Gaming

An Activision employee has been using the signature “1-800-ALLCOCK” “for many years.”

A man in a helmet watches as smoke from World War II surrounds him.

Image: Activision

Lawsuit in California Earlier this year alleged sexual harassment, discrimination and widespread “boy culture” in Call of Duty published by Activision Blizzard. In at least one case, this culture included an employee signing all of their work emails as “1-800-ALLCOCK.”

This detail comes from latest episode of The Wall Street Journal podcast which details some of his high-profile recent investigations, in which new cases of misconduct and cover-ups, including CEO Bobby Kotick.

“There was one example where an Activision employee over the years simply signed his email with the signature 1-800-ALLCOCK,” said reporter Kirsten Grind. in podcast transcript… “So if you were a woman, you would receive this letter, and that would be normal, right? Just guys who are kidding about it, and you kind of felt like this is what happened at Activision. “

Activision reportedly took no action regarding the email signature until it received a complaint about it just last summer, after which it fired the employee after a month-long investigation.

“Our compliance team started an investigation after receiving a report related to the use of that phone number and fired an employee after the investigation was completed.” Communications Director, Activision Blizzard, This is stated in a statement by Heline Klaski. Kotaku

The podcast episode also interviewed a former employee about her time at Sledgehammer Games, the creator of the recently released Call of Duty: Vanguard… Ashley Mark hired as a quality assurance analyst in 2016 during production Call of Duty: World War IIdescribed a male-dominated workplace as follows:

You have people who want to … Basically they are very boring, want to make a good game, and then you have a group of gun lovers because this is Call of Duty, so you are going to attract people who love guns, and then you have people who are really into fitness. There are many people at Sledgehammer Games who were into fitness at least at that time. So there were people who got into groups and that you went to the gym and they just pumped up. So it’s very masculine.

Mark recalled a 2017 studio anniversary party where one former Sledgehammer manager “hugged my colleague almost like a choke grip,” hugging her and repeating her name repeatedly. This former manager said Wall Street Magazine He did not remember the details of the evening in question because he was too drunk, but confirmed that he was sent on a two-week paid suspension before being transferred to another position.

In addition, a former employee of the company was reportedly raped at Sledgehammer Games twice, incidents that were not investigated until she sent a letter from her lawyer after she had already left the company. According to a new episode of the podcast, when she initially filed a complaint with HR studio, a department rep was trying to get her to downplay what had happened and rethink it in a more positive light.

Magazinethe report on this matter is inaccurate “, Klaski said in a statement Kotaku… “We investigated immediately after a letter from a lawyer arrived in July 2018, starting the same day. The investigation established that, contrary to the assertions of the lawyer, the employee did not inform the HR department that she had been raped. The company did not learn of any rape allegations until a letter from a lawyer arrived. “

Until recently, the focus has been on past misconduct and discrimination allegations at Blizzard. But these latest reports reinforce portions of the original California lawsuit that cited alcohol-filled offices and work activities, and HR negligence as recipes for ill-treatment throughout Activision Blizzard’s business.

This week the chapters of both Game console and Xbox spoke about the latest revelations. Nonprofit organization Girls Who Code cut ties with a company. And some shareholders have joined over 2000 Activision Blizzard employees in calling Kitty to resign.

“It is clear that the only forces that can make a difference at Activision are its customers (whose money is the ultimate corporate goal), its investors and employees, whose talent makes Activision games worth buying,” said Paul Reich, former CEO of Activision Blizzard. Skylanders Studio said Axios Today… “If the new stories I’ve read are true, I don’t understand how Activision can continue its success without new leadership.”

Update: 11/20/21 11:32 AM ET: Added statement from Activision Blizzard.




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