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Get this powerful Alienware laptop with an RTX 3070 for just $1,377

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Get this powerful Alienware laptop with an RTX 3070 for just $1,377

an alienware laptop with a Halo screen saver on the display

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Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has never met a tech subject he didn’t like. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, social networks, and browsers. When he’s not covering the news he’s working on how-to tips for PC users, or tuning his eGPU setup.

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Take-Two stock down in wake of Zynga purchase, Zelnick not bothered

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Take-Two stock down in wake of Zynga purchase, Zelnick not bothered

Take-Two Interactive chief executive Strauss Zelnick.

Take-Two Interactive chief executive Strauss Zelnick.

Image Credit: Take-Two Interactive

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Take-Two boss Strauss Zelnick appeared on CNBC to talk about his company’s stock following the $12.7 billion Zynga acquisition. Take-Two purchased Zynga at a price of $9.86/share in a cash and stock deal. The purchase turned Take-Two into one of the largest gaming publishers in the games industry.

“Without regard to any revenue synergies we expect the combined company to grow its top line about 14% annually for the next three years,” Zelnick told CNBC. “We’re building this company for the long term, and that’s always been our approach.”

Take-Two’s stock price dropped below $140/share after the news went public. Zelnick, though, isn’t bothered by it.

“We are trying to build a business over a very long period of time,” said Zelnick. “We’ve never paid that much attention to intraday trading marks. We’ve paid attention to creating value; for our players, for our colleagues, and most importantly for our shareholders. That’s worked out over a very long period of time, and I believe it will work out here as well.”

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Take-Two’s stock price has since climbed back above $150/share. While the stock price is recovering it still remains well below where it entered January from, at around $180/share.

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Activision Blizzard continues to remove employees amid misconduct allegations

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Activision Blizzard continues to remove employees amid misconduct allegations

Since July, 37 Activision Blizzard employees have been fired or forced out and another 44 have been disciplined as the company attempts to address accusations of harassment and misconduct, a spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal. In October, the company said more than 20 people had departed and at least another 20 had been disciplined.

The game publisher was supposed to share a summary of that information publicly before the holidays, according to the report. However, embattled CEO Bobby Kotick is said to have pulled the plug on that over concerns it would make Activision’s woes seem even worse.

The spokesperson denied “the assertion regarding Mr. Kotick,” as well as claims that employees had filed around 700 reports of misconduct and other issues since July, when Activision was sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). The agency alleged the company fostered a “frat boy” culture where discrimination and sexual harassment were rife.

Former Blizzard president J. Allen Brack, who was accused in the DFEH suit of taking “no effective remedial measures” to mitigate sexual harassment, left the company soon after the filing. Activision Blizzard’s top HR executive Jesse Meschuk has departed, as have Diablo 4 game director Luis Barriga, lead designer Jesse McCree (after whom an Overwatch character was previously named) and World of Warcraft designer Jonathan LeCraft.

In November, the WSJ reported that Kotick had known about many of the worst instances of abuse for years and that he may have protected some employees who were accused of harassment. Many Activision Blizzard employees staged a walkout in the wake of the report and around 2,000 signed a petition calling for him to step down. The Activision board has issued a statement of support for Kotick.

Along with employees, state treasurers and investors (the share price has dropped by almost 30% since July) have expressed concern about the issues at hand. Several Activision Blizzard partners have condemned the company or reassessed their relationships with it too.

PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo chiefs criticized the company in notes to their employees. Xbox head Phil Spencer said last week that Microsoft has “changed how we do certain things with” Activision, but didn’t share details. Also this month, Lego postponed an Overwatch 2 set that was supposed to arrive in February while it evaluates its partnership with Activision Blizzard.

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Report: Activision Blizzard shed 37 employees during misconduct scandal

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Report: Activision Blizzard shed 37 employees during misconduct scandal

Only six of Activision Blizzard's 10,000 employees caught the coronavirus.

Activision Blizzard’s old headquarters.

Image Credit: Activision Blizzard

Join gaming leaders, alongside GamesBeat and Facebook Gaming, for their 2nd Annual GamesBeat & Facebook Gaming Summit | GamesBeat: Into the Metaverse 2 this upcoming January 25-27, 2022. Learn more about the event. 


The Wall Street Journal released today a new report on the situation at Activision Blizzard. According to this report, the company has either fired or “pushed out” 37 people since last July. Presumably this is part of the company’s efforts to address its culture of sexual harassment and misconduct.

Allegedly Activision Blizzard collected 700 reports from employees about the company’s situation. It intended to release a summary over the holidays, but CEO Bobby Kotick allegedly withheld the report, supposedly because it would make the problem “seem bigger than is already known,” the Journal said.

Last December, COO Daniel Alegre published a letter acknowledging “the need to share more information openly as a company” and promising change going forward.

Activision Blizzard spokeswoman Helaine Klasky confirmed that 37 people had left the company and 44 had been disciplined following the company’s investigation. This investigation began in July, after the company was sued by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Among many other reports, one alleges that Kotick knew about several of the incidents of workplace harassment and discrimination and failed to inform the board of directors. The board has since affirmed its support of Kotick. Klasky also noted the 700 number included complaints not related to harassment.

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January 25 – 27, 2022


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Last week, Lego announced that it was putting its Overwatch set on hold to review its partnership with Activision. A spokesperson expressed “concerns about the progress being made to address continuing allegations regarding workplace culture, especially the treatment of female colleagues and creating a diverse and inclusive environment.” The heads of all three console manufacturers — Phil Spencer, Doug Bowser, and Jim Ryan — have also expressed discomfort with how the company has dealt with its own culture. Klasky said Activision Blizzard is communicating its changes to Lego.

In a statement to GamesBeat, a spokesperson for Activision Blizzard said:

Across Activision Blizzard, our team is working tirelessly so that every employee feels safe, equal, heard and empowered. Whether a comment about culture, an incident or suggested improvements, every single report that the company receives matters, and we have significantly increased the resources available to ensure that we can quickly and thoroughly look into each one.

Through our expanded Ethics & Compliance function, we have completed reviews of more than 90% of the reports since July. From these completed reviews, 37 employees have exited the company and another 44 received written reprimands, formal warnings or other discipline.

The assertion that Mr. Kotick blocked the release of this information is simply inaccurate. An interim update to our employees is still being worked on, and the company remains committed to continuing to provide periodic updates on its progress.

GamesBeat

GamesBeat’s creed when covering the game industry is “where passion meets business.” What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you — not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it.

How will you do that? Membership includes access to:

  • Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
  • The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special members-only interviews, chats, and “open office” events with GamesBeat staff
  • Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
  • And maybe even a fun prize or two
  • Introductions to like-minded parties

Become a member

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