EEOC contact Activision employees amid sexual harassment investigation - Dexerto
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EEOC contact Activision employees amid sexual harassment investigation

Published: 12/Aug/2020 16:55 Updated: 12/Aug/2020 16:56

by Richard Lewis

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On August 12, Activision Blizzard employees were contacted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as the government body begins an investigation into potential violations of discrimination laws within the company.

Current and former employees at all levels of the company were contacted via email and asked to participate in a survey, with each employee being given a unique reference code to ensure the ability to follow up on any claims of discrimination. The email comes after a long, heavily publicized period of internal unrest around working conditions.

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The investigation takes place a little over a week after employees at the company shared their salaries in a bid to figure out if they were being paid fairly for their work, a story that was published by Bloomberg.

The email reads:

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Hello,

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the U.S. Government agency responsible for enforcing the federal laws against employment discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, and retaliation.

The EEOC is investigating Activision, in regard to allegations of gender-based and/or sexual harassment. The fact that EEOC is conducting an investigation of Activision does not mean there has been a violation of the law.

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You are receiving this email because the EEOC received information from Activision that you are a current or former employee. If you personally experienced or witnessed gender-based and/or sexual harassment at Activision, the EEOC would like to speak with you about your experience.

When you access the survey, you will be asked to type in your passcode in order to access the survey. Your passcode is [redacted]. This is your unique passcode. Please do not share your code with others. If you are currently employed by Activision, do not take this survey during work hours or using company-supplied equipment or your work email address. If no longer employed by Activision, response to the survey should be done on personal equipment during nonworking hours.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Your participation in the EEOC’s investigation is protected by federal law, and it is a violation of federal law for an employer to retaliate against you because you participate in an EEOC investigation. Your participation in the survey and responses to survey questions are voluntary and not required.

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The investigation appears to have been underway for a few months now with some employees having been contacted via letter back in May this year. After the investigation began there were a number of incidents that related specifically to alleged sexual harassment that made it into the public domain.

In June former Senior Manager of Global Business Strategy and Operations of Blizzard, Tyler Rosen, was publicly accused of sexual assault, with claims that Activision Blizzard had been informed of the situation and didn’t act upon it.

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The month after popular Call of Duty commentator Philip “Momo” Whitfield was removed from his role within Activison Blizzard’s Call of Duty League after the company was sent evidence of inappropriate messages sent to women within the esports space.

Momo casting Call of Duty
Call of Duty League
Momo was let go from his position from Activision Blizzard after accusations against him.

Going further back to January 2019 a former Blizzard employee, Julian Murillo-Cuellar, filed a complaint with the EEOC after he claimed he was racially discriminated against in the workplace.

It isn’t clear if this investigation continuing is related to these incidents becoming public knowledge. We shall update this story as we know more about the investigation’s intentions and findings

FIFA

EA removes FIFA 21 ad selling loot boxes to children after backlash

Published: 1/Oct/2020 5:30 Updated: 1/Oct/2020 5:47

by Bill Cooney

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September 30 update (9:30pm PT): EA has pulled the advertisement from all toy magazines, including the one shown in Smyths, promoting buying FIFA points in the lead-up to FIFA 21.

They have also apologized for not upholding their “responsibility we take for the experience of our younger players.”

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“We take very seriously the responsibilities we have when marketing EA games and experiences in channels seen by children,” they told Eurogamer in a statement.

Earlier: EA is under fire after users on the internet posted pictures of advertisements for FIFA 21 in-game purchases placed inside a children’s toy magazine.

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It’s that time of year again, the air is getting cooler, the holidays are fast approaching, and there’s a new FIFA game about to come out on October 6.

In the year 2020 it’s not strange at all to see ads for video games amongst other kinds of toys in your usual holiday catalogs (if you don’t already do all your shopping online). However ads for in-game transactions and not the games themselves are becoming more and more common, and people don’t seem to be too thrilled with the idea.

On Sept. 26 A Twitter account by the name of AllFifamistakes posted a picture from one of the latest in-store magazines for UK company Smyths Toys. The ad, for FIFA’s popular Ultimate Team mode, lists four steps for players to play FUT, with the second being “use FIFA points to open packs.”

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As any good FUT player knows, FIFA Points are the digital currency that is used specifically for that mode to unlock player packs, which are basically random loot boxes containing player cards and other upgrades.

Enough arguments have been made for and against loot boxes being a form of gambling than we could list in a series of articles, but they are one of the most unpopular features in modern-day gaming, and seen as a way for companies to keep cashing in on consumers after the fork out the sticker price just to play the game.

The fact that it’s in a toy magazine where a kid will most likely see it and bother his or her parent about buying them FIFA Points for some player packs is what seems to have ticked most people off, with some accusing EA of promoting gambling to their younger fans. However, this isn’t even the first FIFA game to employ such marketing tactics.

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As you can see above, EA SPORTS has been advertising using FIFA Points to open packs as part of their “four steps to FUT success” for at least a year now, with the exact same wording appearing on adverts for FIFA 20 back around holiday season 2019.

Like gambling itself, it doesn’t seem as though loot boxes will be going away any time soon no matter how unpopular they may be, but people obviously aren’t too fond of ads for them being waved under kids’ noses.

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