Annual festival of trailers and also some trophies The Game Awards is just days away, and host Geoff Keighley has announced that “Beyond its nominations” Activision Blizzard won’t be involved.
The Game Awards are “a time of celebration for this industry,” he wrote on Twitter, “the biggest form of entertainment in the world. There is no place for abuse, harassment or predatory practices in any company or any community. I also realize we have a big platform which can accelerate and inspire change. We are committed to that, but we all need to work together to build a better and a more inclusive environment so everyone feels safe to build the world’s best games.”
Since the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard alleging discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace back in July, allegations like Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick telling an assistant he was going to have her killed have raised questions about whether it’s appropriate to promote the company during a celebration of what’s best about games.
In an interview with The Washington Post before this statement, Keighley was asked about Activision Blizzard’s involvement with The Game Awards. “We want to support employees and developers,” he said and, “We have to think very carefully about how to proceed here.” While there are six major games scheduled for reveals, Keighley confirmed that neither Diablo 4 nor Overwatch 2 would be shown during this year’s awards.
Traditionally Blizzard saves big announcements about its games for BlizzCon, but Activision has shown off its games during previous The Game Awards—last year, a trailer for the first season of Call of Duty: Warzone. The advisory board, who are not involved in the nominations or voting process but instead “guide and advance the mission of The Game Awards”, includes Activision president Rob Kostich.
Call of Duty is nominated for Best Esports Game and Call of Duty: Warzone for Best Ongoing this year. Here’s the full list of 2021 nominees.
The Game Awards are an in-person event this year, though they’ll also be livestreamed via more than 40 platforms, and will be held on December 9. As well as the absence of Activision Blizzard announcements, there won’t be any NFT games.