Video game holding company
One of the world's largest video games companies. Activision and World of Warcraft producer Blizzard Entertainment merged in 2006, and acquired Candy Crush Saga maker King, and e-sports specialist Major League Gaming in 2015. Microsoft's planned acquisition was blocked by antitrust authorities in 2023.
|Activision Blizzard Inc||USA||website|
|Activision Blizzard Inc|
This company is listed as having best practice on a report card on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality in corporate America.
Source: Human Rights Campaign (2021)
This company received an S&P Global ESG Score of 15/100 in the Interactive Media Services & Home Entertainment category of the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment, an annual evaluation of companies' sustainability practices (last updated 16 Dec 2022). The rankings are based on an analysis of corporate economic, environmental and social performance, assessing issues such as corporate governance, risk management, environmental reporting, climate strategy, human rights and labour practices.
Source: S&P Global (2022)
Many apps are designed to be deliberately addictive, using psychological tricks that continuously grab your attention. The Center for Humane Technology partnered with Moment, an app that helps people track their screen time, to ask how much screen time in apps left people feeling happy, and how much time left them in regret. Apps were ranked with data collected from a pool of 200,000 iPhone users. This company's Candy Crush Saga app ranked second in the Most Unhappy list, with 71% of users reporting they are "unhappy" with the app and how much time they spend on it, with daily usage averaging 46 minutes. Their Candy Crush app ranked fifth in the Most Unhappy list, with 59% of users reporting they are "unhappy" with the app and how much time they spend on it, with daily usage averaging 47 minutes.
Source: Center for Humane Tech (2021)
In 2022 this company agreed to pay US$18 million to settle a class action lawsuit over sexual harassment and discrimination allegations. According to CNN, the company fostered a "frat boy" culture where female employees were discriminated against and forced to "continually fend off unwanted sexual comments and advances by their male coworkers".
Source: Top Class Actions (2022)
In 2017 a California judge approved a US$1.5 million settlement to resolve class action claims that senior artists for the this company were wrongly classified as exempt and thus shortchanged on overtime.
Source: Law360 (2017)
A 2019 report by TaxWatch UK reveals how Activision Blizzard has moved billions of dollars of profit into tax havens. The multinational company has a complex structure with subsidiaries in a number of tax havens including Malta, the Netherlands, Barbados and Bermuda. The company is currently under investigation by tax authorities in the UK, Sweden and France over alleged transfer pricing irregularities and is facing a potential bill of over $1.1bn in back taxes and penalties.
Source: TaxWatch UK (2019)
In 2019 the median pay for a worker at this company was US$94,308. The CEO was paid 319 times this amount. Exorbitant CEO pay is a major contributor to rising inequality. CEOs are getting more because of their power to set pay, not because they are increasing productivity or possess specific, high-demand skills. The economy would suffer no harm if CEOs were paid less (or taxed more). In contrast, the CEO-to-typical-worker compensation ratio was 20-to-1 in 1965 and 58-to-1 in 1989.
Source: AFL-CIO (2020)
As You Sow's 2022 report, 'The 100 Most Overpaid CEOs', reveals the 100 most overpaid CEOs from USA's 500 largest public companies (as determined by the S&P 500 list). This company's CEO, Robert A. Kotick came in at number 12 on the list, having been paid US$154,613,318 in 2021. According to the report, "Most CEOs have come to be grossly overpaid, and that overpayment is harmful to the companies, the shareholders, the customers, the other employees, the economy, and society as a whole."
Source: As You Sow (2022)
In 2023 this company agreed to pay US$35 million to resolve claims by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that the video game maker violated its whistleblower protection rules, and failed to have a system in place to keep a record of employees' company misconduct complaints. Activision was accused by the SEC of requiring former employees - from 2016 to 2021 - to sign disclosure agreements promising they would let the company know if an agency similar to the SEC reached out to them during an investigation.
Source: Top Class Actions (2023)
In 2020 Kotaku interviewed 11 current and former employees at Activision's Treyarch studio, who develops the hugely successful Call of Duty game series. They described a company in which contractors, and particularly testers, feel like they're perceived and treated as inferior. Some say they worked 70 hours per week for over a year, for US$13 per hour. Meanwhile Activision's CFO received a $21 million cash and stock bonus. Last minute changes to the game brought on what one developer described as "perpetual crunch", particularly for the testers.
Source: Kotaku (2019)
After investigating an unfair labor practice charge against Activision Blizzard, the National Labor Relations Board in the USA found that the company withheld raises from quality assurance workers at Call of Duty support studio Raven Software. The agency attributed this withholding to the workers' union activity. Activision Blizzard is accused of retaliating against those who were attempting to unionize in a number of ways, including by laying some off and dismantling the studio's QA department by moving workers to separate teams.
Source: Yahoo News (2022)
This company received a score of 0/100 in the Newsweek Green Ranking 2017, which ranks the world's largest publicly traded companies on eight indicators covering energy, greenhouse gases, water, waste, fines and penalties, linking executive pay to sustainability targets, board-level committee oversight of environmental issues and third-party audits. Ranking methodology by Corporate Knights and HIP Investor.
Source: Newsweek (2017)
This company has a number of publicly available corporate governance documents on its website.
Source: company website (2022)
California, the UK and Australia have all enacted legislation requiring companies operating within their borders to disclose their efforts to eradicate modern slavery from their operations and supply chains. Follow the link to see this company's disclosure statement.
Source: company website (2020)
JUST Capital polls Americans every year to identify the issues that matter most in defining just business behaviour. For their 2023 rankings JUST Capital asked a representative sample of 3,002 Americans to compare 20 different business Issues on a head-to-head basis, producing a reliable hierarchy of Issues ranked in order of priority. Issues are organised under the headings Workers, Customers, Communities, the Environment, or Shareholders & Governance. JUST Capital then define metrics that map to those issues and track and analyse the largest, publicly traded U.S. companies. This analysis powers their rankings, in which this company ranked 289th of 951 companies, and 4th of 18 Household & Leisure Goods companies.
Source: JUST Capital (2023)
|Revenue||6.5 billion USD (2019)|
|Subsidiaries||Activation Blizzard Pty Ltd
|Address||Santa Monica, California, USA|
Products / BrandsActivision Blizzard
Bubble Witch Saga Mobile Games
Call of Duty Action Games
Call of Duty Multiplayer Games
Candy Crush Saga Mobile Games
Crash Bandicoot Platform Games
Crash Team Racing Racing Games
Diablo Action Games
Diablo Role-playing Games
Guitar Hero Other Video Games
Hearthstone Other Video Games
Overwatch Action Games
Overwatch Multiplayer Games
Skylanders Platform Games
Spyro Platform Games
StarCraft Strategy Games
Tony Hawk's Sports Games
Warcraft Multiplayer Games