In order to settle a lawsuit brought by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Activision Blizzard has agreed to establish an $18 million fund for eligible claimants — meaning, employees who were harmed by the company's discriminatory hiring and management practices. The EEOC lawsuit was filed Monday, and that same afternoon, Activision Blizzard announced the $18 million conclusion.
Activision Blizzard is the company behind blockbuster video game franchises including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Diablo and Overwatch. Activision Blizzard's revenue for the year 2020 was $8.1 billion, with a profit of more than $2 billion.
Today's $18 million agreement follows a three-year investigation into Activision Blizzard by the EEOC. The agreement is subject to court approval, and any leftover funds will be distributed among equality groups in the video game industry. The company is also upgrading its workplace policies and appointing a third-party equal opportunity consultant that will report to the Board of Directors and the EEOC.
This is just one of several lawsuits assailing Activision Blizzard at the moment. The first was filed by California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing on July 20th, following a years-long investigation that concluded Activision Blizzard executives fostered a sexist, frat-boy style culture, and the company routinely violated equal-pay and labor laws. Since then, the SEC has opened its own investigation into the company, investors have filed a separate lawsuit, and the National Labor Relations Board is looking into complaints of coercion and interrogation at Activision Blizzard in response to the recent legal pressure. Several high-profile executives have left the company.