PlayStation boss Jim Ryan has reportedly criticized Activision in an internal email to employees, according to Bloomberg. The correspondence, read by journalist Jason Schreier, calls out Call of Duty for its inadequate response to allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment, which has been rumbling for months now.
The story exploded once again this week after an exhibitionIt is was published by Wall Street Journal, who alleged CEO Bobby Kotick had been aware of the organization’s unpleasant work culture for years. This prompted over 100 employees to go out earlier in the week and asked for Kotick’s termination. A group of shareholders, who account for about one percent of Activision’s share, have also written to the board of directors asking for his resignation.
And since PlayStation is one of Activision’s biggest partners, Ryan’s comments will certainly not help Kotick’s case. In a highly worded email, he told employees he was “discouraged and frankly shocked to read” the aforementioned Wall Street Journal report. He added that the platform owner contacted Activision “immediately” to “express our deep concern and ask how they plan to address the allegations in the article”.
Ryan also took a moment to emphasize that Sony is “committed to ensuring that our community of developers and gamers feel safe and respected and provide a safe working environment for every employee”. He urged all staff to report all cases of harassment and discrimination and assured that they would be investigated properly. First-party studios Naughty Dog and Insomniac Games have previously been underprotected for alleged workplace problems.
At the time of writing, Kotick remains in office, though increasing pressure from across the industry is increasingly making his position unsustainable. Although Ryan’s email was not intended to be shared publicly, it will ultimately prove to be incredibly harmful; PlayStation is one of the largest platforms for Activision’s products, and also the most important marketing partner for the incredibly lucrative Call of Duty.
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