Blizzard’s issues continue to build. After a week featuring a lawsuit for allegedly unsafe working conditions, the company has announced that their president J. Allen Brack will be stepping down. In his place will be Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra who will share the position. The lawsuit alledges the company had a “frat boy culture” amongst the staff that was known to executives who did nothing to help.
Despite claims of how Blizzard has changed since the accusations there have been protests from staff. Blizzard released a statement saying that the lawsuit included “false” information. Brack sent an email to all staff calling the alleged behaviours “completely unacceptable”. However, this is different to other execs who doubled down on saying the lawsuit is “factually incorrect”. The responses caused apparent further tenstion which lead to a petition signed by 2000 employees.
Where will Blizzard go from here?
In the official statement released by Blizzard, Brack has left his position to “pursue new possibilites”. Brack has stepped down as president after 16 years with the company before being implicated in the company wide lawsuit. The new Blizzard presidents include company veteran Jen Oneal who was recently VP of development. The other is Mike Ybarra who used to work at Microsoft before becoming an EVP of technology. They find Blizzard in turmoil, with protests from staff who have allegedly stopped work on updates for games like WoW. Because of this there has been a knock-on effect with players leaving for greener pastures like Final Fantasy XIV.
This lawsuit is not going anywhere and Blizzard have already taken a few hits to their previously perfect reputation. The difficult times Blizzard faces would be hard enough with stable leadership. However with Brack leaving and two voices taking his place there could be more problems ahead.
This is a developing story at time of publishing. Any allegations mentioned are those of the person quoted and not the opinion of GNN and it’s writers.
For an opinion on the lawsuit and the events that caused it, you can read “Activision Blizzard Lawsuit: How Did Things Get This Bad?“