Blizzard lead plans to “rebuild your trust” with new company changes

"These actions are just the beginning of the work that lies ahead for Blizzard."

Blizzard’s been in boiling hot water for the past many years due to all their controversies. From the Hong Kong protest to the gender discrimination and harassment lawsuit, no one looks at the company quite the same anymore. Recently, Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard, something no one totally knows what to think of yet. Even with all the mixed messages we’ve been receiving, Blizzard lead Mike Ybarra wants you to know their top priority: rebuild your trust in Blizzard.

What Blizzard lead Mike Ybarra has to say

The Blizzard lead issued a statement on Jan. 20, titled “Putting Our Teams and Players at the Forefront of Everything We Do”. In the “inside Blizzard” article, he notes he’s been leading Blizzard for a couple months now. Ybarra initially joined Blizzard in 2019 after being involved with Microsoft for about 20 years.

“Our top priority—now and into the future—is the work we are doing to rebuild your trust in Blizzard.”

Ybarra notes he read through forums, social posts, and emails from both his own employees and people outside of it. What he stresses most of all is that Blizzard now has a commitment to change and listens to what people have to say.

Blizzard lead Mike Ybarra
Blizzard lead Mike Ybarra

How do they plan to rebuild trust?

The statement issues a few different ways they’ve begun to change their company structure to better look after their employees. This includes:

  • Measuring teams against culture improvement to depend on their “overall success in creating a safe, inclusive, and creative work environment”.
  • More full-time roles and resources to improve culture, which consists of
    • A culture leader
    • A new organizational leader for Human Resources
    • A Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) leader

Additionally, the statement adds what Blizzard’s done so far to combat their past failures. Accordingly, they’ve tripled the size of compliance and investigation teams and “articulated clear accountability for unacceptable behavior”. Ybarra stresses this applies to all employees, including Blizzard’s leaders and management teams. They also shared representation data with their teams and set goals around them and have put a feedback program in place

Whether Activision Blizzard’s actions will have a real impact or not, it’s hard to say. After all the controversy they’ve gone through, at the very least they’re saying they want to change and have a specific plan on how to do so. Is it only up from here? What are your thoughts on Blizzard’s new direction? Let us know in the comments below!

Erin Vieira

Writer, artist, cosplayer, D&D player, Final Fantasy lover, and Bayonetta enthusiast Erin Vieira says that although they were born amongst mortals, someday they will exist as an unknown entity of the void. There will still be video games there, of course.
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