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Blizzard boss details what the studio is doing to ‘rebuild your trust’


Blizzard boss details what the studio is doing to ‘rebuild your trust’

Blizzard Entertainment, the developer of huge franchises like Diablo and Overwatch, has been under intense scrutiny since California sued parent company Activision Blizzard last summer over allegedly fostering a culture of harassment and discrimination. In an attempt to assure employees and fans that the company is making positive changes, Blizzard boss Mike Ybarra published a blog post detailing what it is doing to “rebuild your trust.”

At the top of the list is that executive and management teams will be measured “directly against culture improvement,” which means that their compensation will “depend on our overall success in creating a safe, inclusive, and creative work environment at Blizzard,” Ybarra says.

He also outlined new full-time roles that have been created to help improve culture, including:

a Culture leader who will help us maintain the best aspects of what we have today, and change and evolve where needed to ensure everyone brings their best self to Blizzard

a new organizational leader for Human Resources who will build trust, empower our teams, and help foster a safe, positive work environment for everyone

a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) leader solely focused on our progress across multiple efforts in this area

Blizzard has also “tripled” the size of its compliance and investigation teams, shared representation data internally (which was not included with the blog post), set goals for improving those metrics (also not shared), and created an “upward feedback program” for employees to evaluate managers, Ybarra said.

We’re committed to more open dialog directly with the amazing player communities – not just from me but from all of our incredible teams.

— Mike Ybarra (@Qwik) January 20, 2022

Ybarra’s blog about these initiatives arrives under the shadow of Microsoft’s massive deal to acquire Activision Blizzard. Microsoft appears to have gone into the deal with eyes wide open about Activision Blizzard’s recent scandals, and Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer even nodded to culture changes to come in an email to staff:


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