E3 Organizer ESA Comments On Recent Activision Reports

The ESA's statement on Activision Blizzard calls for any allegation "to be acknowledged, thoroughly investigated, and addressed with meaningful consequences."


Since it was reported that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick allegedly hid his knowledge of sexual misconduct at the company, some of the largest names in gaming have commented on and criticized the game publishing giant. The ESA now joins that group, albeit with a comparatively softly-worded, broad statement.

Asked by Axios' Stephen Totilo for a comment on Activision as well as the steps the group is taking in response to the report, the ESA responded with the following statement:

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"Harassment, abuse, or mistreatment of any kind in the workplace is unacceptable and must never be tolerated. When allegations arise, people impacted need to have their voices heard. Any allegation needs to be acknowledged, thoroughly investigated, and addressed with meaningful consequences. The fatality of our industry requires that everyone in the workplace--and in our communities--feels valued and respected. As an industry association, the ESA convenes its member companies to create dialogue and shape actions to ensure that these beliefs are realized."

The ESA, or Entertainment Software Association, is the United States' trade association for the game industry. Its members include the largest game publishers in the business, including Nintendo, Capcom, EA, Konami, Microsoft, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and Activision Blizzard. The company also organizes the yearly E3 convention.

The ESA's statement is much gentler than what some other industry figures, including PlayStation's Jim Ryan and Xbox's Phil Spencer, have said. The former said that Activision Blizzard "has not done enough to address a deep-seated culture of discrimination and harassment." Spencer spoke more broadly in an internal email, saying that Xbox is "evaluating all aspects of our relationship with Activision Blizzard and making ongoing proactive adjustments."

Nintendo has also weighed in on the allegations levied towards Activision Blizzard, with Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser calling reports "distressing and disturbing." It's not clear if Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo have or will take any specific action in regards to Activision Blizzard.

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