On Wednesday, July 28, several dozen Activision Blizzard Entertainment employees participated in a highly publicized, employee-organized walkout, underscoring the World of Warcraft creator’s employee’s demands for improved workplace equality, especially toward marginalized groups.
Crowds and food trucks took up both sidewalks at the entrance of the Blizzard headquarters off Alton Blvd., in Irvine, with several participants carrying signs in protest of the current conditions.
While many in attendance opted not to speak to L.A. Weekly publicly, an anonymous Blizzard employee opted to go on the record. The source has also provided multiple L.A. Weekly with multiple internal Blizzard documents, which further confirm credibility.
While thousands of employees have signed an open letter calling for equality across the board, one question asked to the anonymous Blizzard employee was their choice to remain an employee, and not just leave, considering the current legal hurdles the video game publisher is surrounded by.
Despite these setbacks, the Blizzard employee detailed that its from the support of fellow co-workers at Blizzard that the demands for equality from employees do not seem out of reach.
“Because I have seen a lot of incredible people at this company fighting for change, and I believe it’s possible – there’s a very small number of people who are stopping this from happening. If I couldn’t make it work at Blizzard, I couldn’t make it work anywhere else. And I want to see the change – and so if I was to leave Blizzard over something like this, I don’t feel safe anywhere else in this industry, that I would be able to make a more positive change than I can here.”
Earlier Wednesday, a statement from Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick failed to satisfy the previous demands for equality within the company, prompting an additional response from Blizzard employees. While Blizzard employees say Kotick’s acknowledgment of the situation is a positive indication, employees reiterated their demands – adding that this issue would not be swept under the rug.
“Today’s walkout will demonstrate that this is not a one-time event that our leaders can ignore. We will not return to silence; we will not be placated by the same processes that led us to this point,” a portion of the statement read.