Jan 11, 2022 - Technology

Xbox head takes lukewarm stance on Activision allegations

Patrick T. Fallon
Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Microsoft isn't interested in "virtue-shaming" other companies, including Activision Blizzard, according to Xbox head Phil Spencer, who says "Xbox’s history is not spotless."

Driving the news: The New York Times published an interview with Spencer that includes talk about Activision Blizzard's ongoing harassment and abuse scandal.

  • Spencer previously told employees in November that he was "deeply troubled by these allegations" and that the company was "evaluating all aspects of Xbox's relation with Activision."

Asked directly about that evaluation, Spencer gave a broad answer that the company has "changed how we do certain things with them."

  • Spencer said that he'd prefer to learn from or help educate partners by sharing what Xbox has done. "... I’d much rather do that than get into any kind of finger-wagging at other companies that are out there."
  • "In terms of work that we do with other companies, again, I would rather help other companies than try to get into punishing. I don’t think my job is out there to punish other companies."
  • Spencer declined to give specifics on how or what has changed in its relations with Activision Blizzard.

Meanwhile, Lego is taking a hard stance of its own and delaying its Overwatch 2 set while it reviews its partnership with Activision Blizzard, "given concerns about the progress being made to address continuing allegations regarding workplace culture."

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