzard (Blue Tracker)
It was clear from our team conversations that we wanted to put forth a statement that was representative of the World of Warcraft team’s sentiments. We asked all members of our team to send us their suggestions and feedback on how best to address the community and this is the result.

The past days have been a time of reflection for the World of Warcraft team, spent in conversation and contemplation, full of sadness, pain, and anger, but also hope and resolve. As we heed the brave women who have come forward to share their experiences, we stand committed to taking the actions necessary to ensure we are providing an inclusive, welcoming, and safe environment both for our team and for our players in Azeroth. Those of us in leadership understand that it is not our place to judge when we have achieved our goals, but rather for our team and our community to let us know when we still have more to do.

While we turn to our team for guidance in our internal work to protect marginalized groups and hold accountable those who threaten them, we also want to take immediate action in Azeroth to remove references that are not appropriate for our world. This work has been underway, and you will be seeing several such changes to both Shadowlands and WoW Classic in the coming days.

We know that in order to rebuild trust, we must earn it with our actions in the weeks and months to come. But we go forward knowing that we share the same vision as our community about creating a place where people of all genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and backgrounds can thrive and proudly call home.

--The World of Warcraft Team

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