Meanwhile at Blizzard
Year after year, World of Warcraft has lost its popularity. There’s always been negative people but their voices were lost in the ocean of positivity that was surrounding the game. Expansion after expansion, the game has lost its identity, trying to satisfy too many different types of gamers. Victim of its own success, WoW entered a slow and painful descent, no king rules forever.
Keeping a good PR when only haters can be heard is a difficult job, especially when your product so heavily depends on its community. So, when a developer publicly calls one of the last big streamer “an a**hole”, it’s time for damage control. It never happened and, ultimately, the streamer left for another game, taking with him hundreds of thousand followers.
As one’s misfortune often benefits another, FF14 reaches now a total of 22 millions accounts. The store even has to place people in a queue, only to purchase the game.
As if it wasn’t enough, California sues Activision Blizzard over a culture of ‘constant sexual harassment’. I’m not gonna quote the entire lawsuit, but we’re talking about lack of support by HR to the victims, encouragement of this behaviour by the CEO, J. Allen Brack, and even Alex Afrasiabi being called the Bill Cosby of Blizzard. It goes as far as the suicide of an employee after a week-end/relationship with her manager and her bullying at a company meeting.
From in-game protests, massive unsubscribes and tons of flaming forums, I can tell you, internet reacted accordingly to the gravity of the situation. There can be no compromise toward this kind of attitude, there’s no place for frat boy culture in this world.
Since the departure of its former CEO, the Californian company has only shown disregard for its community and its employees. I remember the last Blizzcon of Mike Morhaime, when he said about J Allen Brack “You think you know him, but you don’t”. I often wondered what he meant… I think that I know, now.
I know that Blizzard isn’t the only company with an horrible behaviour towards women but, if we want the world to change, examples have to be made and Blizzard prepared its own gallows by first angering its own crowd.