Activision Blizzard won't have a role at the 2021 Game Awards

An Activision exec is still on the advisory board, however.

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 12:  Geoff Keighley speaks  onstage during The Game Awards 2019 at Microsoft Theater on December 12, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JC Olivera/Getty Images)
Geoff Keighley speaks onstage during The Game Awards 2019 at Microsoft Theater on December 12, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. JC Olivera/Getty Images

Activision Blizzard's ongoing workplace harassment scandal may have repercussions for one of its bigger media opportunities. In the wake of a Washington Post report raising questions about Activision Blizzard's involvement at the 2021 Game Awards, producer Geoff Keighley confirmed the publisher wouldn't have a role at the show outside of the nominations chosen by influencers and media. There's "no place" for abuse and harassment anywhere, Keighley said.

 He added that the industry needed to "work together" to create a more inclusive space for developing games. The focus was on celebrating games and the people who made them, according to the founder. Keighley already said Diablo IV and Overwatch 2 wouldn't appear during the presentation.

It's not clear if the scandal had a direct impact on Activision's presence, but it's a contrast from 2020. Then, the company used the Game Awards to show Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War's first season of battle royale material.

Questions remain, though. Most notably, the awards' advisory panel includes Activision Blizzard president Rob Kostich. The publisher still technically holds some sway over the event, even if it didn't dictate much of the show in practice. Keighley told the Post the show organizers had to "think very carefully" about how to move forward — much like Microsoft and other industry partners, the Game Awards team hasn't yet decided on the long-term repercussions (if any) for Activision's problematic workplace culture.

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