Xbox chief reevaluating Activision Blizzard relationship in light of recent scandal

Photo by Jae C. Hong via AP Photo

Following a bombshell scandal at Activison Blizzard involving the company and CEO Bobby Kotick, Xbox executive Phil Spencer is reportedly reevaluating the Microsoft brand’s relationship with the company.

Spencer reportedly told employees via email that he’s “evaluating all aspects of our relationship with Activision Blizzard and making ongoing proactive adjustments” in the wake of an investigation into the company by The Wall Street Journal as well as a lawsuit filed by a California state agency.

Spencer said that he and other higher-ups at Xbox are “disturbed and deeply troubled by the horrific events and actions” that were reported to have taken place at the company. “This type of behavior has no place in our industry,” stated the memo, which was originally obtained by Bloomberg, Yahoo News reports.

According to reports, Kotick allegedly knew about instances of sexual misconduct at the company for years and did not report them to the board. He himself has also been accused of mistreating women a number of times.

The news from Xbox comes one day after Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan deeply criticized the company, saying in a leaked internal memo that he was “disheartened and frankly stunned to read” the WSJ report. He also criticized the company’s response to the allegations, which they reportedly called “misleading” in an Engadget report from earlier this week.

A petition demanding Kotick’s removal now has more than 900 Activision Blizzard employees backing it, along with a shareholder group and multiple gaming publications making a similar demand. Activision Blizzard reportedly told Bloomberg that they respect all the feedback “from our valued partners and are engaging in them further.”

The company went on to state that they have detailed, important changes they’ve implemented in recent weeks, which they plan to continue.

“We are committed to the work of ensuring our culture and workplace are safe, diverse, and inclusive. We know it will take time, but we will not stop until we have the best workplace for our team,” the company said.

Be sure to check back right here for all the latest developments on the Activision Blizzard news as it develops.