Host Geoff Keighley opened the 2021 Game awards by calling on “everyone” to build a “better, safer” video game industry by voting with their time and their dollars.
In a series of remarks that forcefully called out abuse in gaming, but didn’t specify which kinds or who was responsible, Keighley referenced recent headlines about misconduct at Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard without addressing the company or the allegations against it by name.
“Game creators need to be supported by the companies that employ them, I think we all agree with that,” Keighley said. “We should not and will not tolerate any abuse harassment or predatory practice by anyone, including our online communities.”
The host shared contact information for the Games and Online Harassment Hotline before pivoting to the exclusive world premier trailers the show is famous for.
The comments come on the same day that workers at Activision Blizzard announced a strike fund to support an ongoing walkout beginning with QA workers at Call of Duty: Warzone studio Raven Software. ABK Worker’s Alliance members have also begun passing out union authorization cards in its push to begin unionizing one of the most profitable gaming publishers in the world.
Keighley was criticized late last week after telling The Washington Post he was still thinking through how to “navigate” the Activision Blizzard fallout in the 2021 Game Awards. The host sought to clarify his position in a Twitter thread later on that clarified Activision Blizzard would not be part of the show and called out “harassment or predatory practices in any company or any community,” without commenting on the specific ongoing situation at the company.
“I also realize we have a big platform which can accelerate and inspire change,” he wrote on Twitter on December 4. “We are committed to that, but we all need to work together to build a better and a more inclusive environment so everyone feels safe to build the world’s best games.”
Tonight’s opening comments didn’t seem to meaningfully expand on those sentiments.