Activision Blizzard continues to come under increased pressure over its recent lawsuit over its workplace culture, with the Securities and Exchange Commission now also looking into the allegations it harboured a toxic work environment.
The news comes from the Wall Street Journal (paywall) as recounted by GamesIndustry.biz. The SEC has apparently requested a number of documents from the publisher via an official subpoena. These include communications from CEO Bobby Kotick himself to other high level executives about the allegations and lawsuit. The regulating body has also requested to see separation agreements with employees who have left in the past year as well as personnel files for six former employees, and board meeting minutes.
In fact, the Journal also reveals that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has also been conducting its own research since May 2020, and is asking for similar documentation. This second agency declined to comment to the WSJ, but is said to be in settlement talks with the company which could lead to payouts of “millions of dollars” for the victims.
Activision Blizzard, for its part, has released a lengthy statement today on these reports. It says that it is “actively engaged in continued discussions with the EEOC and has cooperated with the EEOC’s investigation concerning certain employment practices. It also confirmed that it is complying with a recent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) subpoena issued to the Company and several current and former employees and executives regarding disclosures on employment matters and related issues. The Company is confident in its prior disclosures and is cooperating with the SEC’s investigation.”
Kotick himself also provides a quote, saying “We are deeply committed to making Activision Blizzard one of the best, most inclusive places to work anywhere. There is absolutely no place anywhere in our Company for discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind. While we continue to work in good faith with regulators to address and resolve past workplace issues, we also continue to move ahead with our own initiatives to ensure that we are the very best place to work. We remain committed to addressing all workplace issues in a forthright and prompt manner.”
Just last week, members of the ABK Workers Alliance, made up of current and former employees, filed a new lawsuit against Activision Blizzard accusing the publisher of worker intimidation and union-busting.