Activision-Blizzard walkout organizers respond to Kotick, Kotaku exposes ‘Cosby suite’ attendees

This morning, a small group of game developers walked off their game projects in a small town in northern California to protest poor working conditions. The strikes were in response to a recent Kotaku expose on the company’s treatment of its employees, which included sexual assault accusers being offered jobs with the “preferential treatment” of being paid less and having to work more overtime hours.

The video game industry is currently facing a crisis that many fear could lead to thousands of layoffs. While the situation is still fluid, both Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts have announced they will lay off staff in order to improve company profitability.

In the wake of Monday’s Activision-Blizzard press conference, in which CEO Bobby Kotick displayed what Kotaku called a “dreadful slide” of a group of women sitting in a meeting and laughing, Kotaku reports that the event’s organizers were quick to respond. According to the publication, in a statement to Kotaku, the organizers of the #NYCCwalkout “were not surprised that this was the case,” and that “we knew that this was coming, since we had been in touch with Kotaku in the past.”


Organizers of today’s walkout have responded to Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick’s letter to employees, claiming that it “fails to address critical elements at the heart of employee concerns,” such as their demands for forced arbitration, worker oversight of hiring and promotion, pay transparency, and third-party auditors not chosen by the executives.

They add, “Today’s walkout will show that this is not a one-time occurrence that our politicians can disregard.” “We will not go back to quiet; we will not be appeased by the same procedures that brought us here.”

The organizers of the Activision Blizzard walkout have issued a statement in response to CEO Bobby Kotick’s email to employees, in which he called the company’s reaction “tone deaf.”

July 28, 2021 — Megan Farokhmanesh (@Megan Nicolett)

Following a two-year investigation, California filed a huge sexual discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuit against Activision-Blizzard last week. Since then, there has been a constant stream of leaked memos, press comments, and apologies from current and former Activision-Blizzard executives, as well as a chorus of angry employees lifting their voices to call out abuses and falsehoods. Employees started signing an open letter criticizing the company’s reaction earlier this week. It has over 3200 signatures as of yesterday night, and a staff walkout is planned for today afternoon. In solidarity with the employees, players are being urged to stay away from the games and use the hashtag #ActiBlizzWalkout on Twitter.

Kotick remained quiet for a week until issuing a public statement late yesterday night, in which he apologized for the company’s first answers and termed them “tone deaf.” He insisted that the company would investigate every claim, hire staff and resources to do so, create moderated safe spaces for speaking up, re-evaluate managers and fire anyone “found to have harmed the integrity of [the company’s] processes for evaluating claims,” and hire more diverse “compliance resources.” However, the letter also directs employees with concerns to an outside legal company that specializes in assisting businesses with government investigations rather than promoting workplace safety and diversity.

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The “Cosby room” — the moniker for a BlizzCon hotel suite famous for the exact frat-boy environment referred to in the complaint – has been exposed by Kotaku this afternoon. Dave Kosak, Jesse McCree, Cort Stockton, and Greg Street are all mentioned as participants in “BlizzCon Cosby Crew” chat conversations regarding the suite, according to a former Blizzard engineer who sent over old Facebook pictures and chats that incriminate additional devs beyond Alex Afrasiabi. Greg Street, Cory Stockton, David Kosak, Josh Mosqueira, Alex Afriasabi, Paul Cazarez, Jonathan LeCraft, and Jesse McCree are among the eight male Blizzard developers inside the room, piled on a bed and hoisting a framed photo of Bill Cosby, who was long accused of sexual assault even in 2013; Redditors have identified them as Greg Street, Cory Stockton, David Kosak, Josh Stockton, LeCraft, and McCree are still at Blizzard, according to reports.


The strike is still going on.

The blizzard protest has begun! [On the outskirts of Blizzard HQ] thanks to wow


On Wednesday, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick had a bone to pick with a group of his employees, who had recently engaged in a work strike. The strike was in protest of Kotick’s demand that workers accrue more stock options to receive a larger amount of stock on retirement. The issue stems from a controversial method of accruing stock options. Kotick claims the current method of accruing stock options is more beneficial for employees, but the strike is in protest of the method. The strike began on Monday, and the protesting employees have not returned to work since then.. Read more about activision blizzard layoffs 2020 and let us know what you think.

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • activision fires 190 employees
  • blizzard fires employees 2020
  • blizzard layoffs 2020
  • blizzard fires employees 2021
  • activision blizzard layoffs 2020

Greg Baskerville
Greg Baskerville
Gaming Blogger & Musician. Playing games since the Amiga days in the 1980's, and a handy guitarist.

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