Activision Blizzard fires more than 20 employees amid harassment probes

The game publisher also filed new court filings with its ongoing litigation.

Oscar Gonzalez Former staff reporter
Oscar Gonzalez is a Texas native who covered video games, conspiracy theories, misinformation and cryptocurrency.
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Oscar Gonzalez
2 min read
It looks like Activision Blizzard is doing some cleaning

It looks like Activision Blizzard is doing some cleaning.

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Activision Blizzard is in the midst of multiple legal battles with the US government and state of California over company's allegedly toxic workplace culture. The game publisher made a moves on Tuesday to change its work environment, including firing some employees. 

A company letter to the staff said more than 20 employees were fired as first reported by the Financial Times. Another group of more than 20 will face other disciplinary actions. No names were provided, but several were reportedly game developers.  

Activision Blizzard said its actions were the result of investigations into reports of harassment, discrimination or retaliation in the company. 

Along with news of the fired employees, the letter said the company will expand its ethics and compliance team.

"We are working tirelessly to ensure that, moving forward, this is a place where people are not only heard, but empowered," wrote Fran Townsend, Activision Blizzard's executive vice president for corporate affairs.

On Tuesday, the company also submitted two court filings in its ongoing legal case with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the agency that filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard for workplace discrimination in July.  The DFEH attempted to object to an $18 million settlement between the game publisher and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that was reached in September. The EEOC alleges that the DFEH violated ethic rules. Activision Blizzard's new filings request the DFEH case be moved to a court that specializes in overseeing complicated litigation and ask for a halt in the proceedings to evaluate the EEOC evidence related to the alleged violations.