Xbox has “changed the way it does things with Activision,” says Phil Spencer | Xbox one

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It has been almost a year since harassment cases within Activision-Blizzard shake the group chaired by Bobby Kotick. Last November, and following overwhelming new revelations, the boss of Xbox Phil Spencer said “Evaluate all aspects of our relationship with Activision-Blizzard and make ongoing proactive adjustments”. It was not clear what it was exactly, but the question was asked again during an interview with the New York Times.

Show disagreement, but go to construction

In a message sent to his teams, Phil Spencer said to himself “Disturbed and deeply disturbed by the horrific events and actions” which are reported in the press. “This type of behavior has no place in our industry”, he added. From the outside, it is difficult to understand the measures that may have been taken by Microsoft, but it does not seem that Xbox has penalized Activision, if we read between the lines of what Phil Spencer explains today at New York Times.

To give all the context to the questions that were asked, we have chosen to translate the entire passage in question below.

Kara Swisher: Call of Duty has grown huge in large part thanks to your online platform, Xbox Live. And you told your staff that you were, I quote, “deeply troubled by these allegations”, that you were, I quote, “evaluating all aspects of Xbox’s relationship with Activision.” What did it mean to assess all aspects? And did it result in action?

Phil Spencer: The work that we do specifically with a partner like Activision is something that obviously I’m not going to talk about publicly. We have changed the way we do some things with them, and they know it. But me too. This is not, for us as Xbox, to shame other companies. The history of Xbox is not all rosy either.

Kara Swisher: No. I think at Xbox there was an issue at the Game Developers Conference where women were hired to dance on platforms.

Phil Spencer: And I have no problem talking publicly about this dance moment at GDC. It was a painful moment in our history at Xbox. Some of the things that make me proud is how we came out of it. The work we did as a team, I believe we are stronger now because of this event, not that I would choose to repeat this event if I had the choice.

I love that my own team was one of the loudest voices on social media to say it wasn’t right. And then the work the team has done to come out of it and say this moment won’t define what Xbox means, but rather will be a catalyst for us to be better and grow. And honestly, I use most of my energy on all of this. And any of the partners out there, if I can learn from them or if I can contribute to the path we’ve come with Xbox by sharing what we’ve done and what we’ve built, I’d much rather do that. than getting into any sort of fuss with other businesses that exist.

Kara Swisher: So stirring things up doesn’t work? I’m not quite sure what you mean by evaluating all aspects with Activision. What do you do when you have a partner like this? Because it is not a trivial matter. An employee said she was repeatedly raped by a male supervisor. Another is said to have committed suicide after a photo of her private parts was circulated at a company party. It goes a long way. Now what do you do when you run into a problem like this in the gaming industry?

Phil Spencer: Well I think the first thing we need to be able to do is make people feel like they can report and talk freely about what’s going on. It is, as I said, the safety of persons. And I have more of the capacity with my own team. But I will simply say that in general, having open lines of communication where people can report on their lived experience in our teams, that must really be a major point. And to get there, it’s a cultural effort to know how to build that trust so that people feel, when they denounce, when they raise their hands on current issues, that they will not suffer. repression. On the contrary, they will see the action. In terms of the work we do with other companies, again, I would rather help other companies than try to punish them. I don’t think my job is to punish other companies.

We will therefore not know much more about the measures that Xbox may have taken with Activision on the subjects of harassment, rape, and other behaviors related to Activision. Journalist Kara Swisher still asked what it would be wrong to punish Activision in a certain way, especially when the allegations also concern the CEO of the company. But Phil Spencer will not go further, and indicates that it is not for Xbox to judge who should be CEO since “CEOs are chosen by shareholders and boards of directors.”

We understand here that Phil Spencer does not want to create cold with Activision, but rather to work so that things improve for everyone. Crashing with one of the biggest publishers in the world is obviously not a good thing for the business and this kind of event takes place rather behind the scenes.

More articles on the Activision-Blizzard affair

It has been almost a year since harassment cases within Activision-Blizzard shake the group chaired by Bobby Kotick. Last November, and following overwhelming new revelations, the boss of Xbox Phil Spencer said “Evaluate all aspects of our relationship with Activision-Blizzard and make ongoing proactive adjustments”. It was not clear what…

It has been almost a year since harassment cases within Activision-Blizzard shake the group chaired by Bobby Kotick. Last November, and following overwhelming new revelations, the boss of Xbox Phil Spencer said “Evaluate all aspects of our relationship with Activision-Blizzard and make ongoing proactive adjustments”. It was not clear what…

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