The week keeps getting worse for Activision Blizzard as Sony PlayStation’s chief Jim Ryan has compounded the criticism of the Call of Duty publisher. As GameTalon reported Wednesday, Activision Blizzard is facing a fresh round of allegations that its CEO Bobby Kotick was aware of harassment allegations in its company without taking action for years.
According to PC Gamer, senior employees facing harassment allegations received preferential treatment, and Jen Oneal, who is departing the company at the end of the year, is being paid less than her male counterpart Mike Ybarra.
In an internal email circulated to PlayStation employees, and obtained by Bloomberg, the President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment Jim Ryan said that the tech giant’s senior leadership is “disheartened and frankly stunned” that Activision Blizzard “has not done enough to address a deep-seated culture of discrimination and harassment.” The email linked to the Wall Street Journal’s report on the ongoing controversy.
“We outreached to Activision immediately after the article was published to express our deep concern and to ask how they plan to address the claims made in the article. We do not believe their statements of response properly address the situation,” the internal email read.
Ryan says that Sony Interactive Entertainment “is committed to ensuring our community of developers and gamers feel safe and respected, and providing a secure work environment for every employee.”
Activision Blizzard remains one of the video game industry’s largest game publishers and developers, producing the popular Call of Duty franchise, Diablo, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch. The company has worked with Sony on bringing exclusive deals to the PlayStation platform, with exclusive modes and content for the PlayStation 5 version of its titles on the console.
In light of the new round of allegations, pressure is mounting from investor groups for Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick to resign, GameTalon reported.
Additionally, Activision faces internal discontent from its own employees, a hundred of whom walked out on Tuesday to call for Kotick’s resignation. Despite the pressure the company faces, its board of directors issued a statement standing by the CEO.