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World of Warcraft development paused amid Activision-Blizzard harassment lawsuit

Following an explosive lawsuit filed against publishing giant Activision-Blizzard, development on World of Warcraft has been paused according to a senior designer working on the game.

Taking to TwitterWorld of Warcraft senior system designer Jeff Hamilton didn’t mince words, saying “I can tell you, almost no work is being done on World of Warcraft right now while this obscenity plays out. And that benefits nobody — not the players, not the developers, not the shareholders.”

“Activision’s response to this is currently taking a group of world-class developers and making them so mad and traumatized they’re rendered unable to keep making a great game,” continued Hamilton.

The lawsuit filed against Activision-Blizzard comes from the state of California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing. A two-year investigation from the department alleges that alongside games, the company had developed a “frat boy” culture in which sexual harassment and discrimination were rampant.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t have all the answers. I can tell you, almost no work is being done on World of Warcraft right now while this obscenity plays out. And that benefits nobody – not the players, not the developers, not the shareholders.

— Jeff Hamilton (@JeffAHamilton) July 25, 2021

Text of the lawsuit paints a much clearer picture, providing specific examples of male employees at Activision-Blizzard demeaning and harassing their female counterparts. “Female employees are subjected to constant sexual harassment, including having to continually fend off unwanted sexual comments and advances by their male co-workers and supervisors and being groped at the ‘cue brawls’ and other company events,” reads a part of the lawsuit. “High-ranking executives and creators engaged in blatant sexual harassment without repercussions.”

Activision-Blizzard has already responded to the lawsuit, claiming it “includes distorted, and in many cases fall, descriptions of Blizzard’s past.” The company goes on to state that the Activision-Blizzard depicted in the lawsuit “is not the Blizzard workplace of today.”

However, that statement wasn’t enough for Hamilton, who says “Activision’s statement was terrible, so here’s what I believe. I know many of my colleagues believe this as well: I believe all allegations of sexual harassment deserve to be taken seriously and in good faith, and any perpetrators of sexual harassment deserve both removal from the company and criminal investigation.”

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