With the ongoing sexual harassment and abuse allegations scandal at Activision Blizzard, there have been rumors that company head Bobby Kotick might be resigning. While things are still ongoing, the question remains – is Bobby Kotick leaving Blizzard?
The impact on WoW TBC and what’s next for the game
Bobby Kotick, head of Activision Blizzard for the last 13 years, is considering stepping down. The condition is that he has to fix the allegations of harassment and sexism first. For sure, his resignation as the head will affect the development of all the games under the company’s guidance. That’s on top of the current delays and problems the pandemic and the lawsuits have caused. What effects could this have on WoW TBC gold farmers and players of the company’s games?
In the First Place, Will Bobby Kotick Even Leave?
Let’s consider some facts. Bobby Kotick has been vocal in combating the harassment and misconduct from the allegations. He has placed some policies limiting alcohol and other ‘guardrails’ to prevent further incidents. It all culminated in the formation of the “Workplace Responsibility Committee” which oversees the progress toward better working conditions.
However, that didn’t stop Jen Oneal’s resignation and the protest of employees and players across the world. There was also the move to engage with WilmerHale, a firm that specializes in keeping employees from unionizing. In contrast, the employees created their own alliance, the ABK (Activision/Blizzard/King) Workers Alliance.
This alliance resisted the use of WilmerHale’s services, citing its tendency to favor Activision Blizzard and its executives. Also, as mentioned above, it discourages employees from working together to fight for their rights. They outlined all the harsh conditions employees face as well, especially for the quality assurance department.
At any rate, despite all the policies and ‘guardrails’ in place, A Better ABK (another employee group) started a petition for Kotick’s resignation. It gathered more than 1,000 employee signatures, meaning that these employees had lost faith in Kotick’s ability to lead.
All of these make his resignation more likely to happen. He did say that he will quit if he doesn’t solve the allegations. From the current (seemingly) ineffectiveness of his reactions to the lawsuit, he might have to step down soon. Then again, maybe his policies need a bit more time to take effect.
Then again, it seems that he’s holding on to hope for a bit longer. His declaration may be the last straw, as the situation cannot go on, and something has to give. Whether that’s the lawsuit or the CEO, only time will tell.
The Impact on the Games
Ever since the lawsuit, the delay caused by the pandemic worsened even more. With employee boycotts and resignations, there’s even a lack of manpower to wrestle with. Delayed patches got even more delayed, and the likelihood of bugs increased. Support tickets flooded the Customer Service department
There’s also some effect on creative decisions. While it’s good to bring back class sets on Retail WoW, players criticized the design. They said the sets look too much like a uniform, and it’s hard to distinguish between them. Some are even calling the sets ‘ugly’ or ‘basic’.
WoW Classic’s Season of Mastery took a little over a month to be released. With a 12-month content cycle and 6 phases, they will have to release the next phase in two months. The last two months of the cycle are for players to enjoy the last phase of the season. Sure they might be able to use the data from WoW Classic to ease the update schedule. Though, they have to do some extra adjustments to match the season content.
WoW TBC Classic’s Phase 2 was a bit late, pushing the next phase’s release to next year in 2022. Some players are just waiting around for the next phase, not content in farming TBC Classic gold or TBC items anymore. At a certain point, running the same raids again (for the nth time) isn’t fun anymore. The long delays will create troughs in the player population. By the time the next patch comes along, it could be too late and players have moved on.
Aside from those effects, all in-game references to past employees who were found to be guilty of the allegations have been removed in all games. The most notable change is Overwatch character Jesse McCree being renamed Cole Cassidy. Blizzard released an official comic of the character finding a new identity to cement the change.
From lawsuits and employee strikes to increased delays and decreasing manpower, it’s not a good year for Activision Blizzard. From the investigations, these problems have been there since a long time ago. The upper management somehow kept the lid on for a long time, but now the jar exploded.
At the rate the company is going, it’s not going to be a good time to buy WoW TBC accounts or TBC powerleveling. Not to say that the games are sinking ships. There are troubled waters ahead, and it may be prudent to stay away for a while.
This is an editorial piece. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of, and should not be attributed to, Niche Gamer as an organization.