Former Blizzard Vice President Chris Metzen Shares Apology
Another former Blizzard developer has released a message of sympathy and remorse following allegations made in a
lawsuit by the California DFEH
against Activision Blizzard, with former Senior Vice President of Story and Franchise Development Chris Metzen
sharing an apology over Twitter
, leading with "we failed, and I'm sorry."
Although Chris Metzen
left Blizzard in September of 2016
, some of the allegations raised in the lawsuit have been described as systemic issues that have pervaded for years, if not decades. Former Senior Creative Director Alex Afrasiabi was specifically named in the suit, and although he
quietly left the company around June 2020
, other employees described him being groomed as Metzen's successor during their time working together. The two
came together again at BlizzCon 2018
, with some banter between Metzen and Afrasiabi in particular, before hinting at the return of Thrall in Battle for Azeroth.
Metzen displays a very familiar tone with Afrasiabi during his surprise BlizzCon appearance.
Since making his apology, Metzen has commented further regarding his history with Afrasiabi, indicating that they were not closely associated outside of work meetings.
Since the lawsuit was made public just
two days ago
, Blizzard has had a day of contradictory damage control, with
Activision Blizzard Executive Fran Townsend
calling the claims "meritless and irresponsible", "distorted or untrue", and "factually incorrect," while
current Blizzard President J. Allen Brack
struck a somber and empathetic tone acknowledging the issues, along with a similar
message from former Blizzard President Mike Morhaime
Despite these messages of empathy and support, opinions continue to rage over Twitter and other social media spheres. While some congratulate Morhaime and Mezten for "standing up," many current and former Blizzard employees have expressed disdain, referring to the entire situation as a failure of leadership in which complaints again senior employees were ignored by the very same people now expressing platitudes of remorse. It is also important to remember that while Morhaime and Metzen are no longer with the company, it does not necessarily mean they may not be indicted or deposed as a part of this lawsuit, particularly if the involved behavior does reach back as far as many have claimed.
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