A look at the innovative ways that Bobby Kotick and Activision Blizzard are improving its corporate culture.
“I want to reiterate my conviction to create the most welcoming and inclusive workplace,” Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said. “We have taken meaningful actions to improve our company and our culture. But there is more to do. To become the model workplace we all aspire to be, more change is required. But I am confident that we will get there.” The video game executive says that the Santa Monica, California-headquartered video game company is “a culture of really inspired, driven, creative, ambitious people.”
Bobby Kotick said the company “has ambitious goals to become the most welcoming and inclusive company in the gaming industry. We have already made significant progress ensuring the safety and well-being of our employees.” And Activision Blizzard’s board of directors established the Workplace Responsibility Committee in November 2021. The committee’s purpose is to uphold any newly implemented procedures, policies, and commitments made by the company to make its workplace a more inclusive professional environment.
In July, the company also launched an innovative training program, Level Up U. Bobby Kotick said he’s “excited about the potential of Level Up U.” The program is the initial initiative of the $250 million diversity fund that Activision Blizzard established in October 2021.
Level Up U is created to educate enrolled participants on game development basics so they can eventually fill engineering roles at the company. “In addition to traditional classroom and project-based work, those in the program will also have access to our incredible leaders who will serve as guest speakers and mentors,” stated Julie Hodges, Activision Blizzard’s chief people officer.
Establishing a Code of Conduct for Famous Franchise
In September, Activision Blizzard announced its formal code of conduct for the Call of Duty community, which includes the competitive scene as well as the consumer player base. The basic policy stresses no hate, no cheating, and no harassment.
Johanna Faries is the general manager at Activision Blizzard. She explained that the company is “focused 24/7” on establishing an anti-toxicity environment. “I am happy to say, especially since you know the time that I have been in the chair, we have really raised the bar in terms of paying attention to ‘What does an anti-tox strategy need to look like? What does creating fair play environments, safe play environments look like?’” Faries stated at the TechCrunch Disrupt 2022 conference in San Francisco. “We just released, for example — and it started in the beta — a first-ever franchisewide code of conduct, which I know may sound like table stakes, and in many ways it probably is — but it’s here now.”
Faries stated, “So there’s more to come on this, but I was really proud to see [it] in addition to Ricochet [anti-cheating tech] and a lot of our anti-cheat anti-hacking initiatives that we’ve rolled out. Our anti-toxicity focus is a masthead going into this upcoming launch and for years to come. We’re putting the best systems in place to make sure that players have the tools, but also have the incentives again to continue to raise the bar of what it means to play fair, to play with respect for everyone, to play with integrity.”
Another Win for Bobby Kotick: A Record-Breaking Launch for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II
There is more wonderful news for Activision’s Call of Duty franchise. Modern Warfare II delivered the largest opening weekend in the franchise’s history with an $800 million sell-through in three days since its Oct. 28, 2022, release. The game also surpassed the year’s top worldwide box-office film openings, including Top Gun: Maverick and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Bobby Kotick stated, “Thank you to our talented team that has created magic through extraordinary artistry and technology and to the global community of players who find joy and connection through Call of Duty. This milestone belongs to them.”
Faries stated, “Thank you, Call of Duty players, for making Modern Warfare II’s launch one for the record books as well as the highest-grossing entertainment opening of the year. It is our honor and privilege to deliver such a historic launch weekend for the best fans in the world. As amazing as this opening has been, Call of Duty has much more in store. An unprecedented level of support for the Modern Warfare universe is on the horizon, and Warzone 2.0’s launch is right around the corner. It’s an incredible time for the franchise.”
The game, developed by Infinity Ward, also set a new Call of Duty franchise opening weekend record as the top-selling digital opening during its first three days. On Nov. 16, 2022, Activision will release the next installment, Call of Duty: Warzone.
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said he “gets very energized by the people I work with. And so there’s a lot of joy from that. I’m a very fortunate, grateful person. And I have the benefit of incredible privilege and opportunity. And I hope I’ll be able to provide that to lots of other, other people.”
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