If you have been paying attention to the news over the past day, Bloomberg Law published an article about Activision Blizzard being sued by California over "Frat Boy" culture at the company. This comes after a two-year investigation into claims that the company has been discriminating against its female employees.

We're not going to be providing commentary other than stating everything that has come out is beyond disgusting and is unfortunately commonplace in the games industry. We've pulled out important bits but encourage you to read more into it to be properly informed - links below.

Warning: What you will read in this article is highly disturbing and includes discrimination, sexual harassment, rape, and suicide.

My apologies for us not posting about this sooner. Card reveal periods are a week of sleep deprivation and this subject did not deserve half-assed research.

Quotes below have been taken from the full court documents. In the case of any discrepancies between the below quotes and the official documents, the official documents shall take precedence.

Quote From California

Defendants have also fostered a pervasive "frat boy" workplace culture that
continues to thrive. In the office, women are subjected to "cube crawls" in which male employees
drink copious amounts of alcohol as they "crawl" their way through various cubicles in the office
and often engage in inappropriate behavior toward female employees. Male employees proudly

come into work hungover, play video games for long periods of time during work while delegating
their responsibilities to female employees, engage in banter about their sexual encounters, talk
openly about female bodies, and joke about rape.

Quote From California

Unsurprisingly, Defendants' "frat boy" culture is a breeding ground for harassment
and discrimination against women. Female employees are subjected to constant sexual harassment,
including having to continually fend off unwanted sexual comments and advances by their male co-

workers and supervisors and being groped at the "cube crawls" and other company events. High-
ranking executives and creators engaged in blatant sexual harassment without repercussions. In a
particularly tragic example, a female employee committed suicide during a business trip with a male
supervisor who had brought butt plugs and lubricant with him on the trip. Defendants continuously
condone the quid pro quo and hostile work environment. The message is not lost on their employees.

Quote From California

Female employees had raised further complaints to various human resources
personnel about the discrimination they faced, including but not limited to complaints about unfair
pay and assignments, male co-workers belittling them or minimizing their contributions, and male

counterparts being promoted quickly despite their lack of seniority. Similarly, female employees
also complained of the harassment they suffered, including that male co-workers groped them, that
male supervisor asked them on dates, and of other unwanted harassment. Defendants failed to take
reasonable action in responses to these complaints. Such lack of effective remedial measures was

not surprisingly given Defendants' own internal investigation into their human resources unit noted
that there was a "big lack of trust" and that "HR not held in high regard." Multiple employees also
noted that their complaints were not kept confidential.

Quote From California

An African American employee noted that it took her two years to be made into a permanent employee while men hired after her were made permanent employees. She also was micromanaged such that her male coworkers were known to be playing video games without any intervention by her supervisor, but her supervisor would call and check on her if she took a break to go on a walk. Another African American employee, who worked in information technology, was similarly micromanaged by her manager unlike the men on her team. When she requested time off of work, her manager made her write a one-page summary of how she would spend that time off when no one else had to do any write-up.

Alliestrasza's Card Reveal

As many of us were waiting for Alliestrasza to reveal her card this afternoon, she decided in light of recent events to postpone it

Lt. Eddy's Card Reveal

Eddy has also cancelled his card reveal that was planned for later today. (Source)


This is only the tip of the iceberg. 

  • Brian Kibler will not be streaming Hearthstone today, instead playing Storybook Brawl. He will be variety streaming for the rest of the week. (Source)
  • Alkali Layke wrote a thread on harassment at gamer events and feeling uncomfortable at times in the community. (Source)

Quote From Celestalon

I stand with and support woman and minorities at Blizzard and elsewhere in the industry. Harassment and discrimination have no place here (or anywhere), and I join them in demanding accountability. This shit has to stop. I'll eagerly be an ally, any way that I can.

Quote From Cora

The people that I work with everyday are wonderful, and I'm confident that every single one of them would go to bat for me. I've never felt uncomfortable or disrespected in my time on Team 5. I'm really fucking sad that the same can't be said for other women on other teams.

I can only speak to my experiences. I hope that if anybody needs help or support, that they would feel comfortable coming to me. I don't know what else to say. I'm just really really mad.

Actually, screw it. I've had loads of bad experiences, just not in the last 2 years. I think I'm so quick to defend my coworkers now because I spent years being disrespected and lied to before that. I craved approval so fucking badly for so long.

Some of the people I had bad experiences with have left. Some of them I think have grown a lot since then. I've gotten apologies from some even. I've moved on for the most part.

To make things absolutely clear, just because I haven't had bad experiences on my team, doesn't mean other women are as fortunate. No team in this industry is immune to this harassment and sexism, and Team 5 is no exception. I know that I'm very lucky.

Quote From Kripparrian

Talked a bit on stream yesterday on the lawsuit against Blizzard. Pretty sad stuff for a company that is supposed to actively promote the opposite. Haven't heard of any similar in the HS team, but we'll have to keep up with the news on this to see exactly who is responsible

Quote From Ridiculous Hat

turns out it's almost as hard being a blizzard fan today as it is being a woman literally every day. in game dev, in tech, in business, in life. go listen to women today. and men, don't ask yourself if you've done enough. ask yourself what more you can do next.

Activison Blizzard Statement

IGN received a comment from Activision Blizzard on the lawsuit. It states the lawsuit is "irresponsible behavior from unaccountable State bureaucrats that are driving many of the State’s best businesses out of California".

Quote From Blizzard (via IGN)

We value diversity and strive to foster a workplace that offers inclusivity for everyone. There is no place in our company or industry, or any industry, for sexual misconduct or harassment of any kind. We take every allegation seriously and investigate all claims. In cases related to misconduct, action was taken to address the issue.

The DFEH includes distorted, and in many cases false, descriptions of Blizzard’s past. We have been extremely cooperative with the DFEH throughout their investigation, including providing them with extensive data and ample documentation, but they refused to inform us what issues they perceived. They were required by law to adequately investigate and to have good faith discussions with us to better understand and to resolve any claims or concerns before going to litigation, but they failed to do so. Instead, they rushed to file an inaccurate complaint, as we will demonstrate in court. We are sickened by the reprehensible conduct of the DFEH to drag into the complaint the tragic suicide of an employee whose passing has no bearing whatsoever on this case and with no regard for her grieving family. While we find this behavior to be disgraceful and unprofessional, it is unfortunately an example of how they have conducted themselves throughout the course of their investigation. It is this type of irresponsible behavior from unaccountable State bureaucrats that are driving many of the State’s best businesses out of California.

The picture the DFEH paints is not the Blizzard workplace of today. Over the past several years and continuing since the initial investigation started, we’ve made significant changes to address company culture and reflect more diversity within our leadership teams. We’ve updated our Code of Conduct to emphasize a strict non-retaliation focus, amplified internal programs and channels for employees to report violations, including the “ASK List” with a confidential integrity hotline, and introduced an Employee Relations team dedicated to investigating employee concerns. We have strengthened our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and combined our Employee Networks at a global level, to provide additional support. Employees must also undergo regular anti-harassment training and have done so for many years.

We put tremendous effort in creating fair and rewarding compensation packages and policies that reflect our culture and business, and we strive to pay all employees fairly for equal or substantially similar work. We take a variety of proactive steps to ensure that pay is driven by non-discriminatory factors. For example, we reward and compensate employees based on their performance, and we conduct extensive anti-discrimination trainings including for those who are part of the compensation process.

We are confident in our ability to demonstrate our practices as an equal opportunity employer that fosters a supportive, diverse, and inclusive workplace for our people, and we are committed to continuing this effort in the years to come. It is a shame that the DFEH did not want to engage with us on what they thought they were seeing in their investigation.