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Activision Blizzard's Latest Lawsuit Has Fans Seeing Red

There's no denying that Activision Blizzard is in hot water. Lawsuits have been piling up for the company after employees made allegations of discriminatory and dangerous workplace conditions. An initial case from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing led to the state accusing Activision Blizzard of interfering with the investigation by actively destroying evidence and meeting with employees to discuss the case. In fact, it seems that the US government, in general, has Activision Blizzard in its crosshairs, as the SEC recently requested communication records regarding harassment, to ensure that the company had disclosed alleged harassment instances to its investors, as required by law. Now, news of another case against Activision Blizzard has fans seeing red.

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which ensures that the Civil Rights Act is properly enforced in the workplace, filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard after investigating the company for over three years. Activision Blizzard decided to settle with the EEOC, according to a press release from the company. As part of the settlement, Blizzard will "create an $18 million fund to compensate and make amends to eligible claimants." Additionally, any money not used to compensate workers will be donated to charities "that advance women in the video game industry or promote awareness around harassment and gender equality issues as well as company diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, as approved by the EEOC."

While the settlement seems to be making positive changes for the company, fans had mixed reactions to the news.

Fans aren't pleased

While Activision Blizzard's press release stated that the company would create new safeguards to ensure fair worker treatment in the future as "additional steps" to meet the EEOC's requirements, fans weren't so sure that the endeavor was entirely well-meaning. One Twitter user astutely observed that the sizable charitable contribution could be considered a tax write-off for the company, while another said the entire case was a "slap on the wrist." Another commenter pointed out that $18 million is only .03% of Activision Blizzard's total worth, meaning that the donation sounds impressive, but is ultimately an empty gesture.

One commenter argued that the settlement was in fact a good thing. "This is good! No matter what the people would want more and more and more done and there will never be an agreement," they wrote. The user continued to say that Blizzard had already changed the name of McCree in "Overwatch" after fan outcry, in addition to spending significant amounts of money on inclusive programs and firing certain executives. Others were quick to reply that the real wrongdoers still haven't faced punishment.

For the most part, fan discussion on Twitter seemed negative regarding the Activision Blizzard settlement with the EEOC, although the company had its small share of defenders. It's unclear what legal issues could emerge for Activision Blizzard in the future, but judging from the year it's having, more could be on the way.