California has filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, alleging that the company promoted discrimination and sexual harassment. Activision Blizzard responded by claiming that the suit was “distorted” and, in many cases, false. It called the California agency “unaccountable State bureaucrats.” Bungie, a Bungie developer, released its own statement, noting that it has a zero tolerance policy for toxic culture in its workplace.
Activision Blizzard had a ten year publishing agreement with Destiny 2 starting in 2010. It was terminated in early 2019. Bungie has not had any contact with the company in ten years, but it did work with Activision Blizzard for eight years, so it may want to set its own tone.
Here is Bungie’s complete statement:
Bungie was built to empower its people, regardless of their origins, gender, and sexual orientation. It is our responsibility to recognize, reflect and push back against the persistent culture of harassment and abuse in our industry.
Bungie has to make sure that this behavior is not tolerated at any level. We must also ensure that it is never excused or swept under the carpet. Although the news accounts this week are not easy to read, we hope that they will bring justice, awareness and accountability.
Bungie has a zero tolerance policy for toxic cultures and environments. We are committed to rooting out those at risk.
“Women, POC and underrepresented communities have nothing in reliving their trauma. When they report abuse or harassment, we believe them.
We don’t pretend Bungie is perfect, and no one has ever experienced harassment at work here. But we won’t tolerate it and will face it head-on. We will do our best to make every day better.
“Our goal is continue to improve Bungie’s experience and to do our part in making the gaming industry more inclusive and welcoming.”
Bungie was founded on the belief that everyone can be empowered, regardless of their origins or whereabouts. We have a responsibility for acknowledging, reflecting, and doing our best to change the culture of harassment, abuse and inequity that still exists within our industry.
Bungie’s 2019 split from Activision was unexpected, even though there had been signs of simmering tensions. Activision’s COO stated in 2018 that the publisher was not satisfied with Destiny 2’s performance, most notably the Forsaken extension. This prompted Bungie, though politely, to take the offensive.
Although the 2019 split was publicized as amicable, former Bungie employees have expressed dismay at the relationship. Marty O’Donnell, a former Bungie composer, stated that the relationship was not “a marriage made in heaven.”
However, not everyone is on the same page. David Dague, Bungie’s comms director, stated last year that Activision wasn’t a “prohibitive dictator” during their publishing relationship and that the separation was amicable.
Bungie is not the only one reacting to the Activision Blizzard lawsuit. Industry professionals and fans alike have been expressing their dismay on social media as well as in Activision Blizzard’s games.