A new open letter signed by nearly 500 current and former Ubisoft employees expresses solidarity with the workers at Activision Blizzard, calls for movement from their own leadership, and calls for systemic change across the video game industry. Axios Reports.
“Last week, the gaming industry was shaken again by revelations that many of us have known for a long time,” the letter said. shared with Axios‘Stephen Totilo, reads. “Revelations many heard about Ubisoft a year ago. It is clear from the frequency of these reports that there is a widespread and deeply ingrained culture of abusive behavior in the industry. “
Last year Ubisoft became embroiled in controversy when several workers discussed cases of sexual harassment, bullying and other abuses they had experienced while working for the French video game company. A number of high-profile departures followed with vague promises from the executive suite to do better. But as today’s letter suggests, Ubisoft employees are asking for more.
The breaking point appears to have been Activision Blizzard’s own problems, which came to light in a California state lawsuit against the company came into the public consciousness last week. The lawsuit describes an environment of widespread abuse against female employees and describes the company as “breeding ground for harassment and discrimination against women”.
“We need real, fundamental changes within Ubisoft, within Activision Blizzard and in the entire industry,” said today’s letter. “To this end, we suggest that Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft and other industry-leading publishers and developers work together and agree to a number of rules and processes for dealing with reports of these crimes. This cooperation needs to involve workers in non-management positions and trade union representatives to a great extent. This is important to ensure that those directly affected by these behaviors are leading the change. “
Continue reading: Activision CEO Bobby Kotick comments on harassment allegations
For their part, a group of Activision Blizzard employees is currently in the middle of a planned one go out protest today against the questionable behavior and corporate culture of their employers. That has accumulated broad support from across the industry, with many fans asking not to cross the “digital picket line” by watching games like. dispense call of Duty and Overwatch during the demonstration.
Activision Blizzard employees have asked that those who wish to show solidarity with their strike donate to one of the following charities:
The influential, overpaid men who allow abusive cultures at these and other video game companies to fester are quickly running out of options. We have come to a point where far-reaching, systemic change is the only answer. Power must be placed in the hands of the workers quickly and without delay, before even more vulnerable people are chewed up and spat out by an industry that has already failed so many.