Activision Blizzard won’t appear at The Game Awards after controversy
After multiple controversies in 2021, The Game Awards has confirmed they will not be highlighting Activision Blizzard in any way outside of their nominations on the night. Upcoming titles like Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 won’t make an appearance, with no trailers to be shown on the night.
The Game Awards is meant to be a celebration of the industry, with the night of nights crowning many titles — including the coveted Game of the Year award.
However, in 2021, Activision Blizzard will be effectively blacked out from celebrations, with organizers confirming the developer won’t be making any appearances outside of their award nominations.
“Beyond its nominations, I can confirm that Activision Blizzard will not be a part of this year’s The Game Awards,” founder Geoff Keighley said on December 3.
The studio is nominated for two awards on the night. Warzone is a contender in the Best Ongoing Game category, while Call of Duty is up for consideration in Best Esports Game.
Keighley claimed the awards are “a time of celebration for this industry” and “there is no place for abuse, harassment, or predatory practices in any company.” Activision Blizzard has been in the spotlight across 2021 after a California government department report highlighted sexual harassment at the company.
“I also realize we have a big platform which can accelerate and inspire change. We are committed to that, but we all need to work together to build a better and a more inclusive environment so everyone feels safe to build the world’s best games,” Keighley continued.
“All of us are accountable to this standard. Incredible games — and the talented developers who build them — are who we want to celebrate.”
It comes after an interview with Keighley in the Washington Post said the group was re-evaluating their relationship with Activision Blizzard. Currently, Activision president Rob Kostich is listed on The Game Awards’ advisory board.
The Washington Post’s report stated, “Keighley… supported people coming forward with their stories but also didn’t want to diminish developers’ opportunities to spotlight their games.”
Since the report went out, some have called on Keighley to remove Kostich from The Game Awards’ advisory board.
The Game Awards 2021 are expected to go ahead on December 9.