Entertainment

Blizzard Entertainment CEO Mike Ybarra has released a message to his employees.talk about future policies


January 18, 2022 Japan time,“call of duty”or“Diablo” “World of Warcraft”The news that Microsoft will acquire Activision Blizzard, one of the largest North American publishers with numerous hit titles, has made its way around the world. The purchase price is about 68.7 billion dollars (about 7,874.2 billion yen), which is an exceptionally large acquisition.

Image collection #002 thumbnail / Blizzard Entertainment's top, Mike Ibarra's message to employees has been released.talk about future policies

As CEO of Blizzard Entertainment to coincide with this announcementMr. Mike Ybarrahas published a message to its employees on its official website.“What we should do is put the development team and players first”In a message titled (Putting Our Teams and Players at the Forefront of Everything We Do), Mr. Ibarra describes the company’s future policies.

CEO of Blizzard EntertainmentMr. Mike Ibarrais a veteran industry veteran who was at Xbox Game Studios until 2019. Entrusted with improving working conditions at Blizzard Entertainment
Image collection #003 Thumbnail / Blizzard Entertainment's top, Mike Ibarra's message to employees has been released.talk about future policies

In July 2021, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued Activision Blizzard after pointing out sexual harassment and poor working conditions for women. As detailed in the serialized article “Activision Blizzard sued by state government agency” published on August 2, 2021, Blizzard Entertainment has a corporate culture described in the complaint as a “university circle”, Sexual harassment was rampant, centered on the senior development staff belonging to the World of Warcraft team, and the problem of labor disparity for women was extremely serious. As a result of the lawsuit, dozens of executives and development staff have left or been fired, and the remaining employees are said to be working to form a labor union.

In early August, he was originally the producer of “World of Warcraft” and was appointed as the second CEOMr. J. Allen BrackRetired (related article) and was chosen to succeed Mr. Ibarra, who was strangely from Microsoft Game Studios and was invited as Executive Vice President of the Platform & Technology Division in 2019.He was initially seconded from Activision to serve as Vice President of Development.Mr. Jen O’NealHowever, Mr. O’Neill resigned in November (related article). After months of turmoil, O’Neill, a female executive, is believed to have left Activision Blizzard as the reason for her resignation.

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Under these circumstances, Mr. Ibarra, who was invited, appeared to be relatively quiet after becoming CEO, but he sent a message to employees in the context of the acquisition agreement with Microsoft.
Although there is no direct mention of the acquisition in the message, the message is open to the public with the expectation that the lawsuit, which was viewed as a problem, will be settled within 2022 and an environment will be created for employees to think carefully. It is thought that there is also an aim to emphasize a more open stance.

Ibarra’s message posted on the official website is as follows.


I feel very honored to be part of Blizzard Entertainment. Because we have a rich history, an amazingly talented team, an amazing community and, of course, some great games that we make. I’ve been leading Blizzard Entertainment for a few months now, and in addition to the exciting news that took place this week, I wanted to share some thoughts with you on what we need to do to put our teams and players first. .

2021 has been a very challenging year for all of us. As an individual, I try to treat everyone around me with respect and dignity. As a professional industry person, I care deeply about the work we produce and would like to work in a safe environment where I can get as much support as possible.

Our number one priority is rebuilding trust in Blizzard Entertainment, now and in the future.

It has been inspiring to see the creative and hardworking staff at Blizzard Entertainment during this difficult time, not to mention the ongoing pandemic. Overcoming challenges, evolving our development process, and creating a better work environment are ways to improve our culture of resilience and accountability, both for each other, for our work, and for our player community. should be.

I have also read forums, social posts and emails from people inside and outside the company and have been encouraged by your commitment to doing the right thing and your support. We want you to know that we are listening to you. We are still working on change. We would like to outline some priorities here as a first step in improving our connection with the community.

・As we rebuild our corporate culture, we are creating a system that allows us to judge management and senior executives. This means that the success of our executives, myself included, is built on the overall success of Blizzard in creating a safe, inclusive and creative work environment.

・We will establish specialized departments and allocate resources to improve our corporate culture. Until now, this important undertaking has been the responsibility of employees already overwhelmed with full-time jobs. Some of the leadership we have in place for this new team is:

– “Cultural Leaders” who ensure that everyone is performing at their best by maintaining the best corporate culture that we already share, changing and evolving where necessary.

– “organizational leaders” who build trust, empower team members, and help foster a safe and positive work environment for all.

– A “DE&I leader” who specializes in initiatives in the fields of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

・ In addition, the following new staff members will be hired.

–Triple the size of the compliance and investigation teams and clarify accountability for unacceptable behavior. Applies to all employees, including leaders and managers.

―We shared representation data with the development team and the company as a whole, and set targets for improving overall metrics.

-Introduced an upward feedback program so that employees can evaluate management without fear. This is used to determine the competence and effectiveness of management.

These moves are just the beginning of future efforts. I am motivated and excited to work on building the best environment for everyone so that the development team can realize their creative vision.

We also know that we need to deliver content to players more regularly and continue to refresh both inside and outside existing games. We have some exciting things to announce and will be sharing more information next week.

We would like to thank you again for your dedication and guidance, as well as your community and amazing team, who are always our beacons, like the North Star.

―To make 2022 and beyond great for us.

Mike “Quick” Ibarra




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