The machinations surrounding Activision-Blizzard deal have been rumbling on for months with their potential acquisition by Microsoft (and the potential monopolistic practices and their subsequent fallout) dominating headlines.
So much so that it’s sometimes easy to forget that Activision-Blizzard as a company was embroiled in a massive scandal over allegations of sexist and abusive behaviour by some members of staff only mere months ago. This culminated in a lawsuit against the company amongst other legal actions. As part of their effort to rehabilitate their public image and be more transparent, Activision-Blizzard have been working hard behind the scenes – doubtless fuelled by a potential Microsoft payday – and today released their representation data for the year of 2022.
According to the data, 26% of the overall Activision-Blizzard-King organisation consists of women and non-binary employees. Of that, Activision ranks the lowest with only 20%, followed by Blizzard at 25% and finally, at the highest, King with 35%. 38% of ABK consists of UEG (Under-represented Ethnic Group) employees. King leads on this too with a 61% UEG ratio whilst Blizzard and Activision consist of 36% and 38% respectively.
Still a boys club
Although the presentation is headed with the statement “ABK has significantly increased gender and ethnic representation” it raises the question of how relative this is to growth. For context, both the Women & Non-binary and UEG percent increases overall were around 2%, 24 to 26% and 36 to 38% respectively. While any increase, no matter how incremental, is a good thing for changing the demographics of Activision-Blizzard King, it does not take into account the increased size of the company since results were last taken.
Therefore, although representation has increased generally, it does not necessarily make a significant difference to the workplace culture. A workplace culture which Activision-Blizzard has faced strong criticism for. Chief compliance officer Frances Townsend for example, stepped down in October, having been perceived as defending the company at the expense of employees’ grievances.
Although the main grievances have been levied against Activision-Blizzard, King has been a much more significant part of the ongoing acquisition. As the ABK group goes mobile-first alongside other video game giants, more eyes are likely to be cast to mobile-focused King with the rest of the company playing catch up.