Blizzard Boss Details Plans To Rebuild Trust In The Studio

Blizzard's Mike Ybarra says that employees and fans are the studio's top priority as it starts a new era under Microsoft.

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The record $68.7 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard has brought with it renewed hope across the gaming industry that Microsoft can create a more positive working environment for studios that have been caught up in numerous controversies over the last few years.

In a post on Blizzard's blog, company boss Mike Ybarra pledged that the company would look to rebuild the trust of its fans by making positive changes to its studio culture. Some of these changes include new appointments, which Ybarra shed more light on.

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  • A Culture leader who will help us maintain the best aspects of what we have today, and change and evolve where needed to ensure everyone brings their best self to Blizzard.
  • A new organizational leader for Human Resources who will build trust, empower our teams, and help foster a safe, positive work environment for everyone.
  • A Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion leader solely focused on our progress across multiple efforts in this area.

Blizzard's compliance and investigation teams have also tripled in size and have created an "upward feedback program" that will allow employees to evaluate their managers. The studio's executive and management teams will be measured "directly against culture improvement," which means that their compensation will depend on their success in creating a safe, inclusive, and creative work environment at Blizzard according to Ybarra.

These are just some of the initiatives that will be implemented across Blizzard under Ybarra, who was appointed to co-lead of the studio alongside Jen Oneal after former president J. Allen Brack left in the wake of a lawsuit against the company. Oneal stepped down from her position several months later, citing a lack of faith in Activision's leadership and its ability to restore Blizzard's reputation.

In other news regarding the gigantic acquisition, Call of Duty's annual release schedule might come to an end, Sony has responded to the buyout, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has discussed the company's reasons for acquiring Activision Blizzard.

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