Activision CEO Bobby Kotick is currently under an intense spotlight after an investigation by the Wall Street Journal unveiled serious allegations against not only him but his knowledge of sexual misconduct within companies under the Activision umbrella, such as Sledgehammer Games and Blizzard. Following the report, multiple employees within the Activision umbrella staged a walkout demanding Kotick’s resignation.
These demands have so far not been met and it doesn’t appear that the board of directors is behind them. They posted a statement standing behind Kotick. Kotick and the company have officially pushed back against the report calling it “inaccurate” and “misleading.”
One person that is clearly not happy with Kotick and Activision’s response to The Wall Street Journal report is PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan. Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier is reporting that Ryan sent out an email to PlayStation employees while linking to the Wall Street Journal report and made it clear that he was not happy with how Kotick and Activision have responded so far.
In an email to employees reviewed by Bloomberg, Ryan linked to the Wall Street Journal’s Tuesday report. He wrote that he and his leadership were “disheartened and frankly stunned to read” that Activision “has not done enough to address a deep-seated culture of discrimination and harassment.”
“We outreached to Activision immediately after the article was published to express our deep concern and to ask how they plan to address the claims made in the article,” he wrote. “We do not believe their statements of response properly address the situation.”
Ryan’s influence in this situation can not go understated. As CEO of one of the three major video game console publishers, Ryan works very closely with many of the companies that publish games under the PlayStation banner. Activision and PlayStation have had a relationship as far back as the first PlayStation console so it’s a very big deal that Ryan is choosing to criticize them in this kind of scenario.