More than 20 Activision Blizzard employees have been fired since harassment allegations first came to light, according to Frances Townsend, Activision Blizzard’s executive vice president for corporate affairs. In addition, more than 20 others have faced “other types of disciplinary action.”
Activision Blizzard’s announcements came as part of a larger update in which Townsend outlined the publisher’s response to the various allegations that have dogged the company since the summer. They include adding three more positions to the company’s Ethics and Compliance team, with 19 more planned for the future. Activision Blizzard also says its will “triple” its investment into training resources.
It is not clear if Activision Blizzard’s list includes prominent Blizzard veterans Luis Barriga, Jesse McCree, and Jonathan LeCraft, who were dismissed from the company in August.
Townsend’s message was emailed to employees and also posted on Activision Blizzard’s corporate website. It was released on the same day that Activision Blizzard asked courts to briefly halt proceedings around the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing [DFEH]’s lawsuit following allegations that the agency had violated ethics rules. Activision Blizzard is also seeking to have the case moved to a court that specializes in complex litigation, potentially stalling or even killing the case. Activision Blizzard previously announced a settlement with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission for $18 million.
Townsend herself hasn’t been immune to criticism over the course of the case. In August, she stepped down as the sponsor of the ABK Women’s Network after issuing a statement saying the allegations surrounding the company were “distorted” and “false.”
Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Timeline: The Story So Far
Allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination, and abuse of women and other marginalized groups have surrounded the company since the lawsuit first made headlines back in July. The ensuing walkout forced Activision Blizzard to reckon with a pattern of bad behavior spanning more than a decade, with former president J. Allen Brack among those forced to step down as a result.
Activision Blizzard has since promised to address its toxic internal culture while providing payouts for affected employees. In the meantime, Blizzard in particular continues to suffer a notable talent drain. You can read our full timeline of the Activision Blizzard lawsuit here.
Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN