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Image: Neville Elder / Getty Images

Mike Morhaime, who co-founded and worked at video game studio Blizzard for 28 years, has apologized publicly for toxic work conditions at his former studio, which is now the subject of a discrimination and harassment lawsuit by the state of California.

Why it matters: Morhaime is no longer at Blizzard, but was its leader for most of its existence and therefore was in charge when much of what is alleged in California’s suit would have occurred.

  • “It is the responsibility of leadership to stamp out toxicity and harassment in any form, across all levels of the company,” he wrote on Twitter.
  • “To the Blizzard women who experienced any of these things, I am extremely sorry that I failed you.”
  • “Real people have been harmed, and some women had terrible experiences.”

What they’re saying: Morhaime’s statement has been met with some gratitude that he said anything but also with criticism that so much happened on his watch.

  • Critics, including former Blizzard employees, said they found it implausible that Morhaime wouldn’t have been aware of the depth of the studio’s problems.

The big picture: Current management at Blizzard and sister company, Activision, have sent mixed signals in recent days.

  • Messages sent to employees have alternated between calling the allegations in the lawsuit “deeply disturbing” to slamming the department that brought them for bringing a “meritless lawsuit.”
  • Some Blizzard employees have publicly criticized the company’s harsher statements, saying they believe the allegations, according to a PC Gamer report.

Go deeper

Sep 20, 2021 - Economy & Business

Twitter to settle class-action lawsuit for $810 million

Photo illustration: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Twitter on Monday said it agreed to pay $809.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that alleged the tech giant misled investors about user metrics.

Why it matters: Tech companies have long faced criticism for the accuracy of the metrics they report publicly. Facebook has faced similar lawsuits.

Everyone wants to be an influencer

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The number of people looking to become online influencers has exploded during the pandemic.

Why it matters: Almost anyone can find themselves in a position to become an influencer, and brands are throwing billions of dollars at online content creators.

At least 3 dead after Amtrak train derails in Montana

Photo: Jacob Cordeiro/Twitter

An Amtrak train derailed near Joplin, Montana, resulting in at least three deaths and multiple injuries to passengers and crew on Saturday, per authorities and a company statement.

The big picture: 141 passengers and 16 crew members were estimated to be on the Empire Builder train, traveling from Chicago to Seattle and Portland, when eight of the 10 cars derailed about 4p.m., Amtrak said early Sunday.