As the controversial case filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing against Activision-Blizzard goes underway, Blizzard President J. Allen Brack steps down from his position, and will be replaced by a leadership team consisting of Jen O’Neal and Mike Ybarra in a statement released by Blizzard.
According to the statment, “O’Neal is the former head of Vicarious Visions and the current executive vice president of development and Ybarra is the current executive vice president and general manager of platform and technology, where he oversees Battle.net.” Judging from the career that O’Neal and Ybarra have and the experience that comes along with, it seems that Blizzard will be turned over to capable hands.
However, this does not mitigate the current low morale within Activision with current leadership downplaying allegations leading to an employee walkout last week. As of writing, Activision Blizzard management hasn’t responded to the demands.
Brack is one of two people publicly named in the lawsuit, the other being former World of Warcraft‘s creative director Alex Afrasiabi. Brack has been accused of “failing to deal with internal reports of sexual harassment and sexism.”
This is a difficult time in the gaming industry following a slew of reports and allegations since 2020 and we stand with the devs who work hard at giving us the games that we enjoy. It is only fair and industry standard that they be treated with respect and be allowed to work in a safe space. Refer to our opinion piece back in January on ways on how to unpack and how to navigate this trying time.