In the Press

Can Microsoft acquisition cure Activision Blizzard’s toxic workplace? (MarketWatch)

MarketWatch features Dr. Ann Olivarius‘ comments on the toxic workplace environment at Activision Blizzard and Microsoft’s acquisition.

Can Microsoft acquisition cure Activision’s toxic workplace?
Besides concerns about antitrust scrutiny and a record $68.7 billion price tag, Microsoft Corp.’s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard Inc. also raises…


While the videogame industry has long suffered from a culture that “denigrates women,” according to Ann Olivarius, a lawyer who has specialized in women’s rights, she sees Activision ATVI, -1.06% as one of the worst examples of toxic workplaces.

Olivarius said the gaming industry allows for “a culture of violence,” mentioning Gamergate, in which female gamers, developers and journalists were targeted for online and offline harassment, including rape and death threats in 2014. She said that culture will be hard to change, as the industry attracts people who want to play games that contain violence. And though Microsoft MSFT, -2.66% makes the Xbox console and has been steeped in videogames for decades, Olivarius said “they don’t have the culture of violence that Activision has.”

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