This year’s Game Awards are just around the corner. 4 days from time of writing (6 December 2021), to be precise. While the awards are usually a holistic wrap up of the past year’s biggest titles and most noteworthy studios, this year’s addition will have one notable face missing from its lineup: Activision Blizzard.
Geoff Keighley, executive producer behind The Game Awards, confirmed on Twitter that Activision Blizzard would not be appearing at the event “Beyond its nominations”. It’s not a particularly shocking revelation considering the controversial news cycle surrounding the company at the moment.
Keighley goes on to explain why one of the industry’s largest players wouldn’t have any substantial coverage at this year’s event:
“[This] is a time of celebration for this industry, the biggest form of entertainment in the world. There is no place for abuse, harassment or predatory practices in any company or any community.
“I also realize we have a big platform which can accelerate and inspire change. We are committed to that, but we all need to work together to build a better and a more inclusive environment so everyone feels safe to build the world’s best games.”
Keighley joins a handful of other big names in gaming to pan Blizzard and/or CEO Bobby Kotick for it/his reprehensible handling of the company’s toxic workplace culture. Last week Xbox’s Phil Spencer and PlayStation’s Jim Ryan criticising Kotick and his company, with Spencer going as far as to say that Xbox would have to revaluate its relationship with the games studio. Nintendo execs have reportedly made similar statements.