As if things couldn't get worse for Activision Blizzard, the company has now been hit with a federal investigation this week. The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has officially started its own investigation into the gaming company over workplace practices, as the SEC has subpoenaed several senior executives, including chief executive Bobby Kotick. According to a spokesperson for the company who spoke to the WSJ, the company is cooperating with the SEC in all regards, and explained that regulators were examining the company's disclosures "regarding employment matters and related issues".
This turn of events is just the latest in a series of issues the company has been having this year. Stemming from the initial lawsuit from the state of California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing for having a poor office culture with allegations of sexual misconduct. That lawsuit ended up dredged a ton of support from the employees themselves, especially after company executives said they would fight the lawsuit, which led to the staff walking out and making demands of the upper management to make drastic changes. Since that time, Activision Blizzard has started working with WilmerHale, a company that is widely known for incorporating union-busting tactics, which the staff took as a sign of bad faith in their willingness to fix the underlining issues at the company. Blizzard has let some of its staff go over allegations that have arisen, but the staff still filed a lawsuit of their own against the company.
It's an interesting crossroad to see Activision Blizzard at, where they are involved in two different lawsuits at the Civil and State level, while being investigated at the Federal level, all stemming from the same issues. We'll keep an eye on things and see how everything progresses, but like all investigations, this one is going to take time.