Activision Blizzard “won’t be part” of this year’s Game Awards show

Enlarge / A Game Awards statuette.

Activision Blizzard ‘won’t be part’ of next week’s annual Game Awards broadcast beyond nominations, award host and creator Geoff Keighley said in a Twitter thread on Friday evening.

Keighley’s post comes after a more evasive statement about Activision’s involvement published in the Washington Post on Friday morning. “We want to support the employees and the developers,” Keighley told the Post before adding “we have to think very carefully about how to do this here.”

The statement drew widespread condemnation among members of the industry and social media watchers in light of ongoing lawsuits and investigations into widespread reports of employee harassment and gender inequality issues.

from Activision Call of Duty: War Zone will always have a place in the awards, due to its nomination for “Best Current Game” and “Best Esports Game”. But more than just handing out real accolades, the Game Awards have grown in importance in recent years as the annual holiday season opportunity for publishers to promote new and upcoming game trailers and footage. to an audience of millions.

Activision won’t be in that kind of paid promotion this year, Keighley said on Twitter. “The Game Awards are a time of celebration for this industry, the greatest form of entertainment in the world,” Keighley wrote. “I also realize that we have a great platform that can accelerate and inspire change. We are committed to it, but we must all work together to create a better and more inclusive environment so that everyone feels safe to create the best. games of the world. All of us are responsible for this standard. “

It is currently unclear whether Activision’s reduced presence at the show represents a significant change from previous plans. Keighley previously told the Post that the recent postponement Diablo 4 and Monitoring 2 would not be featured at this year’s show. But the Post also characterized Keighley’s earlier stance on Activision’s potential involvement by saying he “supported the people who pitch their stories but also didn’t want to diminish the opportunities for developers to spotlight their games.” . Keighley was not immediately available to respond to a request for comment.

Rob Kostich, president of Activision Blizzard, sits on the Game Awards advisory board alongside many other major game publishers and executives. There has been no public indication of a change in this relationship.

In 2015, in the midst of a labor dispute between Konami and Solid metal gear author Hideo Kojima, Keighley used his scene from the Game Awards to publicly criticize Konami for not allowing Kojima to come to the show to accept his awards. “[Kojima] is still on an employment contract, and that’s disappointing, ”said Keighley. “It is inconceivable to me that an artist like Hideo is not allowed to come here and celebrate with his peers, his teammates, for a game as incredible as MGS V. This is the situation we are in. ”

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