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PlayStation boss Jim Ryan calls out Bobby Kotick over Activision Blizzard scandal

PlayStation boss Jim Ryan has criticised Activision Blizzard's Bobby Kotick over damning new reports about the company's sexual harassment lawsuit.
PlayStation boss Jim Ryan is the latest industry figure to criticise Activision Blizzard CEO, Bobby Kotick, as the billionaire's response to allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment at the studio continues to aggrevate employees, gamers and investors alike.

In a letter reportedly sent to staff, Ryan noted that he has contacted Activision to express "deep concern" at the ongoing scandal that's gripped Activision Blizzard over the past few months.

Per Bloomberg's Jason Schreier, Ryan was prompted to reach out to the company following a Wall Street Journal report that suggested the Activsion Blizzard CEO reportedly knew about allegations against the company for years and intentionally hid instances of sexual harrassment from the board.

In the email, Ryan apparently linked the WSJ report, and noted that he (along with PlayStation leadership) were "disheartened and frankly stunned to read [that Activision] has not done enough to address a deep-seated culture of discrimination and harassment." Bloomberg reports that Ryan sent the email to Kotick and the company "immediately after the [WSJ] article was published".

Ryan is reported to have told PlayStation staff that the platform holder "[does] not believe [Activision Blizzard's] statements of response properly address the situation" and that the company is eager to "express [its] deep concern and to ask how they plan to address the claims made in the article."

Given that PlayStation and Activision Blizzard has a close relationship (there have been marketing deals for Call of Duty, as well as timed exclusive releases of Activision games on the platform), it's no wonder PlayStation wants to get a better understanding of what's being done internally to sort these issues out.

In a statement earlier this week, Activision Blizzard issued a defensive rebuttal to the WSJ’s report, saying it "presents a misleading view of Activision Blizzard and our CEO." To combat future issues at the company, Activision has plans to take on workplace abuse and improve its hiring practices.

Sony has issued no formal statement on the situation regarding Activision Blizzard (and neither have Nintendo or Microsoft, for that matter). An employee group for Activision Blizzard King workers, A Better ABK, has staged a walkout in protest to the new allegations, and has called for Kotick's resignation. A group of Activision Blizzard shareholders have also demanded Kotick’s resignation.

About the Author

Dom Peppiatt avatar

Dom Peppiatt

Contributor

Dom is a veteran video games critic and consultant copywriter that has appeared in publications ranging from Daily Star to The Guardian. Passionate about games and the greater good they can achieve, you can usually find Dom listening to records, farting about in the kitchen, or playing Final Fantasy VIII (again).

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