Activision tackles corporate and ‘game design’ diversity

Activision tackles corporate and ‘game design’ diversity

Activision Blizzard announced the appointment of Kristen Hines as its Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, effective Monday, April 25. Hines previously worked at consulting firm Accenture, where she helped a number of companies expand their DEI programs. She will be part of the senior leadership team reporting to Julie Hodges, Chief People Officer.

“I am excited to join a company that has put its commitment to DEI first and made progress on the ambitious goals it has set for itself,” Hines said in a press release. “In a historically underrepresented industry, I look forward to leading the company’s efforts to further build a workplace that values ​​transparency, fairness and inclusion.”

Hines’ role will see her work on Activision Blizzard’s ongoing diversity initiatives, including the company’s commitment to increase the percentage of female and nonbinary employees by 50 percent over the next five years. As the press release explains, she “will also work with all game teams to ensure a diverse and inclusive perspective is incorporated into game design, including storyline, character development, gameplay and community interactions.”

“Activision Blizzard’s ambitious goal is to be the most popular and inclusive company in the gaming industry,” CEO Bobby Kotick said in a press release. “We’ve made significant progress in ensuring the safety and well-being of our employees, and we’re delighted that Kristen has joined our leadership team to help drive even greater progress.”

Last year, a report said Kotick was aware of and suppressed reports of Activision Blizzard’s sexual misconduct. Kotick called the report “inaccurate and misleading.” Following news of Microsoft’s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard, another report suggested that Kotick may be leaving after the deal closes.

In July 2021, the state of California filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard alleging years of discrimination and harassment in the workplace. The story has since embroiled CEO Bobby Kotick and prompted an investigation by the U.S. federal government. It continues to grow and is of immense importance to the gaming industry. You can read about all the progress so far in this regularly updated explainer article.

Activision Blizzard announced last week that 1,100 temporary QA staff would become full-time employees, along with a pay rise for the position, as pressure from employee groups continued. However, the company was quick to reveal that Raven Software’s QA staff, many of whom are working to unionize, won’t get the same raise.

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Kirsten Bennett
Kirsten is a passionate writer who loves games, and one day he decided to combine the two. She is now professionally writing niche articles about Consoles and hardware .