Social media accounts related to Activision Blizzard and its various properties have stopped posting following California’s lawsuit against the major video game conglomerate going public.
Since news broke Wednesday that the state of California is suing Activision Blizzard over an alleged widespread abuse of its female employees, official Twitter feeds for Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, Diablo, Overwatch, World of Warcraft, and many more have gone completely silent. As these pages regularly update with new content and engage with fans, many see their going dark as an obvious attempt to stay out of the spotlight and avoid more reputational damage.
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Activision and Blizzard’s own Twitter accounts, as well as those for subsidiaries like Infinity Ward, King, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, and Treyarch, have also taken apparent vows of silence. The relevant Facebook and Instagram pages for the aforementioned games and studios are similarly bereft of recent updates. Of course, it’s a little more difficult to spot obvious outages on those company-level pages due to their posting less frequently than ones for specific franchises.
This naturally hasn’t stopped former Activision Blizzard employees, many of them women, from using social media to both express the pain brought about by the reprehensible behavior detailed in the lawsuit and to share their own stories about their experiences at the company.
“Set aside your love for the company’s products and fictional universe for a moment and consider this: I witnessed my female colleagues being demoted for pregnancies and female-health related concerns because of their ‘inability to fulfill the requirements of the job,’” graphic design artist Shaynuh Chanel wrote on Thursday, adding: “I felt alone and minimized my pain for a long time, I hope nobody else has to do that anymore. This is our time to speak.”
Activision Blizzard leadership is scrambling behind the scenes to get out ahead of the lawsuit. Internal emails seen by Kotaku carry an air of hurried contrition while the company simultaneously dismisses the charges in public statements. We at Kotaku haven’t heard from Activision Blizzard’s corporate PR since Wednesday, despite contacting the company with each subsequent story we’ve published.
If there’s any silver lining to Activision Blizzard’s current lack of Twitter presence, it’s that the poor community managers and social media interns who run them don’t have to deal with the deluge of absolutely deserved criticism being aimed at those in charge for their heinous actions. For now, those accounts stand as silent sentinels of a corporation desperately struggling to maintain a crumbling façade of business-as-usual.