Last week, the state of California sued Activision Blizzard for allegations of a “frat boy” culture where female employees were allegedly subjected to constant sexual harassment, unequal pay, and retaliation. This led to an open letter and statement from over 2,600 current and former employees who criticized the company’s response to the lawsuit. Today, Activision Blizzard employees walked out and protested against the company. Activision Blizzard workers said that their walkout was not a “one-time event that our leaders can ignore.” They said that it’s “the beginning of an enduring movement in favor of better labor conditions for all employees.” Today, close to 500 current and former Ubisoft employees are standing in solidarity with protesting game developers at Activision Blizzard employees and have released an open letter criticizing Ubisoft’s handling of allegations of sexual harassment, misconduct, and endemic problems of sexism and racism across the company.
The group of Ubisoft workers says that they are frustrated by the company’s actions since the allegations of sexual harassment, misconduct, and problems of sexism and racism were revealed last summer. Several Ubisoft Senior Executives were fired from the company in connection with the allegations. Sharing with Axios, the Ubisoft workers said:
We believe you, we stand with you and support you.
It should no longer be a surprise to anyone: employees, executives, journalists, or fans that these heinous acts are going on. It is time to stop being shocked. We must demand real steps be taken to prevent them. Those responsible must be held accountable for their actions.
We have stood by and watched as you fired only the most public offenders. You let the rest either resign or worse, promoted them, moved them from studio to studio, team to team, giving them second chance after second chance with no reprecussions. This cycle needs to stop.
The Ubisoft workers are calling for “a seat at the table when it comes to deciding how to move forward from here.” They plan to send the letter to company management, including CEO Yves Guillemot. The letter proposes that Ubisoft, Activision Blizzard, and other top publishers and developers work together to “set of rules and processes for handling reports of these offenses. This collaboration must heavily involve employees in non-management positions and union representatives. This is essential to ensure that those who are directly affected by these behaviors are leading the change.”
A Ubisoft representative told Axios, “We want to be very clear that we take this letter – and the issue it raises – very seriously. We absolutely stand behind these efforts and the positive impact they have had on our company culture while also recognizing that we must continue to engage with our employees to ensure we are creating a workplace where they feel valued, supported, and most importantly, safe.