Treyarch has finally issued a statement, after its co-studio head left the company last month. Dan Bunting had been accused of sexually harassing employees 2017, and an investigation recommended that he should be fired in 2019. Bobby Kotick reportedly intervened to stop this from happening.
Now, Treyarch says that it will start doing "better", in a statement written by the women of the company. It claims that providing a "safe, diverse, inclusive working environment" will be the "highest priority", and that the workplace culture has no place for "sexism, harassment, racism, bigotry. discrimination, or bullying".
"Our goal as a studio is to make awesome games for the world to enjoy", the statement opens. "Having the privilege to pursue that endeavor is made possible because of Treyarch's people: we are a studio comprised of smart, talented, world-class creative professionals who seek to perform at our best."
"Everyone at Treyarch is drawn to game development because we possess a deep love for the artistry of video games and the magic that can create moments that matter. This is a moment that matters and it starts by being better".
The statement has attracted criticism for its vague language; not mentioning the specific allegations, and not elaborating on what doing "better" will entail. However, women at Treyarch have responded to this, with senior game designer Joanna Leung saying that "This is not a PR stunt, but a sincere and heartfelt statement".
She continues: "I'm honor [sic] to have helped in contributing to this and thankful for the lady who drove this initiative. Without her and all the other women who helped contributed, this statement would not have been possible."
"We understand your frustrations with all that is going on[…]Sure, we can list all our initiatives to be better here at Treyarch, but actions speak louder than words and this is our first step."
Miranda Due, associate producer at Treyarch, echoed Leung's comments. "The women of Treyarch organized to write the statement and have it published. We are the ones that have been impacted the most by what has happened, and we are fighting for a better future. Change has to happen from within and we are doing our best and need support not this".
Despite his role in protecting Bunting when he faced calls to be fired in 2019, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick still has his job. The gaming giant continues to defend him.
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