The stock market has been favorable to Activision Blizzard in 2019. Despite there various controversies throughout the year, their stock has actually advanced 27% since the start of the year. Equally, They’ve managed to launch several very successful games like Modern Warfare, Crash Team Racing, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
Why Activision Blizzard’s Growth Is Hard to Swallow
It’s actually somewhat surprising that Activision Blizzard has grown so much given the mistakes they’ve made. For many, it’ll be hard to forget their support of the Chinese regime by punishing Hearthstone professional Blitzchung for simply supporting Hong Kong.
Activision Blizzard president Allen Brack did apologize during Blizzcon but his words felt hollow and meaningless. After all, even now Blitzchung is still banned despite the protest of other Blizzard figures including Overwatch head developer Jeff Kaplan.
I was relieved when they reduced his suspension. And I think the suspension should be reduced more or eliminated, but that’s just me. I’m obviously a huge supporter of free speech; it’s something that’s very important to me. It got to me personally. I think the punishment was too harsh and I was greatly relieved when they gave his money back. I think that was extremely important.Jeff Kaplan, The Washington Post
Pro Players Not Getting Paid
Of course, Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch division is hardly guilt-free themselves. Many Overwatch Trials players reported not getting paid by Blizzard, For instance, Kyle “Phaz” Dornian complained about the reality of what Blizzard is doing.
Trying to play Overwatch full-time without receiving my monthly salary is something I don’t wish on anyone, as it’s terrifying living month to month.Kyle “Phaz” Dornian, win.gg
The Neglection of Fans
If all of this isn’t enough, Activision Blizzard’s development teams have been neglecting their fans too. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare developers Infinity Ward have been openly ignoring community complaints to better follow their artistic vision. In a recent patch where they tweaked footstep audio, they admitted to not accepting their fans’ vision.
This is a hot topic in the community, and this is not the change that they were hoping to see. Our core players want to see footstep volume dramatically reduced.Modern Warfare 1.09 Patch Notes, Polygon
Acknowledging what everyone wants and then admitting to not caring is a bold choice. Infinity Ward has a history with not delivering on fan’s expectations but there’s still hope. Honestly, I’m expecting some people to get fired by Activision Blizzard before change happens, similar to Call of Duty WWII.