I’ve been looking at the WoW forums and seeing a lot of people saying that the developers are innocent until proven guilty. Well, that’s not true. This isn’t a criminal case, it’s a civil case brought by an agency against a company. As companies aren’t people (despite what the SCOTUS has ruled), then there is no presumption of innocence.
The investigation by the state of California revealed widespread sexual harassment of both women and men at Blizzard. Further, we’ve seen the photo of the “Cosby Crew” in the “Cosby Suite.” Alex Afrasiabi was removed from the company for his abuses of others. Basically, at this point, the trial is to determine how much of a penalty and how much compensation Activision-Blizzard must pay out.
Now, it may be the case that the case goes before a useless judge. In which case, unlike in a criminal trial, this can be appealed by the state. But it’s likely that Blizzard is looking at a $1 billion fine and probably another several hundred million dollars in compensation. The case isn’t to determine if these things happened, but to determine the extent to which these things damaged those abused by them and the moral fabric of the state of California.
Blizzard has a history of homophobia and sexism. In the past, people like Samwise Didier have gloated over homophobic expressions of hate directed towards Alliance players. We’ve all seen the video of Greg Street and Alex Afrasiabi giving a flippantly sexist response to a concerned player who didn’t like the over-sexualization of every female character in the game. We’ve heard how Alliance players have been assaulted at BlizzCon with zero repercussions to their attackers.
There’s no finding of fact necessary. We know what’s happened because much of the abuse was in plain sight. I’m so glad I quit giving them money. I’m so very glad.
Plus, they’ve ruined Elune…bastards.