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Game developer Activision Blizzard accused of hosting 'struggle sessions' for white developers to discuss their 'privilege'
Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Game developer Activision Blizzard accused of hosting 'struggle sessions' for white developers to discuss their 'privilege'

Activision recently published a braggadocious report about the company's DEI work.

Video game company Activision Blizzard allegedly pushes employees to participate in diversity, equity, and inclusion programs and installs diversity officers to ensure DEI compliance for each video game.

Former Blizzard designer Mark Kern posted an allegedly leaked internal document that showed the studio — which develops popular titles like World of Warcraft and Call of Duty — has been pushing its extensive DEI work on its employees.

'Together, we will build a future that embraces diversity, fosters inclusivity, and empowers all.'

Kern also made other alarming claims that he said came from sources inside the company.

"I've been shocked at what my former co-workers have told me about Activision Blizzard. It's a very different place from what it used to be, when the games were better and we left politics out of it," he told Blaze News.

"Blizzard now has struggle sessions where white developers must discuss their privilege, and DEI emails go out every week. 'Non-mandatory' meetings that are clearly and openly mandatory, and now, review forms that have you rate how well you DEI/ESG."

"I've been told nearly every game design decision at Activision has to be run by DEI officers (their official title) that sit on the teams themselves. I hope that hasn't reached Blizzard itself, but I fear the worst," he added.

Activision representative Delaney Simmons did not address any of the above claims when asked by Blaze News. Among other questions, the spokesperson was asked about the alleged sessions and whether participation in DEI programs affects an employee's job standing. This article will be updated with any applicable responses.

In the alleged leaked email, said to be company-wide, Activision Blizzard shouts from the mountain tops about its DEI work.

The document was sent to Kern as an alleged internal leak, but Activision's Simmons told Blaze News that it was not "a leak," and then pointed to the company's 2023-2024 Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Report.

In the document, the studio boasted about its curation of "meaningful DE&I focused learning opportunities" and the creation of the "IGD council."

The acronym stands for "Inclusive Game Design," which later led to the company creating an IGD team.

According to its website, the Activision Blizzard IGD team is responsible for "embedding advocates, best practices, and innovations" in all the company's games.

This is to "ensure that our games are the most diverse, welcoming, and inclusive."

The apparent newsletter also bragged about working with "Minority-owned Businesses [sic] Enterprises" before thanking readers for their support in their dedication to "holistic inclusivity."

"Together, we will build a future that embraces diversity, fosters inclusivity, and empowers all," the letter closed. The document was signed by Casey Morris, the company's diversity, equity, and inclusion officer.

The DEI infusion did not end there by any stretch of the imagination. The company promoted a series of strange "employee networks" that are based on race or sexuality. These included "the black employee network," the "LGBT+ employee network," and the "multicultural employee network."

The company has even stated in its report that it introduced an "inclusion score" for its employees. The score represents "a quantitative measure of the extent to which employees feel welcomed, valued, and included within the organization."

This was used as a justification for the company collecting "DE&I Data," which means tracking race, sexual orientation, and ethnicity. Company data showed that it is over 60% white and 79% male.

Only 1% identified as nonbinary.

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Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados is a writer focusing on sports, culture, entertainment, gaming, and U.S. politics. The podcaster and former radio-broadcaster also served in the Canadian Armed Forces, which he confirms actually does exist.
@andrewsaystv →