Dec 15, 2023 - Technology

Activision Blizzard to pay $47M in gender discrimination settlement

Photo Illustration by Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Image

Game maker Activision Blizzard has agreed to pay $47 million to settle gender discrimination claims brought by California in 2021.

Why it matters: The settlement is one of the largest in state history. It offers a potential legal resolution, at least, to scandals that have rocked the Call of Duty and World of Warcraft maker in recent years.

Details: The settlement with the CRD calls for payments to be distributed to women who worked for the company in California between Oct. 12, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2020, according to a copy of the agreement reviewed by Axios.

  • Activision and Blizzard's main offices and largest development studios are located in the state.
  • Women who worked as third-party labor contractors for at least 90 days during that period will also be eligible.
  • The agreement resembles a $100 million gender discrimination settlement agreed to by Riot Games in Dec. 2021, which was spurred by the CRD after it opposed an earlier $10 million settlement. That one covered women who worked at Riot over a seven-year span.

Zoom in: The agreement drops California's sexual harassment claims against the game maker.

  • "No court or any independent investigation has substantiated any allegations that: there has been systemic or widespread sexual harassment at Activision Blizzard," it states.
  • As part of the settlement, California will amend its complaint against Activision Blizzard to only include gender discrimination claims and not allegations of sexual misconduct (issues that were covered by the EEOC complaint and led to a turf war between the agencies).

Between the lines: California's mid-2021 lawsuit came amid a reckoning around the treatment of women in the video game industry.

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