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Activision Blizzard – owner of Candy Crush and Call Of Duty

Written by on 20 October 2021

Video games giant Activision Blizzard has fired a number of employees following sexual harassment and discrimination allegations.

The company, which owns the Candy Crush and Call Of Duty franchises, said it has sacked more than 20 members of staff following the claims and 20 more individuals are facing other forms of disciplinary action.

In a letter to employees, it said the steps are based on an increase in the number of harassment reports within the workplace, ranging from years ago to now.

The entrance to the Activision Blizzard Inc. campus is shown in Irvine, California, U.S., August 6, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake Image: Activision Blizzard has fired more than 20 members of staff

It added that it would expand its ethics and compliance team, adding 19 full-time roles, in order to create a “more accountable workplace and culture”.

“Two of these roles will be specifically dedicated to overseeing investigations related to the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) and APAC (Asia Pacific) regions,” it added.

Staff at Activision are able to submit a report anonymously, and the company said there was zero tolerance for retaliation of any kind and it would “terminate or discipline” those violating its policies.

The sacking of 20 employees was first reported by the Financial Times.

Last month, Activision Blizzard and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said they had reached an agreement to settle claims over sexual harassment and discrimination in the company’s workplace.

It came following a staff walkout in protest at the handling of a discrimination lawsuit by senior leadership at the video games company in July.

The state of California hit the publisher with a lawsuit accusing the firm of maintaining a culture of sexual harassment, unequal pay, and toxic working conditions.

The lawsuit claimed it fosters a “frat boy” culture, saying that men working there have harassed women with jokes about rape.

The EEOC, which has been investigating the allegations for three years, found Activision failed to take corrective and preventative measures on sexual harassment complaints, according to a filing in the US District Court of the Central District of California.

In September, the company, which is also behind games Crash Bandicoot, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, and Overwatch, said it was continuing to work with regulators on addressing and resolving the workplace complaints it has received.