Team turnover at Activision Blizzard blamed on Bobby Kotick

Many are exiting the company due to leadership and upper management.

Photo via Activision Blizzard

In response to a report from GamesBeat where Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick blamed the company’s stock prices on Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4, employees have started to speak out about the working conditions at the company.

Many employees have given their take on Microsoft’s impending purchase of Activision Blizzard on social media. And today, a user on Twitter named Tracy Kennedy who works on the Overwatch team detailed how upper management would task teams with projects that would later end up getting canceled. The team would take time to work on the assigned project and put in overtime only for it to be later canceled, which took away time from the development of Overwatch 2, according to Kennedy.

Not only were there struggles in the company from upper management that led to teams putting in overtime for what ended up being canceled later, but Kennedy claimed “almost entire teams” were leaving the company, citing Kotick as the reason for their departure.

This bit of information comes just a day after Microsoft announced its intent to purchase Activision Blizzard, which is one of the biggest gaming deals in history. Activision Blizzard has been criticized publicly since the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed suit against the company in 2021 for sexual misconduct and employee mistreatment within the company.

Many employees and gamers are angry that Kotick will essentially exit the company in a golden parachute, considering that his contract will stipulate bonuses when the deal closes with Microsoft next year. His departure also isn’t what some employees are worried about since upper management still seems to support Kotick.

Employees across social media have commented that many of the lower-level teams have been wonderful to work with and that those employees can’t control the people actually making decisions within the company. While some are hopeful that the acquisition will fix many of the problems Activision Blizzard has, many are hesitant to accept this move as a “magic wand” that makes all of the issues go away.

This sentiment was echoed yesterday when employees voiced concerns that this deal would sweep issues that Activision Blizzard has within its workplace under the rug and many called for unionization. Although Kotick reportedly won’t be around after the deal closes, many wonder how many upper-level employees will be kept and how the situation will change based on who stays and who goes after the deal is done.

An overwhelming number of gamers, employees, and industry professionals have called for Kotick’s removal since the situation was made public when the DEFH suit was filed, but Kotick has remained as CEO despite growing pressure for his exit. It’s been confirmed that Kotick will still remain in his position until at least the close of the deal.