Jen Oneal has stepped down from her function as co-leader of Blizzard, leaving Mike Ybarra as the pinnacle of the studio recognized for making Overwatch, World of Warcraft and Diablo. Oneal will briefly transition to a brand new place, however will go away Activision Blizzard (advantageous, and King) on the finish of the yr.
Activision Blizzard is going through a handful of lawsuits and investigations into experiences of sexual harassment, gropings, and systemic gender discrimination on the studio, stemming from the management down. Oneal and Ybarra took over as co-leaders of Blizzard in August after president J. Allen Brack was named within the unique California lawsuit, leading to his dismissal. Oneal was the primary girl in a president function since Activision’s founding in 1979.
Oneal revealed an open letter to the Blizzard neighborhood, studying partly as follows:
I’ve made the choice to step away from co-leading Blizzard Leisure and can transition to a brand new place earlier than departing ABK on the finish of the yr. Efficient instantly, Mike Ybarra will lead Blizzard. I’m doing this not as a result of I’m with out hope for Blizzard, fairly the alternative — I’m impressed by the fervour of everybody right here, working in the direction of significant, lasting change with their complete hearts. This power has impressed me to step out and discover how I can do extra to have video games and variety intersect, and hopefully make a broader trade affect that may profit Blizzard (and different studios) as effectively. Whereas I’m not completely positive what kind that may take, I’m excited to embark on a brand new journey to search out out.
After months of stress from employees, shareholders and authorities businesses, Activision Blizzard ended its policy of pressured arbitration in instances of sexual harassment and discrimination, and carried out a zero-tolerance method to harassment on the studio. The unique California lawsuit is ongoing.
Blizzard introduced two large delays alongside information of Oneal’s departure: Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV, neither of which was given a launch window.
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