Asmongold has expressed his concerns that Activision Blizzard may find it hard to improve their work conditions, after the company was hit by a lawsuit by the State of California over “pervasive frat boy culture.”
Speaking with Dexerto, the streamer explained why it will be hard to foster a good working environment moving forward, but argued that the lawsuit may actually be a good thing for World of Warcraft if it results in a change.
He also told us what he thinks of former President J. Allen Brack.
Asmongold: How Activision Blizzard working conditions could impact WoW
This isn’t the first time that Asmongold has spoken out on the Activision Blizzard scandal.
On July 22, he condemned Activision Blizzard’s “shameful” behavior and lackluster attempts at atonement. Then, on August 1, he tweeted: “For what it’s worth, I think in the long run this controversy and low point in WoW will be good for the game.”
For what it's worth, I think in the long run this controversy and low point in WoW will be good for the game.
I'm not joking or memeing, I really mean it
For too long have we accepted complacency and mediocrity, it's good for that to change
— Zack (@Asmongold) August 1, 2021
As well as expanding upon his previous comments, Asmongold told Dexerto that he believes it will be hard it will be for Activision Blizzard to fix the problems. “It might sound weird, right? But I do think this reckoning will be good for the game. Imagine, how could you possibly do your job if you’re constantly looking over your shoulder making sure your boss isn’t touching it?
“Like you’re just constantly stressed out, imagine trying to work in that environment. A person like that goes into work, and they’re already stressed out driving to work. They’re not thinking about how to make the game good, they’re not thinking about how they want to change and innovate on a system, they’re thinking some interpersonal thing because their boss can’t keep their hands to themselves, or they’re making inappropriate comments, or they’re being treated badly.
“I think that’s a big element of it. I hear a lot of people, and the most salacious and the worst stuff is the sexual harassment, obviously, it’s really bad, but there’s also the huge thing that affects everybody, and that’s just a bad workplace environment. I worry that Blizzard aren’t going to fix that as much as they’ll be able to fix the sexual harassment stuff. I think they’re going to be able to clamp down on that mostly because it’s an easier problem to solve and, most importantly, it doesn’t cost them money.
He added: “It costs money to treat employees well and not treat them like rats in a little skinner box.”
Asmongold believes Blizzard President “inherited” problems
In the wake of the controversy, several Activision Blizzard officials have stepped down from their post, including former President J. Allen Brack. While the company’s current and former high-level management have been widely condemned, Asmongold has expressed some sympathy for Brack.
“I don’t think that J. Allen Brack was a bad guy,” he stated. “This is primarily me guessing, as well as things that I’ve heard, but I’ve never met a 40+-year-old man with long hair that is a huge corporate a**hole. I feel like he’s probably just a nerdy guy that got put in a position where he inherited a lot of the problems that the company had.
“He was in a leadership role beforehand, but it really wasn’t him doing all that stuff. It was Mike Morhaime and the other leadership that held accountability over the previous people, because the lawsuit had started about the same time that he got his position as being President. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that during those two years as President that his hair turned all grey.
“The guy just got put in a bad position. I’m not saying he did nothing wrong – he probably did f**k up a lot of stuff – but I don’t think he’s a terrible person. At worst he’s incompetent, and at best he’s a weak leader. And neither one of those are a terrible thing. Not everyone can be the leader of a company, especially in a situation like that.”
Asmongold: Activision Blizzard Co-Leaders bring “new ideas”
After Blizzard fans largely praised the appointment of Mike Ybarra and Jen Oneal as Blizzard’s Co-Leaders, Asmongold told us that they’re the breath of fresh air that the company has been sorely lacking.
“They play the game, and what I think is more important than that is that they are new,” he notes. “I feel like Blizzard has been a little bit incestuous, constantly keeping it in the family. Get some new people in here, get some new ideas, I think that’s what the company needs more than anything.
“We’ve been having old ideas for years and where has that gotten us?” he asked. “Nowhere.”