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Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Organizers of a Wednesday walkout at Activision Blizzard, the gaming company behind "Call of Duty" and "World of Warcraft," are saying the demonstration "is not a one-time event that our leaders can ignore.”

Why it matters: Within the video game industry, sweeping promises for change are often followed by a handful of half-measures that fail to solve the systematic problems that caused them.

  • In a statement shared with Axios, organizers called out a letter to employees from CEO Bobby Kotick, issued Tuesday night, in which he said that the “initial responses to the issues we face together, and to your concerns, were, quite frankly, tone deaf."
  • While organizers are pleased their collective voice has “convinced leadership to change the tone of their communications, this response fails to address critical elements at the heart of employee concerns,” the organizers' statement reads.

Organizers — who advocated four core demands at Wednesday's demonstration, including an end to mandatory arbitration and better hiring practices — say that the company has not yet addressed their demands.

  • “We expect a prompt response and a commitment to action from leadership on the points enumerated above, and look forward to maintaining a constructive dialogue on how to build a better Activision Blizzard for all employees,” their statement reads.
  • “We will not return to silence; we will not be placated by the same processes that led us to this point. This is the beginning of an enduring movement in favor of better labor conditions for all employees, especially women, in particular women of color and transgender women, nonbinary people, and other marginalized groups."

The walkout has received a groundswell of support across the video game industry, as developers and fans have used the #ActiBlizWalkout hashtag to show support.

  • Blizzard co-founder and former executive Mike Morhaime tweeted today that he stands “in virtual solidarity” with those walking out: “I promise to be part of the change.”
  • Earlier this week, Morhaime — who stepped down from Blizzard in 2018 and left the company entirely in 2019 — issued an apology on Twitter to women who have alleged harassment and discrimination at the company. “To the Blizzard women who experienced any of these things, I am extremely sorry that I failed you.”

Go deeper

Oct 29, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

Halloween Blizzard of 1991: It's OK to reminisce and to tune out

These kids, just like Nick, had a blast in the Halloween blizzard. Photo: Marlin Levison/Star Tribune via Getty Image

We're about to mark the 30th anniversary of the Halloween Blizzard of 1991 and if you immediately want to delete this newsletter, I understand.

Minnesotans of a certain age love to talk about that massive blizzard, which dumped 28 inches — still a record for a storm here by a margin of 7 inches — over the course of three days. Duluth got 37 inches!

  • Non-lifelong or younger Minnesotans should be forgiven if they're sick of hearing about it.

Exclusive: Biden administration raises minimum wage for federal employees to $15

A poster demanding a federal $15-per-hour minimum wage seen near the White House in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 26, 2021. Photo: Erin Scott/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Federal agencies are being directed to raise the minimum wages for government employees to $15 an hour, according to new guidance from the Office of Personnel Management shared first with Axios.

Why it matters: The guidance will impact almost 70,000 federal employees, most of which work at the Departments of Agriculture, Defense and Veterans Affairs. OMP is directing agencies to implement the new wage by Jan. 30.

36 mins ago - Health

The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Omicron's blitz around the world has underscored the need for a new arsenal of COVID vaccines and therapeutics, experts say — and that may require an effort akin to Operation Warp Speed 2.0.

Why it matters: The virus will continue to evolve, potentially in a way that further escapes vaccine protection, and the best way to prevent more global disruptions to everyday life is to have tools ready to combat whatever comes next.