Judge approves $18 million Activision Blizzard settlement in harassment suit


The publisher’s settlement with the US EEOC is moving forward

A judge has approved Activision Blizzard’s settlement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for $18 million. The previously announced settlement was disclosed last September, as one of several suits against the video game publisher.

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), which is also suing Activision Blizzard, had previously tried to intervene in the deal. The judge denied, however, and the settlement is now moving forward.

Anyone who worked at Activision Blizzard between Sept. 1, 2016 and the present can submit a claim, related to sexual harassment, retaliation, and discrimination. Via Washington Post, EEOC spokeswoman Nicole St. Germain said the committee is pleased with the outcome.

Activision Blizzard released a statement on the settlement, outlining the EEOC agreement and other steps taken towards its workplace culture. Alongside the $18 million fund, the publisher will continue working on policies and practices to prevent harassment and discrimination. Activision Blizzard will also engage a third-party consultant to provide ongoing oversight, and hire an internal EEO coordinator.

The publisher of OverwatchCall of Duty, and more was brought under scrutiny last year, when the California DFEH sued the company following a two-year investigation of the company’s workplace culture. Allegations of issues within the company, ranging from sexual harassment and discrimination to a generally toxic workplace culture, surfaced in further reports. Several other suits have been filed in the time since, and several high-profile developers have left the company.

Microsoft announced its intent to acquire Activision Blizzard in January, for a $68.7 billion price tag.