U.S. State Treasurers pressure Activision Blizzard over scandal response


Officials require ‘sweeping changes’ at publisher

A party of U.S. State Treasurers has asked to meet with beleaguered publisher Activision Blizzard, with an eye to discussing the company’s response to the continuing stream of lawsuits, scandals, and controversies that have held the studio under intense scrutiny for the past four months.

According to a report from outlet Axios Gaming, a body of treasurers representing the states of California, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Oregon co-authored a statement of intent to meet with Activision’s board of directors, including company CEO Bobby Kotick. While each state has its own investment in the video game industry, each treasurer also oversees its respective state’s pension funds, which is believed to amount somewhere in the region of one trillion dollars. Thus, it is in the state treasury’s interest to investigate mass employee turmoil within major companies.

While each treasurer has their own vested interest in the meeting, it appears that the intent is to be confrontational about the increasingly antagonistic situation — with the letter suggesting that the concerned states are considering voting against the re-election of Activision’s incumbent board members. Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs told Axios that the party was applying pressure in order to encourage firm action from Activision Blizzard. I guess the publisher’s newly formed, in-house “Workplace Responsibility Committee” isn’t assuaging anyone’s fears.

“We’re concerned that the current CEO and board directors don’t have the skillset, nor the conviction into these sweeping changes needed to transform their culture, to restore trust with employees and shareholders and their partners,” said Frerichs in forthright comments to Axios. “We think there needs to be sweeping changes made in the company.”

You can find an abridged timeline of the Activision Blizzard controversy, investigation, and response right here.